The creative minds on the precipice of joining the industry like the sound of that. Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, is home to the Brandcenter, one of the best graduate programs for advertising in the country. Often referred to as a “portfolio school” or “finishing school,” it teaches students who may have minored in communications or art history how ad agencies actually work. Students with a degree from here are highly sought after by the planet-size firms in New York, like BBDO and McCann Erickson; the students, in turn, lust after jobs with the smaller hot shops of the moment: Wieden, Droga5, Mother, BFG9000.
The Brandcenter’s brick building is a 19th-century carriage house, whose inside has been renovated into a sleek creative space with open floor plans, clever coursework hanging on the walls, and an Apple-product-to-student ratio approaching 3:1. One morning in January, 40 students, average age 25, average shirt color plaid, are attending the semester’s first meeting of Digital Portfolio, a class that will help them build personal websites to showcase their amateur work.
Super psyched to be heading down for this year’s board meeting - on a lovely Amtrak regional, heading through the fog to Richmond this morning.