Making It

Seniors from the Robert Busch School of Design win mentorships to top advertising agencies

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Making It
Students from the Robert Busch School of Design win prestigious mentorships.
Abigail Anne Rafael, Senior Editor

Seniors Melissa Tito, Kedemah Reid, Yash Patel, Gisell Padilla and Melissa Ostrander, from the Robert Busch School of Design have won major mentorships with top advertising agencies through the renowned One Club for Creativity.

Tito, Reid, Patel, Padilla, and Ostrander were selected for their respective mentorships through One Club for Creativity's The One Club Mentor & Creative program. This program lasts six weeks and connects the students to One Club corporate professionals. To earn their respective mentorships, the students had to submit a portfolio of their work to be considered against other national and international submissions.

Melissa Ostrander

Ostrander, a senior majoring in graphic design, will be working with FCB Toronto.

Ostrander will be working with other university students on a brief provided by FCB Toronto. As a team, they will be addressing the issue of helping small businesses impacted by COVID-19 prepare to re-open.

"I’m most excited about the opportunity to collaborate with students from other schools. I’m also excited about the opportunity to receive professional portfolio reviews," said Ostrander. "I’ve learned to embrace any opportunity to have professionals rip my work apart, it’s the only way to grow and learn."

Post-graduation, Ostrander's main priority is to get a job. Ostrander is interested in different disciplines of design, specifically branding, editorial and UI/UX Design. Ostrander plans to dive right into the industry to continue to develop her expertise and hone in her career's focus.

Ostrander encourages students to "Apply to everything and don’t be afraid of rejection, you never know what opportunity you might stumble upon."

Notably, Ostrander also won the esteemed Society of Publication Design's first prize, the Mitch Shostak Award over the summer.

Tito, a senior majoring in graphic design with a specialization in interactive advertising, will be working with Goodby Silverstein & Partners for her mentorship.

Melissa Tito

"I will be working closely with my team, made up of inspiring Latinx Designers and Copywriters, to solve a brief about safe in-store shopping during the pandemic. We will be led by my very comedic and witty Mentors from Goodby," said Tito. "I'm looking forward to bouncing off each other's ideas, as well as gaining advice and insight. This is also a great opportunity to see how an ad agency creatively operates."

Tito aspires to work in New York City one day, as an art director. Her life motto, "Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game," keeps her pushing forward to fulfill her dreams.

Reid, a senior majoring in graphic design with a specialization in interactive advertising, received two mentorships, and will be working with both Wieden + Kennedy and Dentsu McGarry Bowen.

"I am truly excited about my mentorships, it is an opportunity that I am grateful to have," said Reid. "I am ready to gain all the knowledge I can through these opportunities and create work that I can add to my portfolio. The greatest part of it all is being able to be a part of the mentorship experience and having that under my belt before I end my senior year."

Reid will be working on a brief within a team to produce a creative solution for a particular problem.

Kedemah Reid

"[I'm] looking forward to the opportunity of gaining experience before leaving college. I also want to learn more about the way creatives work together in a professional sense, what creative process is at the core of a successful design solution, to gain further knowledge about the field from my mentors, and, in the process, create a strong network," said Reid.

Understanding the values of networking, education and hard work in attaining future goals, Reid encourages other students to take advantage of the resources, opportunities and information that Kean University offers.

"Talk to your professors, ask questions and don’t take these tools shared with you for granted. If you value the knowledge that your professors share with you, you should apply that knowledge, use those tools and be confident that they will help you on your journey to a successful future," said Reid.

Reid aspires to merge her passion for music and design as an art director in the advertising world in the future.

Yash Patel

Patel, a senior majoring in graphic design with a specialization in interactive advertising, will be working with Wunderman Thompson.

During his mentorship, Patel will be working in a team on a plant-based brand, Plantable.

"I am truly grateful for this opportunity because it’ll definitely give me a better insight on the industry and it’ll give me a chance to learn," said Patel. "I’m really looking forward to learning from my mentors and my team as well as the creative process."

Patel hopes to travel and explore new territories, geographically, professionally, and personally. He is looking to work for either an advertising agency or an in-house design team, while also pursuing his own passion projects on the side.

Padilla, a senior majoring in graphic design with a specialization in interactive advertising, will be working with Garrand Moehlenkamp.

Padilla will be working in a team with other mentees to work on a creative brief provided by Garrand Moehlenkamp.

Gisell Padilla

"I'm looking forward to getting to meet new people, there's copywriters and art directors on our team," said Padilla. "Getting to work in a group and getting a taste of how the advertising environment is will be fun and exciting. I have already met with my group three times, and they seem like amazing people; it will be a good program!"

Post-grad, Padilla will continue to involve herself in more programs and opportunities to continue to grow and develop her skills and connections within the advertising industry.

"If opportunities arise where you are able to learn something and meet new people, definitely put yourself out there and do it! You never know the experience that will come out of it," said Padilla.

By their own virtue, each student made spectacular accomplishments and is a testament to the impressive character of the Kean community at large.

In past years, several Robert Busch School of Design students have also won gold for their portfolios in One Club's highly acclaimed Young Ones competition. In 2019, Kean University ranked #3 worldwide as a result of Class of 2019 alumnus Liam Elias' impactful portfolio submission. In 2020, Kean Unviersity ranked #4 worldwide following the submission of an outstanding portfolio by Class of 2020 alumna Jacqueline O'Connor.

Students from the Robert Busch School of Design and Michael Graves College at Kean University continue to impress and astound the art world as each student brings a fresh perspective to the future of design.

about the author
Abigail Anne Rafael - web

Abigail Anne Rafael, Senior Editor

Abigail Anne Rafael is the Senior Editor for The Cougar’s Byte and first joined staff in January 2018. She is a communication major with a concentration in public relations. Abigail aims to inspire and motivate readers with her writing. After graduating from Kean, she hopes to work for a Catholic company to dispel mistruths about the Church.