Ilitch School marketing senior Jenna Lutfi tours LinkedIn, Tik Tok, Weiden + Kenney with American Advertising Federation’s 2024 Most Promising Multicultural Students class

Woman holds an award in both hands
Jenna Lutfi

Ilitch School senior Jenna Lutfi was invited to spend the first week of February in New York City as a part of the American Advertising Federation’s 2024 class of the Most Promising Multicultural Students.  

Fifty students from across the nation were selected to receive this award and participate in an industry immersion program, including professional development and personal branding workshops, mentorship and networking opportunities.  

Lutfi, a marketing and global supply chain management student, chose the Ilitch School for its location, diversity and community. 

“I feel like our students have such a privilege being in the heart of Detroit, and I feel like there was a huge community aspect,” said Lutfi. “I feel like Wayne State students are very open to talking with one another and forming relationships.” 

She had first heard about the American Advertising Federation (AAF) when she was researching extracurricular activities to get involved in. That was when she came across the Most Promising Multicultural Student program. 

“I took it upon myself to apply for this program, which sends fifty students from across the country to network with individuals in the advertising industry,” said Lutfi. “From there I found myself in New York City meeting with recruiters and advertising agencies and making friends with the other participants.” 

The other 49 college seniors participating in the program came from across the nation, bringing and sharing their own cultural experiences with each other. 

“Sometimes it can feel a little intimidating,” explained Lutfi. “But something that I noticed was that they were all honestly representing themselves and their cultures and how they’re striving to push diversity, equity and inclusion at these companies.” 

Lutfi with the 2024 class of Most Promising 
Multicultural Student Awardees

As a part of this experience, Lutfi and the other participants toured the offices of some big names in the industry, including LinkedIn, TikTok, Sony Music Group and Wieden + Kennedy, a global advertising agency. She was also paired with a mentor in the advertising industry, who provided first-hand knowledge of how to build a career in this field.  

“My mentor is from Wieden + Kennedy. A few weeks before the event, we got in contact and had a few zoom meetings together and we talked about her experience. She is also an alum of this program, so that was super beneficial,” explained Lutfi. “I felt comfortable asking her any questions about that transition from student to a full-time employee, and it was very beneficial, she took me in with open arms.”  

Recruiters and mentors were not the only connections Lutfi made on this trip, she also formed a strong connection with the other students invited to participate.  

“Being surrounded by individuals who come from diverse backgrounds who are all striving to make it in the advertising industry was inspiring,” said Lufti. “I feel like these are the people I’m going to be joining the workforce with, who may be my colleagues one day. It was really refreshing.” 

The participants participated in a case competition during their time in New York, to design a campaign for a partnership between Meta and Ray-Ban to create smart-glasses. Lutfi was paired with a team of marketing students to create their plan. 

Woman looking at a public digital sign with her photo displayed next to the title Most Promising Multicultural Students Class of 2024
Lutfi outside of the convention

“My group was also advertising students, and we tried to integrate what we learned in school and what we see in our daily lives with advertising,” explained Lutfi. “We had to target their glasses to an audience and drive the revenue as well. There was one Meta employee in the room with us too.” 

Seeking out this opportunity and pursuing it whole heartedly shows that Ilitch School students are driven and self-motivated to pursue their passions, aligning with WSU’s College to Career initiative, which seeks to provide every student with experiential learning opportunities that allow them to encounter the world, gain deeper insights and new perspectives, and prepare for prosperous careers.  

Lutfi left New York with new experiences, connections and skills, and a greater sense of direction as she moves into her career in the advertising industry. She recommends that Ilitch School students stay involved, and the opportunities will come to them.  

“My number one tip for incoming freshman, and anyone who has a few years left, is to be as involved as you can be, and engage with the community because that is beneficial for any university experience you have,” said Lutfi. 

-Patrick Bernas, Information Officer III 

The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business prepares students for challenging and rewarding careers, advances the boundaries of scholarly and practitioner knowledge, and enhances the economic vitality of the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan and beyond through its programs, research and community engagement. Established in 1946, the business school was renamed in 2015 in recognition of a $40 million gift from Mike and Marian Ilitch. Thanks to this lead investment, the school moved to a new state-of-the-art building in the heart of the District Detroit in 2018, and academic programming and collaboration with city businesses are expanding. For more information, visit

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