The world of advertising is constantly changing, and one way Swim works to stay ahead is to keep in touch with young people. From high schools to area universities, the team at Swim welcomes every opportunity to get students excited about the field of advertising.
Back in 2006, the founder of Swim Creative, Patrice Bradley, was an adjunct professor at The College of St. Scholastica. During her tenure teaching Publication Design to students, she found it to be quite rewarding.
I probably learned just as much, if not more from my students. It kept me in touch with youth culture and I learned a lot about their generation’s experiences in the world, which in turn, taught me how to be a better leader.– Patrice Bradley, Founder and CEO of Swim Creative
From this first experience teaching, Patrice continued her own schooling by teaching and presenting to classrooms in the Twin Ports as well as on the Iron Range. She has been an advisor to the communications department at the Mesabi-Range Community College as well as a guest teacher at both Mesabi Range and Rock Ridge schools. Students would often approach her for internships or job opportunities afterwards.
“Students have come to me to share how my teaching has changed their academic directions,” she said. “It’s really thrilling to watch their energy shift when they realize that they too, can have a very creative and rewarding career in advertising or marketing.”
Because she knows the value of these teaching experiences, Patrice often encourages the Swim staff to go out and share their expertise with students, both in colleges, high schools and in local youth organizations.
“Most of our staff has been in front of our local classrooms at least once, some many times,” Patrice says. “A few have also judged the UMD Shark Tank, which was always a lot of fun. They would come back and report how rewarding it was to be with students.”
University of Minnesota-Duluth Visit
Fall of 2022, Patrice was a guest speaker in Professor Marat Bakpayev’s Advertising and Marketing Communications class at the University of Minnesota–Duluth. She presented one of Swim’s recent branding projects for a tourism organization, knowing that the students were working in teams to create a similar type of project. She found the students to be engaged as they were mostly juniors and seniors about to enter the workforce. The real-life example provided them with firsthand knowledge about the process of building a successful client brand.
Prior to the class, Patrice and Professor Marat were able to connect and share their experiences and found they were from similar backgrounds in advertising.
“Marat is a brilliant professor,” Patrice said. “The students are lucky to learn from such a seasoned ad guy.”
At the end of her presentation, she encouraged the students to consider future internships with Swim. Unbeknownst to her, one of the students was starting her Swim internship the very next Monday.
Superior High School Visit
Similar to Patrice’s visit at UMD, Swim’s Art Director, Tyler Johnson, and Project Manager, Sheerah Gebhard, traveled to Superior High School to share a presentation—also about marketing and branding. The students were all juniors who had expressed an interest in communications, the arts, and marketing.
While presenting, Tyler and Sheerah shared an overview of their agency’s work with Bullyan RV and reviewed the national brand, Patagonia.
It was important to me to share some of my personal experiences and the many roads I have traveled to get to where I am today. When I was their age, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I only knew that I wanted to do something fun and creative.– Sheerah Gebhard, Project Manager at Swim Creative
They both shared their journeys, and how they came to be at Swim Creative. Students then had an opportunity to ask questions. Many shared their interests and hobbies in their everyday lives to which Tyler and Sheerah gave lists of potential marketing careers that matched their interests.
“The students really appreciated the career options we provided,” Sheerah said. “It was important to me to share some of my personal experiences and the many roads I have traveled to get to where I am today. When I was their age, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I only knew that I wanted to do something fun and creative.”
Want Swim to visit your school?
Swim often presents to schools in the Northland. From local high schools to universities, we always welcome the opportunity to share our experiences and get students excited about marketing.
If you are interested in having Swim attend your classroom, we would be happy to chat with you. Contact Patrice Bradley at 218-722-1404 or firstname.lastname@example.org.