Joshua Oliver dreamed of many careers as a kid growing up in Memphis; architect, actor, and ultimately, ad man. He found his home in the UT School of Advertising and Public Relations with a major in advertising and a minor in business with the guidance of a teacher/mentor at White Station High School.
Oliver will graduate with his degree in May and travel to New York City for the second summer in a row to participate in the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP). Upon completion of his internship, he hopes to land a full-time position in the advertising industry.
“I hope one day to be in a position to give back to my Mother,” said Oliver. “She raised us in a single-parent household that was filled with joy, laughter and music. She was my inspiration to come to UT as a first-generation college student. Her unyielding support has encouraged me throughout my college career. She even earned her degree back in Memphis while I was in Knoxville working on mine!”
Oliver knew he had found his home with a career in advertising during the Spring semester of his freshman year. “I had a class with Professor Eric Haley where he outlined for us in his third lecture the structure and job functions within a typical ad agency,” remarked Oliver. “I saw myself there. Every single job he outlined within an ad agency was something I could be enthusiastic about.”
Oliver wants to utilize the advertising platform to help people tell their truths and share their narrative. He wants to use his creative eye to help bring a sense of belonging to those that are often overlooked. His goal is to use the home he found in advertising to help others find their “home.”
Oliver, the 2018 Outstanding Advertising Graduate and recipient of the Chancellor’s Extraordinary Professional Promise award, was the 2017 recipient of the Cleveland & Nadine Young Scholarship provided by CCI Honorary Board of Visitors member Phenise Poole, senior legal counsel at Omnicare, Inc.
“We fully expect that Josh will become an alum who pays forward all the good things he has been able to experience as a student,” said ADPR Director Maureen Taylor. “Josh’s leadership and natural charisma, along with his knowledge of advertising, equip him for a promising future in the industry.”