7 Grady students recognized as 2022 Multicultural Advertising Intern Program fellows

Seven Grady College students have been selected by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) Foundation to participate as fellows in the 2022 Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP).

These students, along with a group of over 200 of their peers from colleges and universities across the country, are engaging in a 22-week fellowship program that prepares them with the skills and connections they need to build a foundation in the industry. 

“Being selected as a MAIP fellow has been the highlight of my advertising journey thus far,” said Smera Dhal, a third-year Advertising major. “This program emphasizes the unique experiences that shape multicultural students and the significance of their representation in the advertising world.” 

In the spring, MAIP fellows participate in a 12-week virtual training series on topics within the industry, which is geared to prepare them for their 10-week paid summer internships with top agencies across the United States. 

“I’m looking forward to spending the summer gaining hands-on experience with real clients!” said Priya Desai, a fourth-year Advertising major. “I’m especially grateful to the 4A’s Foundation for creating a program that values my diverse experience and champions equity and inclusion throughout the industry.”

Throughout the program, fellows also have the opportunity to learn from a team of over 200 volunteer coaches and participate in advertising workshops and panels. The fellowships are available in over 16 disciplines, including social strategy, copywriting, design, public relations, communications planning and many more. 

“I feel lucky to have found an internship that isn’t just another desk job,” said Midori Jenkins, a second-year Entertainment and Media Studies major. “Additionally, I cannot wait to move to Los Angeles for the summer and will be using this time to maximize networking opportunities and explore the city.”

Since it started in 1973, MAIP has grown a vast and diverse alumni network of more than 4,100 who have come from more than 80 colleges and universities across the United States. Nearly 80 percent of MAIP’s participants are female, and 100 percent are members of minority groups. 

“I am honored to be a MAIP fellow and to contribute to the diversification of predominantly white spaces,” said Dhal. “I hope to see a future where more Indian girls can wholeheartedly and unapologetically pursue their creativity.”

The seven Grady students participating in the program are Priya Desai (SSCG Media Group), Smera Dhal (Digitas Boston), Melissa Flores (Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners), Madison Greer (MSL Group), Midori Jenkins (Ignition Creative), Jocelyn Peña (Sony Music Group) and Heaven Robinson (Saatchi & Saatchi).

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Smera Dhal

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

Tenacity means bouncing back.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

Through Grady study abroad, I spent this past summer at the Creative Circus in Atlanta. While the course itself was rather rigorous, I got to spend every day with the most incredible and inspiring creatives. I’m grateful to say many of them are now my buddies here at UGA.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about people! I love getting to know someone new. The best feeling in the world is strengthening your connection with someone you love.

What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?

The Cookout on W. Broad Street has kept me going through my darkest hours.

What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

My proudest moment has been being appointed a 2022 MAIP Fellow. This internship program focuses on promoting diversity within the advertising world, and I am so excited to have been placed with the Digitas agency for an Art direction internship this summer!

Dhal (far left) participated in the Creative Circus program in 2021.
What is an example of a time you used your studies and skills in a real-world experience?

Grady introduced me to the professional side of graphic design. This semester, I have begun creating posters, show announcements, and even cover art for local musicians. Check out “On Your Roof” by Evelia on all platforms, artwork by me!

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor, mentor or family member?

When I was learning how to ride a bike, my dad used to tell me “sedha dekho, pedal karo” which in Hindi means “look straight, keep pedaling.” I apply it more metaphorically to my life now, and it keeps me focused.

What are you planning to do after graduation?

Make cool stuff!

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I like to make candles!

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

There’s a bench right outside the Journalism building under the big magnolia tree. It doesn’t jut out, it’s obscured, but it’s got a wide view of Sanford Drive. It’s perfect for anything – eating, studying, people-watching.


Grady InternViews: Grace Yeo

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.

Rodgers Townsend is an advertising agency located in St. Louis, Missouri. They work with clients as big as AT&T and State Farm to smaller clients such as Smoothie King and George Foreman. As my first internship and being new to the advertising career, I am learning a lot by getting exposure to everything around the agency. I am a lead on a social media project to help improve our clients’ social media presence and help research with both client requested and proactive campaigns for Spectrum brands and State Farm. I attend lots and lots of meetings both internally for our team and with clients to discuss the campaign process and update each other with what all is happening. Even though I am interning for the account management discipline, I am having many 1:1 meetings with people of different disciplines throughout the agency to get a feel for what their role is and how their day to day may differ from mine.

The agency itself is hybrid. Those who want to come into the office can, and those who aren’t comfortable can stay at home. All meetings are held online via Microsoft Teams, so those who aren’t available in-person can still be in on the calls. I personally like being remote because I didn’t have to relocate to a city I’ve never been before. I like being in the comfort of my own home and not having to worry about navigating a new city.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

The biggest challenge I’ve faced so far is learning to soak in any and everything. There is a lot of information floating around the agency because we have so many clients. I am sitting in on the behind the scenes of many campaigns and projects with different clients. My calendar is crammed everyday with numerous meetings, and it can be difficult to manage where I am with which client. I also have a lot of things to do hands on, so sometimes it’s hard to manage my time. Balance is key, and that’s something I’m still learning how to do!

What has been the biggest growth you’ve experienced so far?

I am currently on my 4th week of interning, and I can confidently say I know how my agency relates to each of its clients and how they work together. I know the roles and responsibilities of being an account manager and continuously learning the different roles of the agency. I like seeing the creative process from start to finish first hand and just being present in the “real world.”

What is your advice for other students looking to take on a similar role?

Take the leap of faith, and honestly just do it. Talk to people. There’s so many resources out there and other people readily available to help you with any and everything. No question is stupid. The world of advertising has the best environment, and that’s what drew me in from the start. Everyone is so genuine and kind and will be there for you no matter what. They want you to succeed. They want your creative juices. I love the collaborative nature of this field and how chill and laidback it is compared to a corporate job. It’s about teamwork and not about who has more power and gets to control what. Advertising is such a fun and unique job.

What lessons will you take back with you to Athens in the fall?

I have learned to be a soaking sponge. There will be a lot of information thrown at you, so take it all in. Take notes and ask questions when things aren’t familiar. No creative idea is wrong or bad, so share it. Working well in a group is a key characteristic, so all these things will come back with me to class in Athens in the fall.