Upstream Advertising team, The Rising Project, The Siren digital content director, Womxn of Color Coalition
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Sally Nguyen’s school burned down when she was in fourth grade, and she still remembers how Nike stepped in with donations to help her schoolmates relocate. It was the first time she realized commercial brands can help people.
“As a woman of color with immigrant parents and as a low-income student, seeing how brands are helping underserved communities has always been really important to me,” she said. “I want brands to be a part of the social conversation.”
Nguyen’s interest in brand responsibility led her to the SOJC, where she works with real-world clients and competes in the National Student Advertising Competition with the university’s award-winning Upstream Advertising team. Her passion for social justice has also propelled her to join initiatives such as The Rising Project, whose mission was to create a climate justice playbook, and to serve as digital content director for the campus feminist magazine The Siren.
“I’ve always been passionate about advocating for authentic representation of marginalized communities, and I realized, at the root of it, seeing how brands act behind the scenes is my broader interest,” she said. “The SOJC has helped me find this niche interest by pushing me to be curious and ask smarter and better questions to continue learning what I’m passionate about.”
Consumers want companies to address social justice issues, and people working in advertising believe brands have a responsibility to better society. So, in 2019, the SOJC launched the first-ever master’s program dedicated to brand purpose. In the one-year Master’s in Advertising and Brand Responsibility program, students learn firsthand how to use strategic communication skills to guide strong brands in areas like sustainability, privacy and data protection, social justice, and diversity.
Meet the Brand Responsibility Faculty
Sabrina Ionescu ’20
New York Liberty of the WNBA