Hobart and William Smith Colleges - Pulteney Street Podcast with AJ Hassan ’96
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Pulteney Street Podcast with AJ Hassan ’96

Episode 7: AJ Hassan ’96

On the newest episode of the “Pulteney Street Podcast: Inside HWS with Joyce Jacobsen,” President Joyce P. Jacobsen and Ayesha “AJ” Hassan ’96, the Emmy award-winner vice president and executive creative director for R/GA Chicago, discuss equity in the workplace, problem-solving and the creative process, and the ways advertising can empower its audience.

Hassan has worked on groundbreaking campaigns that have made significant impacts on the advertising world and beyond. She won an Emmy for her work on the #LikeAGirl commercial and campaign, which achieved 100 million views worldwide. Launched by the Always feminine products brand, the campaign empowered young women to reclaim the phrase “like a girl.”

Most recently, Hassan led development for the LIFEWTR #ArtByAWoman campaign. She also led #EqualDreams for Esurance that championed marriage equality and worked on the award-winning Mean Stinks anti-bullying campaign for Secret. She is a 2018 “ADCOLOR One Club Creative” honoree, a “Campaign Us” 2017 Digital 40 over 40, featured in the AdAge “Creatives You Should Know,” and was named most awarded copywriter by AdAge. In addition, R/GA Chicago launched a campaign with Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures organization titled Equality Can’t Wait.

In 2019, Hassan returned to campus to discuss careers in advertising as part of the HWS Career Journey’s Series. She also served as the keynote speaker for the William Smith Athletics Peak Performance series, a comprehensive educational initiative to enhance the lives of Heron student-athletes through personal and athletic development. Hassan, who was a student-athlete on the William Smith soccer team, shared how she pivoted experience on the field into a successful career in the advertising industry.

At William Smith, Hassan majored in political science, minored in sociology and studied abroad in Hanoi, Vietnam.

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