The Agency is the senior capstone course for Communication majors. It serves as an in-house internship to prepare them professionally as they seek jobs in a variety of roles.
Students in this six credit-hour course gain experience as documentary filmmakers, visual journalists, public relations practitioners, and performers. This class combines everything students have learned in college up to their senior year. By putting them in a real-world, working situation, students create a portfolio of work that will give them a distinct advantage when they enter the job market after graduation.
Aside from receiving classroom guidance and mentoring, what exactly do students in The Agency do? One example is their promotion of a theatre play called “The Effect.”
To promote the play, students in The Agency course created a PR publicity stunt in which they dressed as health care workers dispensing free pills. When passersby would stop to ask about it, students would hand each of them a prescription recommending they attend the upcoming play and explain how the play dealt with the effects drugs can have on our identity and personality.
Students also interviewed the play’s actors and filmed a professional behind-the-scenes documentary under the guidance of Emmy-nominated faculty member Matthew Buzzell.
In addition to creating posters and programs for the play, students also created a trailer to advertise the performance to the public, presented in a public service announcement format.
Agency student Michael Silvio Fortino also interviewed the play's director, Doug Joiner, in a provocative dialogue based on a popular internet show. The brief show is titled “And We’re Back,” and features the interviewer asking the professor eye-popping questions in a Zach Galifianakis-style as they discuss the upcoming play, "The Effect."
Other students hosted a red carpet event to premiere the “The Effect,” setting up a photography station and giving camera interviews:
The Agency has also been responsible for promoting EigaFest, a popular day-long community celebration of Japanese cinema, hosting a Phi Kappa Phi ceremony, creating and maintaining The Agency Facebook page, and creating other video content, public relations campaigns, and promoting other showcases and events, all of which become part of the students’ resume and work portfolio to help prepare them with the necessary experience to find positions in their future careers.