Mattie Weaver

Get to know some of our College of Media students! Mattie Weaver is a Class of 2024 advertising major.  

Why did majoring in advertising interest you?
In high school, there was a class that focused on marketing and advertising. I took it on a whim, and I found that I really enjoyed it. Of course, as I was taking that class, I was paying more attention to one specific advertisement. I really loved the Disneyland Paris ad with a little dog that needs Donald Duck. It is a very cute ad and it’s what sold me on advertising. The storytelling aspect of advertising was something that interested me the most. 

How was your experience interning at Warner Brothers last summer? 
I was a Community Intern with Warner Bros. Discovery for the Growth and Innovation Team, working primarily with NBA on TNT. It was an incredible opportunity to learn about the entertainment industry. I worked on three online games. I assisted with the programming of Watch to Earn and Blocklete Golf online and mobile game content. I also had the opportunity to collaborate with Warner Bros. Discovery marketing teams to develop marketing collateral for an upcoming Turner Sports mobile game by actively pitching ideas and reviewing graphics and copy. In addition, I was able to provide valuable feedback and critiques to film editors in the post-production process of "Behind the Scenes at NBA on TNT," contributing to the development of social media content. I was able to develop new real-world skills while also applying the skills I've picked up in my advertising courses here at Illinois. The team was so encouraging and welcoming, and I am so thankful for that experience. It was the first step towards achieving my career dreams, and I am so happy I was able to participate in the WBD summer internship program. 

What different RSOs helped you succeed as an advertising major? 
American Advertising Federation obviously is the biggest RSO for advertising. I was very involved in AAF during my sophomore and junior year. I was able to learn how to work collaboratively in an advertising space. I was in Control V, which is a committee AAF where students learn about production agencies, and learn videography skills. 

How has being on the AAF board allowed you to open new connections? 
I was the chief industry engagement officer. That was a really cool opportunity because my position was bringing in speakers to talk to AAF. So on one hand, being on the executive board for AAF, we had weekly meetings and I got pretty close with a lot of my counterparts. We all still hang out. I made a lot of connections with people that are in my classes. It made the advertising program feel a little smaller. On the other hand, reaching out to people to come speak really forced me out of my comfort zone and made me more comfortable cold emailing and talking with people who have really cool positions, which helped develop my networking skills.   

What courses have been the most enjoyable throughout your college career? 
I really enjoyed the class taught by Peter Sheldon, specifically his creative concepts courses. Some people are kind of scared to take these types of classes, but the environment is very supportive. I grew a lot creatively in this course. I also took a special topics course focusing on entertainment public relations. It was great because I piggybacked off of my experience with Warner Brothers. Those classes taught more in depth about different creative skills. 

What's one piece of advice that you would give to your first-year self?
First, look at courses in the College of Media that can fulfill Gen Eds, because I took a lot of Gen Eds my freshman year before I figured out I really liked advertising. I realized that a lot of my classes in the College of Media and Advertising are really interesting and related to what I wanted to study and satisfied Ged Eds. Another piece of advice I would give is that it's good to join RSOs but remember to make friends, because the friends that you make, you may end up in Chicago with them after you graduate. It is nice to build that network, have fun, and make friends. I think that one of the benefits of Illinois is that it is such a big school. But, being in the advertising program feels like a home as you get to make a lot of really close friends. Continue to stay in touch with them and help each other out. 

What are you most excited about after graduating from college? 
I am hoping to work in-house at an entertainment company, like Disney, Warner Brothers, or Paramount. Advertisers working in the entertainment space have this special opportunity to get to speak to really passionate fans in a way that other spaces might not allow. With the storytelling, and the characters, or the intellectual property that you use in advertising, you can really connect with someone. That is what I am really looking forward to when I get out there. 

Interview by Valery Mayorga, New Voices Intern

Mattie Weaver