Student Spotlight: Caitlin Espiritu

Caitlin Espiritu is a junior advertising major and Renée Crown University Honors Program student. She’s also pursuing a minor in design studies at the School of Design and is part of the Fashion and Beauty Communications Milestone at Newhouse.

Caitlin describes herself as a “passionate creative” who loves to learn about different cultures and perspectives. She expresses her creativity through many channels, whether it’s storyboarding an advertising commercial idea, painting a mural, choreographing a dance, or designing a logo, campaign ad or makeup mood boards. Her sister Samantha Espiritu joined her at Newhouse in the Fall 2023 semester as a first-year student majoring in magazine, news and digital journalism

a girl walks up steps
Photo by Leigh Vo

Learn more about Caitlin’s journey at the Newhouse School.  

Why did you choose Newhouse?  

Because of the opportunities, networks and resources that I constantly heard about. My mom graduated Syracuse University in the class of 1988, and she always told me about Newhouse’s prestige ever since I was diving into the college application process.  

It wasn’t until I took the courses that I understood all that Newhouse has to offer. All of my Newhouse professors have opened doors for me; many of them have had executive experience in the industry or are still in the industry. I feel comfortable and confident that I can reach out to any previous professors and communicate with them. 

What has been your favorite course so far? 

My favorite course has been ADV 526: Fashion Advertising and Promotion taught by Professor Diane Mills. In this course, we explored beauty and fashion brand communications in the global marketplace. We talked about what trends, ads or media platforms work for brands and which ones could use improvements. Although this class was virtual, we had a wonderful amount of collaboration; each group picked a fashion brand to dive deep into and shared their insights with the rest of the class.  

We learned not only about Western priorities/media but Eastern priorities as well. I loved how our assignments and presentations were projects that we would present to senior management in the real-world industry. The fashion/beauty industry is where I want to make an impact after graduation, so this class was significant and very memorable for me. 

Why did you decide to major in advertising? 

I have the privilege of getting to say that I love what I study. Advertising has opened my creative mind to a whole new level. I feel like I get to mend all of the creative aspects in my life and bring them to the classroom. I chose the creative concentration within my major and am also in the Fashion and Beauty Communications Milestone. I am so grateful I am able to tailor my passions into my studies. In my advertising classes so far, I have studied and generated creative briefs in group settings, and used market research  databases like Simmons Insights and Mintel. The collaborative work we do in classes allow us to bounce ideas off of each other and learn new ways of thinking.  

I really think that what we learn in class sets us up to be prepared for after graduation; for a group project, we had to present our new creative executions to the class for our semester brand, which was Mercedes-Benz. We even went to the dealership and spoke with a salesperson to gain insights from the brand perspective.  

two girls sit on a bench and laugh
Caitlin and her sister Samantha, an MND major at Newhouse. (Photo by Leigh Vo)

What extracurricular activities are you involved in?

I am a graphic designer for Outlaws Dance Troupe, the first and only hip-hop team on campus. Dance is one of my greatest passions so having practices multiple times a week really helps me get in the groove of balancing hobbies and work.  

I am on the makeup/hair committee of the Fashion and Design Society (FADS), where we have a runway show every semester along with photoshoots. I was also a part of TNH Ad Agency where I was account manager for one of the greenhouse groups. Our client last semester was Heritage Cafe, a local business! I am a member of Camp Kesem, at Syracuse University. At Camp Kesem, we provide free summer camp and year-round support for children impacted by a caregiver’s cancer.  

What’s a piece of advice you can offer a first-year Newhouse student?  

Stay curious and balanced. Opportunities will certainly be coming your way, whether that be at the media fair, extracurriculars you come across or networking opportunities from your professors, teaching assistants and peers. Keep your mind open to all of the things around you- you might be surprised with what you uncover. Stay in touch with the things that drive and excite you-your passions and hobbies are important and will balance the work you do. 

This is an updated profile about Caitlin Espiritu.