With Prestigious Advertising Program, Marketing Major Gets Hands-on Industry Experience

Senior Tania Acosta, named one of the American Advertising Federation’s Most Promising Multicultural Students of 2024, spent five days in New York learning from industry leaders

By Triniti Brown ’26
Tania Acosta sitting in front of a TikTok sign
At the American Advertising Federation’s Most Promising Multicultural Students program held in New York City, senior Tania Acosta met with professionals from top advertising and marketing agencies, including TikTok.

NEW YORK – Seeing their face on a billboard in Times Square is something most people won’t experience in their lifetime. But for senior Tania Acosta, this was just one of the many highlights from her experience at a prestigious advertising program held in New York City in February.

“It was such a surreal moment, just standing there as it rotated through everybody's headshots for 30 minutes. We all just sat there watching together,” Acosta said. “It was amazing.”

Acosta, a Marketing major and Creative Writing minor from Pawtucket, R.I., was among 50 students from across the U.S. selected to the American Advertising Federation’s Most Promising Multicultural Students program. She is the second Roger Williams University student in the last two years to be chosen for this distinguished program, which is dedicated to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion and connecting college students with industry leaders. 

A billboard in Times Square featuring a photo of Tania Acosta

While in New York City, Acosta networked, participated in speed mentorships, and attended a recruiters expo (similar to a job fair) where students interacted with recruiters and other professionals from top advertising and marketing agencies, including TikTok, Omnicom, IPG, LinkedIn, and Dentsu. For five days she took part in workshops where she made TikToks for a brand, created taglines, pitched a marketing campaign, and more. Acosta said she used these opportunities to ask for advice from professionals in the industry. 

“Important advice I got while in the program is something that I feel we’ve all heard before: ‘Don’t be too much in your head.’ Hearing it from somebody who’s actively in that field felt different. It was really insightful to hear,” she said. “There were just so many great pieces of advice that I want to keep with me.” 

As president of the Hispanic and Latinx Student Association at RWU, Acosta said she believes her leadership role helped secure her spot in this year’s program. Every year, students from historically underrepresented backgrounds who are part of 140 American Advertising Federation (AAF) college chapters apply. This year's judges included professionals from Vox Media, Amazon Advertising, Kinesso, Ogilvy, Snap, The Trade Desk, University of Memphis, and Whirlpool.  

To prepare for their week in New York, students were paired with alumni from the Most Promising Multicultural Students program, which is currently in its 27th year. Acosta said she and her peers heard from people with different perspectives who offered advice on how to make the most of the experience.

Being able to engage with professionals with different roles in the industry boosted Acosta’s confidence in her future career plans, she said. After graduating in May, she is looking to dive into the field in a strategic advertising role. 

A photo of 50 college students posing at the AAF program
The 50 students from across the U.S. selected to the American Advertising Federation's Most Promising Multicultural Students program during their trip to New York City.

Although Acosta learned a lot during her time in the program, she said she was able to draw on her experience from advertising and marketing classes at RWU to excel in workshops, group activities, and communicating with professionals. “Using all that knowledge and applying it to the program was really insightful,” she said. “Having all that background knowledge from my classes here at RWU helped me understand how different advertising roles function and to be prepared to listen and engage with those individuals.”

The Most Promising Multicultural Students program is not only a great opportunity for students to learn and network but also a valuable resource for companies in recruiting diverse, entry-level talent. This experience lets students and prospective employers connect over their shared interests. “Getting to be part of a community of like-minded individuals who are passionate about the field and about diversity was a really meaningful experience for me,” Acosta said.