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An Intro to the ISC Competition Team

Grehan Building

An Intro to the ISC Competition Team

My name is Rachel Izydorek and I’m graduating in May with a degree in Integrated Strategic Communication (ISC.) I am a PR and Direct Response double path with a minor in business and a certificate in Innovative and Entrepreneurial Thinking (iNET). I’m the president of a professional business fraternity, a member of Chi Omega, the treasurer of Ad Club and most importantly a member of the ISC Competition Team.

It seems that most ISC majors are incredibly driven individuals and have big goals and bright futures ahead. I’ll tell you right now that Competition Team is the best way for you to be ahead of your peers and for your future to be bright as ever.

You may have heard horror stories and your friends might give you looks of pity after you apply, but it really is the best experience you can have in college, and I encourage all of you to apply. You may have questioned the sanity of the 16 people who willingly put themselves in a stressful situation. I can tell you right now that we’re all a little crazy sometimes, but mostly we’re just 16 students who are good at what we do and have a passion for the ISC world. I will say that this team is tough, and you can’t be easily offended, but I promise that it’s worth the stress. 

This is a serious real world experience. You’ll have an advisor after you get accepted, but she’s not allowed to be involved. Currently, Adriane Grumbein is our teacher/advisor. She’s there to help facilitate conversations and to delegate jobs, but it’s our project. According to the National Student Advertising Competition rules, she is not allowed to help us more than as a facilitator. This might sound sort of scary, but it’s honestly really cool to see your ideas come to fruition and to bounce things off of your teammates and see how everyone else’s mind works. At the end of the day, we can say we don’t need someone to hold our hands through a project, and we can feel all the pride when we submit our final 27-page plans book and deliver our 20-minute presentation to more than a thousand people

Overall, the process isn’t as stressful as people will tell you. Of course we want to win so we are trying our very best, but if your team is anything like ours, you will find your biggest support group. When you’re having a rough week or a hard weekend, your teammates will take on your work and help you get through what you’re struggling to accomplish. We lean on each other and have found a strong friendship that is unlike any other that I’ve ever had. Sometimes we bond over our stress levels, but most of the time we bond over Snapple, pizza and some really bad puns.

The best way to get on a team like this is to stand out on your application. The application is really easy, but you have to find a way to stand out and make yourself known to Dr. Eckman and Grumbein. There’s a girl on the team right now who said she’s most useful when people drop things on the floor because she’s short and closer to the ground. This is of course a joke, but she stood out and that’s part of what got her on the team. Find a way to stand out among the other applicants and pair it with good work you’ve done in the past and you’re in.

This team surely isn’t easy, but no ISC 491 class is. This is definitely going to be a hard semester, but it’s also about to be my most fulfilling semester. I could go on all day about how much I love Competition Team, but instead I’ll leave you here and give you all more information in a few weeks when we start really putting our plans book together. In the mean time, work hard, but take some time to relax and have fun.