In the Spring of 2020, after many internship opportunities ceased to exist due to Covid-19, a cohort of students and recent grads (some who still have yet to meet IRL) decided to create Indoor Recess — a two-week long advertising pitch competition for students stuck indoors instead of interning. The team decided to stick a middle finger to Covid and come up with this solution to stay engaged with the industry while also helping their peers.
Indoor Recess is unique because it was launched and continues to be run entirely by six students and recent grads who are volunteering their time to provide a solution to Covid-cancelled internships for their peers. Additionally, it gives aspiring ad professionals the chance to work with a real client, gain mentorship and feedback, all from the comfort of their own home. Indoor Recess admits aspiring account leads, project managers, strategists, copywriters and art directors from across the nation to collaborate on a client ask and eventually virtually pitch to the client — an experience that many internships don’t even offer. Participants also gain mentorship from professionals from all levels and company types — another experience that many internships can’t provide. These young guns get exposure to a variety of methodologies and expertise, not just the successful philosophies and methods of one agency, when tackling the client ask.
In order to emulate a similar experience to an internship, Indoor Recess pairs industry mentors from companies such as Edelman, verb., Cartwright, Nike, Amazon, W+K, BBH and more, with each of the 10 teams competing in the Session. The mentors can be tapped for advice and guidance throughout the competition. Industry professionals at the executive level also judge the content of the final project and provide feedback to all participants.
After phenomenal feedback from the industry, the Indoor Recess team secured an extraordinary and pertinent Session 1 client, Color Of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. The following session, the organization locked in Twitch as the Session 2 client. For its final iteration of the summer, participants worked with Disney Music Group as the Session 3 client. Indoor Recess also partnered with Laundry Service as a Session 2 agency sponsor and Big Spaceship as the the Session 3 agency sponsor, to elevate programming and our participants with the best experience possible.
So far, Indoor Recess has helped 260 students and recent grads gain real-world experience, plus hundreds more who have tuned into our Assembly speaker sessions — something we’re incredibly proud of! We plan to continue to expand and evolve the program after the team take a long nap.