April 24, 2020

Class of 2020, created by students at the University of Texas at Austin, is the newest platform supporting brands since stay-at-home guidelines were placed. The students, expected to graduate this year, were met with commencement ceremony cancellations and a lack of jobs and internship options due to agency cutbacks. The unpromising job market has led them to create an agency offering research, strategic planning, experiential and creative ideation, public relations and creative execution.

“Now may not be the best time to be job hunting,” said Isaac Watson of Class of 2020 Agency. “We figured we might as well create jobs for ourselves and see where the journey leads us. After all, we’re used to being scrappy and maximizing what’s at hand. What do we have to lose?”

Instead of preparing for their commencement ceremony and taking graduation photos in their cap and gown, these students are ready to assist any organization or agency that needs additional help during this time. The founders include alumni from the Texas Creative program and fellows from the Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) created by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s). Their past work ranges from consumer brands, B2B clients, nonprofits and entertainment.

“Our agency is the result of a pandemic,” said Vanessa Zielinski of Class of 2020 Agency. “We don’t want to worry about our future because we’re ready for anything. If an opportunity isn’t going to present itself, we’re going to create it.”

The “For Gen-Z, by Gen-Z” agency was produced out of the highly-accomplished and top-ranking Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations. Class of 2020 boasts the brightest minds in a new generation of advertisers as these digital natives are pioneers of social media. Communicating remotely is not unprecedented to Class of 2020 and their mission is to disrupt the distance.

The Class of 2020 Agency Founders

Cruz:

Born in a small town in Mexico and raised in Texas, Cruz Rendon is a Public Relations graduate from The University of Texas at Austin. He describes himself as an agent of change, and with PR, multicultural marketing and social media experience under his belt, Cruz’s focus is on impacting and engaging communities. In 2019, he worked with Orange Magazine to launch a robust pop-up event uniting the local fashion and music community, featuring partnerships with Austin businesses and supported by a comprehensive social media campaign. In his free time, Cruz finds new ways to spotlight upcoming talent and unheard voices, discuss the intersectionality of identities in his blog or buy tickets to the next concert. One day, Cruz hopes to lead conversations of diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry because he believes in the importance of representation, and that change starts behind the scenes.

Vanessa:

Vanessa Zielinski is a native Texan with Colombian roots. Growing up in a small town, dancing in the kitchen and cooking lentils wasn’t the “normal” thing to do, but growing up with those contradictions made her obsessed with telling honest stories with the right insightful details. As a graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, Vanessa hopes to marry her passions for typography, insights and creative communication to become an Art Director. The past two summers, Vanessa was a part of the Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) as a strategy intern in NYC. It was there she found an interest in connecting human centered truths through design and brand strategy. If she isn’t reading Medium articles, she is probably  learning more about her favorite bands, doodling in her Muji notebook or rewatching her favorite SNL sketches.

Meagan:

Born and raised in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, Meagan Doyle has an instilled appreciation for its unique wildlife and scenery--a quality that goes with her when visiting new places. A recent marketing graduate from The University of Texas at Austin, Meagan is an avid traveler and cherishes being present in her surroundings, whether it’s a trip to the local coffee shop, a night at Pace Bend, or on an airplane hundreds of miles away. In her spare time, she enjoys river tubing, photography and window shopping.

Isaac:

Isaac Watson was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. The diverse, yet hospitable city has provided inspiration for his belief in creating community through his work. When he moved to Austin in 2016, he founded 1222 Productions, an event collective focused on using unconventional environments and guerrilla marketing to produce fresh takes on the celebration of togetherness through nightlife. Though today’s realities have never been more challenging, Isaac believes what we’re currently facing in society will undoubtedly spur innovation in how consumers experience a brand and he embraces the new normal with open arms.

For more updates and to inquire about services, visit Classof2020.agen

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