Resonance Scholarship Builds Meaningful Connections
Photo of Amy Truong on a black background with colorful arch shapes.

2023 Resonance Scholarship recipient launches her marketing career  

Resonance Scholarship by Signal Theory LogoThe post-graduation job search is daunting for any new graduate but Amy Truong, a 2023 winner of Signal Theory’s Resonance Scholarship, is soaring thanks to the connections she made through the agency’s partnership with The BrandLab. Truong, who grew up in Overland Park, graduated from Kansas State University in May with a degree in marketing and certificates in marketing technology and data analytics. While a student at K-State, she was a member of Tri-Alpha, an honor society for first-generation college students. Truong received a $5,000 award from Signal Theory, but it was more than money that drew her to apply.

“I thought it was unique for Signal Theory to offer scholarships, especially for minority students in marketing specifically, and that’s what piqued my interest,” she said. “My first thought was, ‘This has my name written all over it.’” 

Truong first connected with The BrandLab through the KC Ad Club’s SparkKC event. She applied for an internship with them and, as a result, heard about the Resonance Scholarship. These turned out to be pivotal career moments for her.

The Brand Lab Kansas City logo“If I had never met the BrandLab and gotten this scholarship, there’s no way I would have ended up where I am right now,” Truong reflects. “Through the Resonance Scholarship, I have met people who remember me and check on me. Having connections who believe in me has helped build my confidence. I got my internship and a full-time job from it. Everything happens for a reason.”

A Different Perspective

Through her internship with The BrandLab, Truong got to work with High Aspirations, a faith-based program that supports young African American men through mentorship. As a social media and strategy intern, Truong created a social media strategy for the organization to bolster awareness and help them prepare for their gala. 

“I liked having all that autonomy, figuring things out on my own and asking for guidance when I needed it,” she said. “I realized that the work was at a higher level than some of the other internships I’ve done. I was doing actual work for actual clients, which felt good.” She also had the opportunity to explore other roles like account planning by working with her agency mentors. 

Truong emphasizes that traditional practices don’t always work when marketing to diverse audiences. The key, she said, is to take a step back and ensure you’re engaging with audiences authentically.  

“There’s a difference between connecting with someone and just placing them in an ad,” she said. “You can’t just do it because you feel like you need to. You can see in marketing who is really understanding and authentic about diversity and who’s doing it because they feel like they have to.”

Advice for Others

Photo of Amy Truong smiling As Truong begins her first full-time marketing role post-college as an associate brand strategist, she encourages students from diverse backgrounds to be honest about who they are as a person.

“Make sure your personality comes through,“ she advises. “Communicate in a way that people can see your potential.”

Truong said it’s important to understand that ethnicity isn’t the only reason you have a place in the marketing and advertising industry.

“I think when you realize that these opportunities are not a handout, that you earned it, you’re there for a reason and people want to hear what you have to say, you can have an impact,” she explains.

Truong said the Resonance Scholarship will have a lasting impact on her career.

“I know these connections will last me forever,” she said. “I know a couple of people from every agency in Kansas City now. It’s just a tight-knit community, and I think winning the Resonance Scholarship puts you at the forefront. I’m really thankful for that.”

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