Faith: I’m gonna miss this place!
The above is a basic, though incomplete, list of things MAIP definitely is not.
Speaking for myself, I know that since I began applying for MAIP, I’ve gotten quite a few questions about what it is, what the goals of the program are and how exactly it benefits students and the rest of the advertising community. Now that Matt and I are approaching the half-way mark of our respective internships, I’m gonna try to spell out what we’ve been doing here in Atlanta as best as I can.
The Multicultural Advertising Intern Program began in 1973 to offer opportunities to minority students in what was basically a white man’s industry (some may argue the same is true today.) It is affiliated with the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) thus providing over 1,900 promising Asian/Asian American or Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, Black/African American, American Indian/Native American, multiracial or multiethnic students the incredible experience of interning in some of the most elite advertising agencies in the US. Being an alumni of the program is an incredible honor to earn for any young ad biz hopeful.
When I say “earn,” I do not say it lightly. The selection process is long, intense, and very scary (much like a back-to-back marathon of Jurassic Park, but with fewer velociraptors.) Along with the basic GPA requirements and essay questions, applicants looking for internships on the Creative side (art direction, interactive/digital design, or my own craft, copywriting) must submit portfolios of their current work and develop a campaign of three print advertisements, per a provided creative brief.
These materials are reviewed by members of the 4A’s Diversity Steering Committee, the 4A’s Member Agency HR community and the 4A’s MAIP Alumni Association in order skim the cream off the top. Those chosen semi-finalists are then interviewed by MAIP staff or a representative from a participating agency closest to the student.
And then we play the waiting game.
After a few weeks (or in this year’s case, almost a month and a half) of waiting, finalists are notified of their finalist status and there is much joy and dancing.
No, even if a student is selected as a finalist, they must still be chosen by an actual agency for the summer. Being a finalist means your information is put into a database of that year’s hopefuls. Since there are usually more students than positions, being a finalist really just means diddly until you get picked. Then the real fun starts.
One of the program’s biggest benefits, besides the internship itself, is that up front it takes care of transportation to and from each intern’s host city as well as housing. Later, interns are expected to pay a mere 30% back of the total cost. On top of that, For me, that means I get air travel and a furnished room (with electricity, water, gas, etc taken care of) for less than half of the full cost of rent at my apartment in San Jose. AWESOME.
Interns then do whatever their agencies tell them to do, and usually it means pretty awesome stuff. In a separate post, we’ll try to elaborate on that.
At the end of the program, MAIP flies out each student to New York City and houses them (absolutely free!) for the graduation ceremony and career fair.
And then we go home and if you’re REALLY REALLY good, you tell every minority ad student you can about the program and encourage them to apply. This leads to becoming a rad person, such as alums Jonathan Carmona (Account Coordinator at Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners), Shali Nguyen (Social Network Designer at Ning), and Brian Cheung (Digital Media Intern at Eastwick Communications, freelance art director and current Miami Ad School student).
So… yeah, that’s what we’re doing.
This weekend me and my new group of intern friends made the hour long trip from Decatur to Athens; Home of the Dawgs and a wonderful concert series called Athfest. After a tour of the north campus and Sanford Stadium it’s easy to see why people love it there. The indie town was a hub of new, strange music as well as some great bars and restaurants. The Copper Creek Brewing Company, KEBA and Barberitos were all fantastic. Two parts of our trip stood out though.
The first was a band called Dictatortots. They’ve got a sound that can only be described as a schizophrenic. Horns, cello and heavy guitar riffs were complemented by a completely eccentric front man. Between songs about boxed wine and El Caminos the silver maned singer gave out watermelon to the crowd on an excruciatingly hot day. Seriously, shit was insane. I wish I could show you some music, but it’s hard to find…
The second was a bar/music venue called the Melting Point. I think it was attached to a bed and breakfast and there was a wedding reception going on while we were there, but that’s beside the point. The place had a great selection of drinks and this was my favorite show of the weekend by far. John Keane & Nathan Sheppard presents: “Deja Vu” a tribute to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was probably the most fun I’ve had at a live music even. Just five feet from the stage the patchwork group rocked out with songs like “Southern Man” and “Down by the River.” The atmosphere was amazing and I’m sad this isn’t a band that plays together all the time.
Athens was amazing and if you’re ever in Georgia I suggest you check it out. Next post should come Friday after I take the tour at Sweetwater Brewery (VERY EXCITED).
Five generous servings of fruits and veggies every day. And by “fruits and veggies,” we mean “w00tcakes and awesomesauce.”
Atlanta has one of the highest increases in daytime population of any metropolitan area in the country. That means thousands of people are driving into the city everyday. Those drivers are insane.
I take public transportation to work everyday but I ride in others peoples’ cars every couple days to pick up groceries or go out and explore. I feel like I need to take Xanax every time I drive on the streets just to keep from having a panic attack. It’s like there is a different set of rules for driving here. When some coworkers drove me to lunch today I expressed my shock over the situation.
“You people scare the shit out of me the way you drive!”
“You have to be that way here, you need to drive aggressively. None of you know how to drive up north.”
She then swerved into the next lane to get around a semi on a very crowded, very busy, Midtown street. Even the simplest drives turn into a death race in the city.
In Indiana the minimum speeding ticket cost is $120. The minimum cost for a speeding ticket in Atlanta was just RAISED to $100. There’s also no incentive for teens to take driver’s education here. Apparently they just give licenses out as party favors here.
I’ll post about local restaurants Gladys and Ron’s and Fat Matt’s Rib Shack on Thursday assuming I keep winning my daily game of Frogger.
Hey ya’ll, now everyone can add comments via Tumblr, Yahoo!, Twitter, Facebook, and more. — Faith
This is an example of my favorite advertising I’ve seen so far in the city. Videos like this one play on the MARTA(Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) trains that help move a metropolitan area of more than 6.7 million people. The videos are a great piece of advertising for two reasons:
1. They’re engaging and they speak to people on a personal level. Basketball is HUGE here and so is the sense of community. I haven’t been here a week yet and already I can feel it. Things are just a bit different down here, people are proud to be from Atlanta. By using real people from real Atlanta neighborhoods Converse has made a special bond with its target.
2. Placement. I’ve already watched the Converse commercial on the train about five times since Friday. The exposure and frequency numbers for this execution have to be sky high. I don’t know the cost, but I’m sure its a steal!
It was amazing. I love the account I’ve been assigned too and the people at my office are wonderful. Due to some rules at work I can’t get into specifics about what I’ll be working on or what happens at the office. Social media’s a powerful thing and they can’t let things get out of their control.
In light of these rules, I’ll be using this space to write about advertising I see around the city. Billboards and OOH I see on my commute and near my office, local broadcast and anything else interesting I find that relates to advertising or things I do in the city. Atlanta’s been outstanding so far.
Atlanta- The city too busy to hate