The University of Texas at Austin boasts the #1 ranked Advertising program in the United States. You can imagine my excitement when I received my acceptance letter in the mail — I went out and bought a frame for it right away. Great food, live music, Texas pride, good friends, and much to explore:  my two years in Austin were exciting, memorable, and shaped who I am today.

My focus within the Advertising program was Account Planning, or studying consumer behavior to gain insights that can be applied to advertising efforts and customer interactions. Class projects included studying the Austin Farmers’ Market, the Former Texas Rangers Foundation, Barfly by TouchTunes, concert hall music, and binge drinking.

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For my Master’s Report, I researched how to increase public visits to the Rob & Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation, a privately-owned research facility located about 30 miles north of Corpus Christi, TX on a 7,800-acre wildlife refuge. My research included interviewing school teachers (public, private, and home) who had taken their students on field trips to the Refuge, and comparing it to the experience that public visitors enjoyed. To gain insight on the Welder brand, I interviewed the director and his wife, the graduate student in charge of school visits, and a Welder fellow from the early 1970s.

Accompanying my 48-page report was a 12-minute video I edited from my interview footage.