Newhouse Advertising Students Take on Real-World Challenge with Tarte Cosmetics Collaboration

In an initiative blending academia and industry, senior advertising students from the Newhouse School worked with innovative New York-based Tarte Cosmetics for a semester-long project to develop comprehensive advertising campaigns.

The collaboration with Tarte represented the latest example of hands-on learning for advertising students at Newhouse, which provides opportunities to work with real-world clients each semester.

a group of people stand together in front of a large tv screen in an office
Newhouse students in the Tarte Cosmetics office with Candace Craig Bulishak (third from left) and Donna Kirkland (fourth from left). “It’s the difference between learning to swim through theory and actually diving into the water,” said Bryce Whitwam of the collaboration.

The partnership kicked off with a detailed brief provided to students at the start of the Advertising 523: Digital Brand and Strategy course and culminated with a semester-ending trip to New York City, where they presented their creative strategies to Tarte’s senior management and marketing teams.

Candace Craig Bulishak, president of Tarte Cosmetics and a Newhouse alumna, welcomed the initiative.

“As a Newhouse graduate, I am excited to see new communicators stepping into the industry with such vigor and creativity. Hosting these bright minds at Tarte’s headquarters was a full-circle moment for me,” Bulishak said.

The partnership began with an in-depth campaign brief provided to the students, which set the stage for the final presentations.

“At Tarte we believe in nurturing fresh talent and innovative ideas,” said Donna Kirkland, vice president of global marketing. “The collaboration with the Newhouse students infuses our brand with renewed energy and fresh perspectives.”

Students spent the semester blending consumer research and target audience insights to develop refreshing digital marketing ideas designed to increase Tarte’s brand awareness and sales conversion. The students then presented the meticulously crafted hour-long pitch proposal. 

“This partnership was more than a project, it was a transformative journey for my students,” said Bryce Whitwam, instructor of record and a second-year Newhouse Ph.D. student. “It’s the difference between learning to swim through theory and actually diving into the water.”

The collaboration bridges academic learning with practical industry engagement, reinforcing Tarte’s commitment to educational development and the Newhouse School’s dedication to experiential learning.

Bryce Whitwam is an instructor of record and a second-year Ph.D. student at the Newhouse School