On March 16, Area 23, a FCB Health Network Company, visited Blacksburg to mark the beginning of its strategic partnership with Pamplin College of Business’s PRISM. This partnership is the start of a mutually beneficial relationship that allows for student mentoring and potential future employment and learning opportunities with Area 23 for internships and full-time positions.

This relationship began two years ago with PRISM’s annual trip to New York City. Each year, select PRISM members travel to the Big Apple to present to large-scale, world-renowned advertising agencies. Last year PRISMites were given the opportunity to present to multi-million dollar companies such as Etsy, FCB, Candyspace, Droga5, etc . This experience has resulted in career networking for the organization’s members.

During the recent visit, Area 23 offered 5 seniors full-time offers and multiple summer internships for underclassmen. These roles range from account management and creative positions.

“I am thrilled to announce that 5 of our MKTG seniors received full-time offers in NY this past week, totaling over $300,000 in salary and benefits!  This is truly history as we have been working for the past 8 years on building alliances with global firms and FCB/Area 23 identified our Prism program as a talent pipeline,” Donna Wertalik, PRISM Advisor and Director of Marketing for the Pamplin College of Business.
Donna Wertalik
Donna Wertalik speaks to a packed room of students

In February, FCB’s Executive Managing Partner and SVP contacted PRISM to serve as an ongoing talent pool for the firm and serve as mentors for the members. This partnership gives members a rare experience in a large NYC agency while they are still students.

“When you're applying around, you rarely get a feel for an agency's atmosphere. With this partnership, I was given the unique opportunity to really decide for myself if this agency's environment was right for me. I now have the confidence that I am going to love my future career being a part of the Area23 family, and I'm beyond excited for other PRISM members to get this same experience through this partnership!", stated Maddy Keeler, a senior Marketing Management major.

PRISM is an interdisciplinary advertising agency, run by the next generation of creatives, strategists, analysts, and marketing mavens. The organization’s members comprise of a variety of majors with diverse talents that help to create PRISM’s unique and award winning work. This strategic partnership will be the start of a completely new platform that members can grow their skills.

Nick Czerwonka, a senior public relations major, explained his thoughts on the opportunity, "Our new partnership with FCB/Area23 is an amazing way for students in PRISM to hear from a real life, New York based, Advertising and Marketing agency, see the work they do for their clients, and be able learn from actual leaders in our field before we graduate. We're getting the hands-on work experience that you just can't get sitting in a classroom.”

PRISM members heard from Tyler Dickson, SVP of Strategic Planning at Area 23, on the goals of Area 23 and their portfolio of work. They offered all members short interviews and a resume review workshop to enhance their personal brand.

"Our vision is for Area 23 to identify projects where we can partner with PRISM and VT Marketing to bring big ideas to life - while providing opportunities for rising talent to solve some of our most challenging health and wellness marketing challenges in the next phase of their careers."