So you want to get into Swoop? Swoop is the nationally recognized, student-run advertising agency comprised of top strategic communications students at The University of North Texas. The process of joining the ranks of Swoop can be difficult. Here are some tips for improving your resume and your chances of joining Swoop. Only 20 students are allowed in to SWOOP each semester and the competition is high. If you grab a spot in SWOOP, it means you are regarded as the best of the best.
While the number varies each semester between creative (art directors and copywriters) and account (account executive, account planner, public relations), social media and web seem to be the redheaded stepchildren of Swoop. What I mean is that those two positions typically have the fewest applicants relative to the other positions. That’s not to say that these positions are any less important, but you can learn from Nintendo's Blue Ocean Strategy. The Blue Ocean Strategy is the analogy that oceans are red with blood when they are full of vicious competition of people fighting for dominance. Blue oceans are less contested markets. Applying to one of the less competitive positions will likely increase your chances of acceptance. That being said, you will need to have the skills and experience required by the position to get it.
The ability to do the job is obviously a factor in getting into Swoop. Even if you’re not applying to be a creative, having some proficiency in the programs creatives use will make you a more versatile candidate. While your UNT classes can help, if you want to stand out, you need to put in some extra effort. This can be anything from side projects, Linda.com tutorials that you get for free as student, to a certification. Certifications give you a competitive edge and are an excellent way to set yourself apart from the pack. Anybody can say they know Adobe Photoshop, but a certification is having a third-party vouch for you that you actually have the level of mastery you claim. Just make sure that your certification comes from a legitimate source.
Having experience seems like a Catch-22, but don't allow it to be a roadblock. There are ways you can gain experience without having to get an internship. You can make your own. Contribute to a blog. There are many opportunities through places like HerCampus, HerTrack, Generation: Pink, or a multitude of sites online to do a guest blog. If you’re unfamiliar, guest blogging is a technique blogger use to increase site traffic, where other bloggers create content that will be posted on the blog.
UNT also offers JOUR 4850/5500, Magazine Production, where as a student you create one of the bi-annual issues of Denton Live Magazine. You do everything from writing copy and photo editing to layout design. It’s an opportunity to get class credit and add to your portfolio.
The North Texas Daily is another opportunity. In addition to writers and photographers, The North Texas Daily sells advertising. This is a chance to not only get a paycheck, but to beef up your account executive skills.
If a newspaper isn’t your thing, don’t worry. There are also on-campus jobs at the University of North Texas where you can get a paycheck and career experience. Obviously, places on campus like UNT Design Works need graphic designers, but so do resident halls, the library, and dining.
Following these tips, you can dramatically increase your chances of getting into Swoop.