Fourth annual AdPR Academy connects diverse students from nine universities

Fourth annual AdPR Academy connects diverse students from nine universities

April 29, 2020
Erin Geoghan and Nia Nguyen

Students from Albany State University, Clark Atlanta University, Clayton State University, Fort Valley State University, Kennesaw State University, Morehouse College, Tuskegee University, and the Universities of Georgia and South Carolina spent their spring breaks getting job ready.  The Department of Advertising and Public Relations in The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication held its fourth annual AdPR Academy from March 9-13 at Moxie in Atlanta, Georgia. The week-long certificate program included nearly 30 students, of all backgrounds, from these nine universities. The AdPR Academy program includes more than 35 hours of training from experts and professionals in the advertising and public relations industries, including skills-based classes, participation in a capstone project and daily networking sessions with corporate executives and agency professionals.

Grady College students participated in and served as organizational interns for AdPR Academy. (photo: Wesley Stanfield Photography)

“The 2020 cohort represents a significant achievement in both the number of participants and representation from five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs),” said Academy Director DeShele Taylor. “The Academy continues to carve meaningful pathways for diverse students to understand the potential of career opportunities in advertising and PR, and serves as a best in class model for similar initiatives.”

The annual program launched in 2016, to educate and link diverse students to opportunities in the advertising and public relations industries. Every year the program directors work hard to ensure inclusivity of all voices, ideas, and perspectives. By the end of the week, participants strengthened their industry knowledge, professional skills, network of professional contacts and were celebrated with a certificate of completion from Grady College.

“AdPR Academy was one of the best investments I’ve made in myself. It gave me the confidence I needed to become a game-changer in the industry and a sense of direction in where the industry can take me,” said Simone Amos, a communications major from Tuskegee University.

Each day students had the opportunity to participate in workshops and panels led by executives from both agencies and corporations. Representatives from organizations such as Porter Novelli, Nebo, Coca-Cola, 22Squared, Home Depot and other highly regarded organizations shared their professional journeys and advice. This gave students invaluable knowledge in the speakers’ fields of expertise and insight on how to be an intentional and empathic communicator. The students had their resumes reviewed by AdPR professionals and completed and analyzed a personal strengths assessment to inspire action plans for their career. The professional training served as a resource for students and a base of knowledge to create a real-world digital campaign for this year’s client, Georgia-Pacific.

On top of daily networking opportunities, the Academy also included a career night when students had the chance to have one-on-one conversations with various professionals. This set a space for these leaders to give guidance on how to not only maximize experiences but also students’ resumes and LinkedIn as marketing tools. Participants also were split into groups and dined with communications staffers from Porter Novelli, Home Depot, or Georgia Pacific. In the informal setting, students were able to be more personable with professionals and gain insight on what it’s really like to work in these fields.

The 2020 AdPR Academy major supporter and Academy founder was Moxie. This year’s other sponsors were PHD, Home Depot, Georgia Pacific and Creative Circus. Students or potential sponsors can learn more at