Posted April 4, 2018
By Blaire Taylor, CIC graduate assistant
After one semester in the Master of Mass Communication program at the University of
South Carolina, Ja’Qor (Jay) Goodwin found himself with a coveted summer internship
at BBDO San Francisco. His work at the advertising agency provided him with valuable
experience and a clearer picture of where he wants to go after graduation, and it
was made possible thanks to connections he made at the J-school.
Goodwin majored in anthropology and geography at the University of South Carolina,
where he focused on cultural and linguistic anthropology. The major sheds light on
how people act, why they act in that matter and what those actions mean. Though he
enjoyed anthropology, Goodwin was interested in how his studies might be incorporated
into a business setting. With the help of Google, he stumbled into the field of advertising
and consumer behavior.
“After I graduated college, I had an interview with Augie Grant for a part-time job
in the journalism school at the faculty senate,” said Goodwin. “I explained to him
what career I was looking for and he immediately suggested taking some advertising
classes in the J-school. Exactly a year later, I started my first semester in the
The new student worked as a graduate assistant for Professor Bonnie Drewniany’s Super
Bowl of Advertising class. She suggested that he apply for the BBDO summer internship
in part because of how "delighted" she was with his work for her.
"His strong work ethic is in the top one percent of students I have observed during
my 25-plus teaching career," she said. "Jay’s positive, can-do attitude was a tremendous
At BBDO, Goodwin served as a strategy intern, working with clients such as Wells Fargo,
HP, Uncle Ben’s and other new business. The position included brand strategy and research
on how to position products. Goodwin was a part of the communications planning for
HP Damon, a computer marketed toward creative people, and was able to present the
consumer journey to the client.
For his internship project, he was tasked with building a strategy for Uncle Ben’s
from the ground up. This included working from a client brief, developing a strategy,
writing the creative brief, and producing creative assets. The intern team presented
their pitch to the agency’s C-suite.
“The campaign was for Uncle Ben’s Beginners program,” said Goodwin. “It was almost
a corporate social responsibility campaign to encourage kids to cook as well as they
can read and write. It was so cool because I didn’t have a true communications background
at the time, and it was my first chance to be a part of the process.”
Neil Slotterback, senior strategist for BBDO, said Jay was able to contribute more than a summer’s worth of strategic thinking to the team. "Jay took
a front seat to helping our clients solve complex problems," Slotterback said. "By
identifying key consumer insights and understanding trends in technology and culture,
Jay not only kept the team informed on shifts within the marketplace, he developed
strategies to help some of our most established and iconic brands evolve with them.
Goodwin plans to return to San Francisco and work full time for BBDO this summer.
He wants to focus on strategy in hopes of becoming a senior strategist. His long-term
goal is to work in New York for one of the top agencies.
Blaire Taylor is a first-year graduate communications student with an assistantship
in the web communications office of the college. She is working towards a career in
visual communications and public relations. Outside of school, she loves to travel