My first impression was that this place would be my saving grace. You see, I had just been offered a starter job. In insurance. It was about the most horrifyingly bleak and boring prospect you can imagine. Grasping at straws, I asked my parents for the chance to tour Miami Ad School. There it was exactly the opposite. With its murals and fluorescent pink walls, I could tell that this was like no school I'd been to before.
The fact that my family and I walked in without an appointment, and were whisked away on a tour and treated so warmly was a relief. Katherine welcomed me after my tour and sat down with me, and talked about my background and my hopes. She really got to know me. It gave me the impression that she cared. She and the students and staff I met at MAS really wanted to help.
I had the good fortune to run into Pippa, the cofounder of the school. I was in awe of what she had accomplished in so short a time. I had been struck by the awards in glass cases when I walked into the school, the textured map straight out of a movie (or a secret childhood dream) with all that red thread connecting the points where students can intern. I realized that I really, really wanted to be a part of this place. I wanted to believe that I was creative enough to belong here, to represent here.
The first week has been a challenge. My first classes were daunting and had me working on tasks I'd never faced before, and wasn't sure I could. I am used to thinking of myself as a writer, not an artist. And yet, I've completed posters I'm proud of already. I find that thinking in the patterns needed for advertising comes naturally. The video medium is new, but I'm surprised by how logical it is, and how much fun I have thinking about how the pieces fit together in a way that makes sense. I'm learning not just about advertising. I'm discovering how I think, and how my brain works.
The other students I’ve met here are talented, energized, and all have such different stories. I'm eager to get to know them all, through their conversation and their work. I'm excited to meet the alums through our Industry Heroes speaker series, and to see the different paths and possibilities we could all take through life.
And the funny thing is, this all began because this place caught my attention by how different it looks. It stands looking out at the highway with that toothy crocodile against that bubblegum wall and it commands attention. Like the minds inside it, it demands to be noticed.
I’ve never been good at demanding that people give me their attention, but I hope that between learning the craft of advertising and learning about presentation skills, that I will grow into the skill. It's about believing that you have something valuable to say, that you know you are competent enough to solve a problem. Or simply that you have something to contribute. Learning to be a part of a team, to be flexible and yet to specialize and embrace what others specialize in, is part of the key to being here. There is a sense of partnership in the air. Students and instructors alike have different levels of experience, but share a common goal.
This is the lobby. When you walk in you see IDEAS growing on the wall! The map in the middle of the picture shows all the companies all over the world that have hired Miami Ad School graduates. On the left wall are tons of awards the students have won.
The outside walls are covered in murals done by artists from all over the world. So inspiring! This wall was painted by Sheryo & Yok.
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