News items about Miami Ad School in the popular and industry media.
- Addy Awards: Students Outshine ProfessionalsSouth Florida Business News
- Creatives NowCreativity Magazine
- Inspiration: Pippa SeichristCMYK Magazine
- Miami Ad School Wins BigShoot Magazine
- New Kids in TownADWEEK Magazine
- Real World ApproachThe Miami Herald
- Seichrist UniversityCreativity Magazine
- These Schools Rule Digital MediaAdvertising Age Magazine
- Your Ad HereFast Company Magazine
MIAMI AD SCHOOL TEACHES ADVERTISING THROUGH GO-AND-DO METHOD.
By Christina Hoag
“Thou shall not do boring advertising." proclaims the sign outside a boring-looking, boxy building on Miami Beach's Alton Road.
It’s the home of the Miami Ad School, and the sign is one of it’s 10 commandments--a commandment that its students evidently take to heart.
The interior of this former Masonic hall is anything but boring. Walls are plastered with student-crafted posters and photographs, ads and art, while a tail-wagging chocolate Labrador, beagle and greyhound roam the halls, greeting visitors and old pals alike.
But giving a note of purpose to the Bohemian ambience is a wall chock full of prizes and trophies that the school bas racked up during its decade-long life span.
"We've won 39 awards in international competitions this year. more than any other school," said Pippa Seichrist. the school's president.
Founded in 1993 with just seven students, Miami Ad School now boasts enrollment of about 450 and has six campuses in Miami. San Francisco. Minneapolis, São Paulo, Hamburg, Germany and Madrid.
And proposals to open a Miami Ad School in other far-flung locales keep popping into Seichrist’s in-box.
"In the past year, we've been approached by people in Greece, Mexico. Turkey, China. South Korea. Canada, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Argentina. Colombia," said Seichrist, hose husband, Ron Seichrist, founded the school. "Did I mention Saudi Arabia?"
The Miami Ad School is part of a growing trend in the advertising industry: technical schools that teach hands-on skills such as writing for TV commercials, designing billboard ads, planning accounts and packaging products that colleges normally don’t offer, even in advertising curricula.
Years ago, would-be copywriters, art directors and graphic designers learned most of those types of skills as they worked, generally as low-paid, college-educated gofers.
But today agencies have little time for on-the-job training and young people are eager to skip the stage of serving coffee and typing letters. Enter the so-called “portfolio schools.”
''The idea is to simulate the industry as close as possible," Pippa Seichrist said. "We use working professionals as faculty and students have to do everything themselves from scratch, even take their own photos. We don't allow them to use stock photos."
The school has only two traditional lecture halls. Most of the learning is by doing - in radio, television. design and photography studios and a computer lab. A typical Ad School assignment: Students must create a different poster every week for the school's weekly Sunday soccer games.
"People graduate from a four-year college knowing the and bow to think. but you're really not prepared to get the job." said Bruce Turkel, chief executive and executive creative director of Miami's Turkel Schwartz & Partners. He sits on the school's board of directors.
"The competition for jobs has gotten tougher and kids have realized they need more skills," he said
They also need a portfolio to show prospective employers. Graduates of Miami Ad School receive a diploma after the two-year, $30,000 course, but it's the professional-quality portfolio they build during that time that really counts.