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A New Home for Young & Hungry

by Art U News

Courtesy of the School of Advertising

Young & Hungry, the student-run advertising agency you can take as a class, has a new dedicated space in the Cannery Building at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Y&H, as it’s affectionately known by students who take the class, is modeled after a modern advertising agency and students work with real clients, with real deadlines. “Students often comment that it’s more like going to work than it is going to school,” said School of Advertising Associate Director and Executive Creative Director of Y&H Jim Wojtowicz. “Which is great, because that means there is an added level of learning happening that goes beyond a normal class.”

Wojtowicz added, “One of the original goals of Y&H was to take the notion of experiential education to the next level, by providing students a dedicated, ad agency style space where they could apply their new skill sets to real-world communication problems. Our new home at the Cannery hits the mark and pushes it even further by immersing students in a space that not only reflects the industry, [but] it’s also a very cool, vibey and fun environment. The buzz of a professional workspace that happens to be smack in the middle of a bustling part of the city is exciting; it encourages creativity and students often stick around after class to continue working.”

The dedicated suite at the Cannery boasts a client meeting conference room, several breakout workrooms with whiteboards, a kitchen, a lounge area and a huge atrium space that doubles as a photo and video studio. It’s also where Y&H has hosted several industry-related events with plans to do more. In addition, there is a great view of the San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz.

“Since starting about four years ago, Y&H has become a hub of creativity for the entire university and that’s very much on purpose,” stated Wojtowicz, “Advertising agencies have always functioned as a central point in the development of marketing ideas—bringing in all different types of creative talent under one roof to create great work. Y&H reflects that talent pool by the wide range of students from different majors that take the class. While a lot of students in Y&H are from the School of Advertising, many students from web design and new media, photography, motion pictures and television and illustration have taken the class to get a feel for agency life, gain experience with real client interaction and be part of a multi-discipline team.

Current Y&H student Mustafa Elkamah from web design & new media stated: “Y&H has opened my eyes up to how I could use my skills in an environment I hadn’t considered before. It really helped me think in different ways about how to solve problems and I already feel more confident that I could thrive in an ad agency setting.”

Additionally, Y&H is actively developing classes and projects with different departments across the school. Just this past semester there were collaborations with the Schools of Illustration, Music Production and Sound Design for Visual Media and Motion Pictures & Television. “We have some great clients lined up for the fall, including Red Bull and Blue Endeavors—an ocean conservation organization that we are developing a project which we can hopefully work with the School of Industrial Design as well,” shared Wojtowicz.

Since it began, Y&H has had a wide range of clients. From Ubisoft, BMW and Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals team, to many bay area startups. Since taking over as Executive Creative Director of Y&H, Wojtowicz has added a large number of social impact clients, such as Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity and Downtown Streets Team, an organization that helps homeless people get back on their feet through job training and into safe, secure living spaces. Wojtowicz said he considers the advertising industry in general and Y&H specifically, as having huge potential to be agents of positive change, not only for a client’s bottom line, but for a better world.  He added, “Y&H is for anyone that wants to get a taste of what it’s like to work in the real world, get some killer portfolio work and make a positive impact on society.”

Young & Hungry is cross listed in several departments as ADV 495. Check with your advisor to see if you are eligible to take the class as spots are filling up fast for the fall.


Featured photo courtesy of Jim Wojtowicz.

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