Grayson Allen received a scholarship award from the Murrow College Scholarship Excellence Fund, which allows multiple donors to have a collective impact on Murrow students. In 2020, we were able to award five scholarships from this fund. If you would like to support this fund, you can make a gift here.

An interview with Grayson Allen

Why did you choose to pursue your major(s) in communication?

Communication has always been a skill that I have had and have been able to use effectively. I enjoy the aspect of the multiple pathways that we can communicate through, with everyone needing adjustment or alteration to be properly effective. Advertising spoke to me due to my odd fascination with every aspect of media. The multiple styles and varieties of advertisements I would see on television, in magazines, and now online would draw me in and compel me almost as much as the content they bookended. My original pursuit was more focused on business, but when I found myself having more fun creating mock assets and advertisements for hypothetical businesses in projects or in my spare time, it made me realize that advertising was much more my speed than a focus on the business side.

My interest in photography also ignited a passion for advertising, on the possibility of being able to combine my hobby with a career pursuit that would not push it into the rearview of my plans. With a personal history of interpersonal and group communication, I felt that advertising would be a good way to put these past experiences to the front of my career. I also enjoy working with graphic design applications, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I have worked with these programs in a casual sense but have always wanted to use them for their intended commercial purposes, along with being able to improve my skills with them. I am glad that I have chosen advertising for my major from Murrow.

What do you hope to achieve after graduation?

Following my graduation this May, I am currently planning on beginning an internship for an advertising firm in Portland, Oregon. I want to start my career in Portland because of its proximity to my home in Vancouver and my years of experience being in the Portland area. A large benefit to starting in Portland are my personal connections to people that currently work at advertising firms in the city. I have begun communicating with my contacts in Portland to hash out the viability of being able to intern at their firms, with my prospects sounding positive.

For my plans after I get my foot in the door, staying in the Portland area would be nice, but not a requirement. Portland is the home of Wieden and Kennedy, one of my dream firms to work for. It would be wonderful to work there and not be too far from home.

However, if given the option to stretch my wings, I could see myself working for a firm like BBDO in New York. For future aspirations in my field, relocation to New York would likely be beneficial with its position as the advertising capital of the nation, if not the world.

I would like to position myself as a campaign designer or manager. Out of all my projects through my advertising courses, I have found the task of assembling and executing an advertising campaign to be enjoyable and very satisfying. The idea of group collaboration is also enticing, as I view bringing heads together as beneficial to the creative process.

How does receiving a scholarship support you in your college experience?

The scholarships awarded to me this year have been very beneficial in lightening my load over the semesters. The offers awarded to me have limited my need for employment when in Pullman, which has allowed me to have a more open schedule. This has allowed me to stay on top of my assignments and enter into groups that I may not have had time to join if I were limited by the need for a stable income.

Thanks to the scholarships provided to me, I was able to join the National Society of Leadership and Success. Being able to join the NSLS has opened my pathways to new possible employers, let me meet like-minded individuals, and hone my leadership skills before entering my career. These traits are very important to me and my future, and without the awards I received, I would likely be unable to attend the meetings and be given my certification.

With a more relaxed schedule provided to me by the scholarships, I have also been able to meet and interact more with those in my classes and major. This aspect is especially refreshing following a year of remote learning, where peer interactions were limited to emails and Zoom breakout rooms. The Murrow community is much more realized to me now that I can be face-to-face with my fellow students, even if it is behind a mask. This ability to work in person with my peers has been extremely beneficial, whether it is for working on group projects, studying for exams, or looking for constructive criticism on a current assignment.