Norsworthy helps students find internships, jobs


Bob Norsworthy speaks with two graduating seniors at the 2015 Meet the Pros event. Norsworthy’s advertising industry insight helps students as they seek internships and jobs.


Several years ago in a movie called “Dave” actor Kevin Kline played a look alike, stand-in of the president of the United States who had suffered a stroke.

In the movie his real job was running a “temp” agency. He got people jobs.

Murray State University’s version of “Dave” in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications is Robert “Nors” Norsworthy. After 45 years in the advertising industry, he returned home five years ago to nearby Kirksey and the family farm.

He offered his help to the department chairman, Dr. Bob Lochte, who quickly said yes and made him executive-in-residence with an office on the first floor of Wilson Hall.

Norsworthy retired as the executive vice president of Diversified Agency Services, a division of the Omnicom Group. He also had 20 years at J. Walter Thompson and 10 years at Olgilvy and Mather.

He used his many contacts in the industry to set up internships and later jobs for advertising and public relations majors in the department. In his five years at Murray State he has help place 130 internships, 27 of which led to fulltime jobs.

In order to promote Murray State’s JMC program, which is nationally accredited by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, Norsworthy arranged for advertising instructors Bob Valentine and Gill Welsch to visit with executives in the Omnicom Group.

In December, 2012 the two instructors, along with senior public relations majors with advertising minors, Kirby Feldkamp and Abigail Goss, spoke to all of the human resource directors in the Omnicom Group at a conference in New York City.

In addition, several advertising executives have come to campus to speak to classes and make presentations open to the public. In 2014 the current executive vice president of the Omnicom Group, Janet Riccio, spoke.

Most recently, Amanda Courter, HR director for Fleishman Hilliard; Elizabeth Cornish, vice president of DAS; and Liz Dreyer, HR director of Ketchum Ads; made presentations at the PR 360 conference on campus in March.

Norsworthy and Welsch, head of the advertising major, set up the procedure for the students interested in the summer internships. First, the students send to Welch a current resume and a letter of application.

Welsch then schedules the students to be interviewed by current or retired (Dr. Ann Landini, Dr. Bob McGaughey, Dr. Celia Wall) JMC faculty to see if they are ready to be successful with the internship.

Next, Norsworthy interviews the ones recommended by the screening faculty and works to place them with one of the companies in the Omnicom Group. These are in such locations as New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Washington, D. C.

Norsworthy follows up to ensure the students have started the internships and to see if they are having any problems. Many of the students with successful internships get jobs with the companies after they graduate.

The students can also get three hours of credit if they take the fall Internship Class (JMC 596) where they do a case study on their internship and share reports with other interns.

As of this spring, Norsworthy says 130 students have been placed with another possible 30 students to be placed.

In recognition of his service to the department and its students, the department faculty named the Outstanding Senior in Advertising annual award for him. The winning student is recognized at the annual spring JMC Honors Banquet and at the Murray State Honors Day the day before the May graduation.

While “Dave” got people jobs, “Nors” gets students internships, which lead to jobs.

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Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Categorized | Faculty/Staff