Bailey Beckman, a senior at the University of Tennessee at Martin was one out of six students chosen to attend the Insight + Conference: Student Advertising Career Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Bailey participated in a competition among her fellow classmates and only six students were chosen to attend. The conference was a two day trip from October 7-8 and the students had all expenses paid.
The students left from Martin at 5 a.m. on Thursday morning, October 6, and drove to Nashville to catch a flight to Chicago. "Once we landed in Chicago, we got on a train that took us close to our hotel. It's safe to say we looked like complete tourist trying to get from the train to our hotel!" Bailey exclaimed. The students were one of the first 100 to register so they were able to attend a free agency visit on that day. The agency, Leo Burnett, was named 2016 Ad Agency of the Year. Leo Burnett Agency is known for its designs. "We were crunched on time because we only had about an hour from the time we landed to the time we had to be at Leo Burnett, and we still had to change into business clothes once we got to the room. It took us a good 30 minutes of walking in circles to find our hotel room," Bailey stated. "Michelle, a student that was on the trip, had her dad on the phone telling us which way to go. He could see where we were because he had our location on through google!" she exclaimed.
"It's safe to say the entire first day was nothing but stress, getting lost, and being hungry. We were even late to the Leo Burnett meeting because we got lost," Bailey shared. After the agency visit, the students ate at an elegant restaurant and went back to their hotel afterwards. "We ended up going to get Chipotle a few hours later because our 'fancy expensive meal' didn't do the job," Bailey laughingly stated. The following day the students went to the Chicago Portfolio School where the conference was held. Professionals from around the country join together to speak to students about their experience. After the conference the students went on a tour around the city of Chicago. The students visited The Bean in Millennial Park, and ate what Chicago is best known for, pizza.
The last day of the trip, the students attended the Chicago Portfolio School again, for the last conference. Afterwards, the students went separate ways to go shopping and cite seeing. The next morning the students packed their bags and headed home. "Overall, it was a great experience for me. I have never been to Chicago so it was neat seeing how different it is from a small town. I've been to New York City before and I loved it, but New York has nothing on Chicago. Everyone in Chicago was so friendly and the city was so clean. It was awesome getting to visit Leo Burnett! Listening to speakers at the conference from other ad agencies is something I'll never forget. As a senior, I've been pretty stressed out about finding my future dream job so it was comforting hearing their stories and how they were all in the exact place I'm in today," Bailey stated.
Once a year UT Martin's Business and Global Affairs Department has an extracurricular event/trip for their students. The location is usually different every year. Every student is able to participate in the competition, but only a hand full are picked to attend. Students must be in good standing with grades.