At Nebraska, students from any college can dip their toes into the world of advertising. Jacht, a student-run ad agency at the university, gives Huskers hands-on experience with real clients as they create work that wins awards and helps businesses and organizations throughout the community. Jacht copywriter Landon Braun gives us the inside scoop on the agency.
How would you explain Jacht to someone outside the CoJMC community?
Jacht is most known as a student-run agency at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. However, it’s so much more than that. It is a place to challenge yourself to grow in your skillset, and it is not just a place for CoJMC students. We have wonderful people on our team that are business majors, graphic designers, marketing and so many others. I really want to emphasize that to others, Jacht is not exclusive to CoJMC students only. Because of our diversity in majors, we are able to build successful relationships with clients. Jacht is also like an internship, but you can take it as an elective class or a capstone (CoJMC students only on this one), where you work to develop campaign deliverables and strategy for real clients throughout the greater Lincoln area and across Nebraska. If you’re unsure whether you’d enjoy the agency life, I strongly encourage you to apply.
Talk about why you decided to apply for Jacht.
I first applied to Jacht as an underclassman because I wasn’t sure if this was something that I would enjoy beyond graduation. At the time, I was unaware that Jacht doesn’t take underclassmen because of the skills you need to develop before being on the crew. I did continue to reapply after that because I wanted to join Jacht and work for an agency before I graduated. I have a hard time making big decisions, so I was trying to use this as an opportunity to figure out what sector of ADPR I would enjoy long term. An attractive thing about Jacht is its young history, just celebrating its first decade last year. That means there’s lots of room to contribute to the team and guide the future of the agency for students following in your path.
What is your role in the group?
For the two semesters I have been eligible to work at Jacht, I have been a copywriter. I get to work on promotional content for clients like video scripts, brochures, rebranding materials and website copy. If it has words on it, it typically comes through the copy department, where I work with three other writers. If you fill one position the first semester and are interested in trying something new, you can apply to switch roles, but I really enjoy writing copy and I stayed in my position.
What is your favorite part about being in Jacht?
My favorite part of Jacht is the people and the friendships I have made along the way. It sounds cliche, but these people are all amazing and talented and you have a common goal. That does mean that you sometimes struggle through client projects and stress over approaching deadlines, but it always turns out okay. In the last couple of months, I have made some of my best friends in college. We do a lot of work and take things seriously, but it’s great to have peers where you can joke around in the office while taking a mental break from the projects you’re working on.
Jacht is seeking out the best students for each position, so everyone has something to contribute and they’re good at what they do. It’s super cool to see how your friends will go on to create amazing things in the industry and it all started here. The faculty is also super amazing. They all want us to be the best students and future professionals, so they teach you through project feedback to make sure you are producing the highest quality content.
How will your involvement in Jacht help you in the future?
Jacht has really taught me a lot about what to expect in a future workplace with a chain of command and internal processes for creative teams. While not every place will be the same, it is great to know about the basic formula for sending your work to your managers for critique and reworks. I also understand a lot more about what makes a good client and what it is like to work with people who may not fully understand what advertising professionals do. It’s not all about writing cool commercials, a lot of advertising comes from general brand awareness and necessary materials for the brand to reach its target audience.
What or who inspires/motivates you?
I am often motivated by my family. They push me to be myself, but venture out and try new things. Sometimes when I feel that I am underqualified or not the right fit for something, they push me to apply myself anyways and it often turns out for the better. I definitely would not be where I am today or as successful academically if it was not for them.
I also have a healthy level of competition to be the best among my peers that pushes me to succeed in the classroom. I want to create the best content I can and do each project to the best of my ability. Knowing that all of my friends are successful and talented really pushes me to try harder in school.
Who has impacted your time at Nebraska?
Most of my professors have been the most impactful in my development at UNL. Nancy Mitchell, who has since retired, is the reason I declared ADPR as a freshman. She made learning basic materials fun and showed me how genuine the professors at the CoJMC are, each of them wanting their students to succeed. I also had a lot of great professors in my minor program like Scott Guild, Cory Willard and so many more. The Jacht faculty, Professor Trina Creighton, Monique Farmer, Michael Hanus and others have seen talent in me that I didn’t know I had, and they pushed me to exceed expectations in the classroom because they knew I could handle it. Each of these professors also has shown me a great deal of compassion as I endured personal challenges in college with the passing of my father. To be seen and understand during such a difficult time is something I value so much.
What is one piece of advice you would give an incoming CoJMC student?
The advice I have for incoming CoJMC students: Do not be afraid to challenge yourself early on and get involved in organizations on campus. I waited until sophomore and junior year to really apply myself and it’s one of my biggest regrets while being at Nebraska. There are so many opportunities to learn and grow from professionals in your desired field that it is crazy to not take advantage of what is offered.
What is something you’ve learned that will stick with you after you graduate?
Something that will stick with me beyond graduation is how important it is to make genuine connections with your peers and colleagues at Nebraska. These may be the connection you’re needing when you look for a career. You will find great friends who have similar passions, too. The other thing that I will always remember is how amazing UNL is. The people here are caring and genuinely the nicest people. Everyone is able to bond over being a Husker and there is truly no place like Nebraska.
What do you hope to do after you graduate?
With my experience at Jacht and the different classes I was able to take to obtain my degree in Advertising and Public Relations, I really hope to work as a copywriter out of college. It may take a while to work my way up, but I would love to work in an agency writing creative campaigns in places like Denver or Chicago. Until then, I just hope to make a difference in wherever I can put my skills to the test.