(l.-rt.) Grady students Neha Sinha, Na'im Carlyle, Orlando Pimentel and Srishti Mishra at the 2017 AdPR Academy
(l.-rt.) Grady students Neha Sinha, Na'im Carlyle, Orlando Pimentel and Srishti Mishra at the 2017 AdPR Academy

My Grady Story: Na’im Carlyle

Na’im Carlyle, a senior advertising major who is also pursing a New Media Certificate, shares about his experience as an intern for the inaugural AdPR Academy, a six-day boot camp held earlier this month that was designed to give students a crash course in advertising and public relations.

When I first heard about the premise of AdPR Academy and its mission to expose ethnically diverse students to the fields of advertising and public relations, I knew I wanted to get involved in any way that I could. While most of my classmates were traveling, and enjoying their break from school, I decided to forgo my weeklong break and spend time learning from and interacting with advertising and public relation professionals.

The program brought together 23 students from UGA and Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs), including Albany State, Savannah State and Florida A&M. Students spent the week learning about the day-to-day activities of AdPR professionals. Speakers included professionals such as The Richards Group, Porter Novelli, the Creative Circus and Moxie.

Students were given the opportunity to learn about a variety of different roles in the AdPR fields including targeting, strategy, research, and the creative process. They were also given the opportunity to practice interviews, résumé critiques, and network with industry professionals through mixers that were hosted throughout the week.

In conjunction with the knowledge the students were gaining from interacting with the professionals, they were also tasked with creating a campaign to be presented after the program.  Each team worked long and hard to apply everything that they had learned and apply it to their campaign brief.

Being an intern, I had the pleasure of getting to assist each team throughout its campaign execution. It was amazing to see how fast the teams could concept their ideas and flush out a full-fledged campaign from strategy, targeting, creative executions and analysis. Watching them work through their creative briefs made me realize how excited I am about entering the advertising industry to work with a diverse group of people who have unique perspectives to bring to the table.

All of their hard work was rewarded as they presented their campaigns on the final day of the program for a panel of judges consisting of speakers from the week. During the closing luncheon, students heard from Sean Reardon, CEO of Moxie, as he expressed his excitement for the success of the program and why it is crucial to increase diversity within the industry.

I caught up with Orlando Pimentel, senior advertising major at UGA, to hear what he thought of the week. “This week was an enriching experience to me,” he said. “The courses gave me insight in not only how advertising currently works in the field, but reminded me how each segment is crucial in building an effective campaign. Furthermore, it was invigorating to see how helpful and supportive the professionals were to us. I can definitely say the Academy was a life-changing experience.”

Tom Reichert, AdPR department head, added: “It was an amazing week! It was very fulfilling to see students from across the state and Florida learn more about AdPR and get connected with professionals. One of the most fulfilling moments was watching students discover where they fit in the profession. That was great.”

I’m thankful for the opportunity to have made 23 new friends who all share my passion and excitement for the Advertising and Public Relations field. Getting the opportunity to interact with AdPR professionals makes me proud of the direction the industry is moving toward. I look forward to contributing my own diversity of thought to the industry in my future career.

Date: March 31, 2017