Advertising Student Success at Mohawk College

Amaris Branco and Nicholas Kidd, Advertising and Marketing Communications Management students

Mohawk College’s Advertising students had an exceptional year in 2022, receiving nearly twenty awards in national and global competitions. These accolades not only serve as validation for the college but also raise the bar for student work and foster a competitive mindset, according to Professor Jef Petrossi.

In the prestigious One Show student competition, Mohawk College had 11 finalists, including Catherine Looy and Jan Benavente, who won Gold Pencils in the third-year advertising category. The college’s strong showing earned it a tied 26th place globally, an impressive feat considering the participation of renowned ad schools from around the world.

The Ad and Design Club of Canada (ADCC), the country’s biggest award show, also recognized Mohawk College with Gold Medals for Nick Kidd and Amaris Branco, as well as four Silver and three Bronze awards. In the Applied Arts awards, Mohawk secured three wins, and Nichole Fazzari took home Gold in the National Advertising Challenge with her concept for the Toronto Zoo.

Kidd and Branco’s success at the ADCC awards resulted in internships and a job offer from a prominent Toronto agency, a life-changing opportunity for them. Their achievements at the awards show helped combat imposter syndrome and reinforced their confidence in their abilities.

Mohawk College is selective about the awards programs it participates in, focusing on those that garner attention from industry professionals. Advertising stands out because its awards programs bring together industry awards and student recognition, creating valuable networking opportunities for students seeking employment.

Petrossi, an experienced instructor at Mohawk for 15 years, emphasizes the importance of building diverse portfolios that showcase a range of ideas, sectors, brands, and platforms. While advertising is subjective and portfolios may be received differently by various individuals, winning an award brings a different level of attention to the work, even from those who may not personally like it.

Anisa Rouhani, who has received five industry awards and a faculty award, highlights the significance of her instructors emphasizing how these accolades open doors in the field. Her accomplishments include winning at the 2022 Applied Arts Awards for her “Hip Hop’s Favourite Condiment” Grey Poupon campaign and earning two Silvers at the ADCC awards.

Rouhani, now in her final year, has secured a position as a junior art director at an agency in downtown Toronto. While she appreciates the recognition from awards, she values the guidance and support from her instructors, who continually stress the industry opportunities that come with such accolades.

Both Kidd and Branco speak highly of Mohawk’s advertising program, which offers two streams: creative and business/strategy. Students begin with a common curriculum in their first year and then choose their stream for years two and three. They consider themselves fortunate to have enrolled in Canada’s best advertising program and highly recommend Mohawk College for anyone seeking an exceptional education and portfolio-building experience.

Overall, the outstanding performance of Mohawk College’s Advertising students in various competitions serves as a testament to the college’s commitment to excellence and provides students with valuable recognition, networking opportunities, and industry connections that can propel their careers forward.

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