#ProfilesOfTenacity: Michael Banks

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study? 

I would not be in Grady had it not been for an early pandemic existential crisis in Spring 2020. I realized one night that I wanted to explore my passions for multiculturalism & storytelling while gaining some of the hard skills only a Grady degree could provide. Some of my most inspiring friends and peers at UGA were already in Grady, and having conversations with them about how positive their experiences had been really reinforced the idea to take a leap of faith and pursue a degree in journalism. 

What are you passionate about? 

In one world, multiculturalism. I’ve always had a curiosity for the world to gain a deeper understanding and empath for people across cultures. I’m thankful that I’ve gotten to take that a step further to interact with important groups on this campus to advocate for DEI initiatives, and that passion has led me to gravitate toward stories in culture that elevate diverse media perspectives and creators.

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

I’ve walked away from every interaction with a professor in the journalism department changed for the better, so it’s hard for me to just cite one as having the biggest impact.  Two student mentors of mine are Willie Daniely and Lauren Swenson, both of whom were students in Newsource my first semester volunteering, and both taught me so much from their experiences within the college and how versatile a Grady education can be.  

What would people be surprised to know about you? 

I used to be an open-water swimmer and with plans to swim the English Channel after graduation, but some of my fitness goals changed. I’m also a classically trained singer. 

What is your most memorable Grady experience? 

I got to attend a special screening of the 60th Anniversary of Desegregation at UGA documentary that was entirely reported on, filmed and produced by Grady students. I was awe-inspired to see journalism that was elevating such an important story in Athens and UGA history, and I walked away excited at the endless possibilities and ways I could use my Grady education. 

What are you planning to do after graduation? 

I would love to work as a communications associate internationally or for a global-oriented brand or company. Digital Design with Amanda Bright has also been my absolute favorite class at UGA and exposed me to technology and its applications to journalism, which has led to my interest in product design as a career that combines my journalism education with a role in the tech industry. 

What is your favorite app or social media channel and why? 

Spotify! I have a very diverse music taste and the way their user experience is set up makes it very easy to explore artists outside of the U.S. and outside my typical genres. I also love when design meets technology, so Spotify Wrapped is so cool to me in that it takes people’s data to create fun, engaging and digestible data visualizations on people’s listening experiences. 

Where is your favorite place on campus and why? 

The Hall of Nations in Memorial Hall! There’s something kind of awe-inspiring getting to study under so many national flags. The Office of International Student Life and Pride Center are also located there, and they do some critical work and put on beautiful programming to support students across backgrounds. 

Who is your professional hero? 

Too many. In broadcast, Seth Doane or David Muir. Doane is a CBS foreign correspondent based out of Rome, and Muir is the ABC World News anchor. Both are journalists whose careers have been shaped by international experiences and coverage of international topics. 

What has been your proudest moment in the past year? 

I was fortunate enough to represent the College on UGA’s Homecoming Court! So many of my family and friends came out to share in that experience with me, and getting the opportunity to walk my mother on the field is once in a lifetime. It was a testament to my hard work in my time at Georgia and reminded me I have stellar people in my corner.

Four advertising majors selected for MAIP Fellowship Program

Advertising majors Na’im Carlyle, Emily Laramy, Karen Mejia and Lisa Rainford have been selected as Fellows for the 2017 Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP), hosted by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s).

“We’re so proud that these students are representing UGA and the wonderful education they’re getting in AdPR,” said Tom Reichert, head of the Grady College Department of Advertising and Public Relations.

MAIP is an intern program designed to promote and develop diverse talent within the advertising industry. Over 100 agencies are participating in the professional growth and development of these highly skilled and motivated students from across the country this summer.

The program kicks off with a 12-week webinar series to give the fellows an in-depth look into the advertising industry. The second part of the program involves the fellows fully immersed within their host agencies. For nine weeks, the fellows work alongside industry professionals and learn the inner workings of their chosen disciplines.

Mejia, who will be interning at Moxie in Atlanta, said she is grateful to have been chosen as a MAIP fellow.

“I can’t wait to get to know all of the fellows and start my career,” she said. “I am excited for what the future holds and where this experience will lead me. Thank you 4As and Moxie!”

Rainford will be interning at 22Squared in Atlanta.

“I’ve interned at a variety of places during my college career, but never an advertising agency,” she said. “With my dream work environment being an agency, I knew I had to make it happen. A hefty application, an interview, and a draft day later and I’m a 2017 MAIP Fellow! This opportunity definitely means the world to me.”

She added: “I’m looking forward to this experience because it’s so jam-packed with all these great character/skill building opportunities. From spring training webinars, to learning HTML coding, to our group intern project, to professional development events, and to end it all in August, Face of Talent. But of course I can’t forget the most exciting thing of all, interning for my host agency 22Squared. I’m grateful they chose me as their fellow, and I cannot wait to work, learn, grow, and share my perspective with them this summer.”

Carlyle will be interning with the Richards Group, in Dallas, Texas.

“I am excited to be a part of the MAIP 2017 class,” he said. “I’m looking forward to learning the ins-and-outs of agency life, while also having the opportunity to interact with the other fellows. I plan to explore my knowledge, not only about the industry but also the role I will be able to play in showcasing diversity as a creative. Thank you to the 4A’s and The Richards Group for the opportunity!”

Laramy is entering her second year in the MAIP program. Last year she interned with GTB in Detroit and this year she will be interning with Publicis Health, in New York, New York.

“I’m so ecstatic to be working in New York City this summer for such an amazing company like Publicis Health and getting the fun experience of living with my fellow MAIPers,” she said. “MAIP is such a unique experience not only because of the professional opportunities it creates, but also for how it fosters multicultural talent through things like its spring training series, mentorship program, and engagement with its alumni long after graduation. MAIP ends up being so much more than just an internship, it feels like a family.”

Two AdPR students selected for AAF’s 2017 Most Promising Multicultural Students Program

Two Grady College advertising majors have been named to the American Advertising Federation’s (AAF) 2017 Class of Most Promising Multicultural Students (MPMS).

Emily Laramy and Savannah Rabin are part of the elite group of 50 students from AAF’s college chapter network who were selected for the program through a vetted application process that included essays, letters of recommendation, resumes and specific academic requirements.

“We are so proud that two of our students have received this national recognition,” said Tom Reichert, head of the Department of Advertising and Public Relations. “It’s wonderful that the American Advertising Federation has created a program that honors high-achieving multicultural students and also connects them with industry professionals.”

“Being a part of AAF’s Most Promising program means so much to me,” Rabin said.  “I have an incredible love for the advertising industry and I feel as though programs like this are pivotal in further enriching its work and culture. To be recognized in this way is such an honor and I feel empowered and emboldened to make valuable contributions to the ad world.”

Laramy echoed that sentiment. “To know I was selected by a panel of judges made up of advertising professionals means my career goals are validated by the very people who make advertising what it is,” she said. “To have AAF invest in my future, and in broadening diversity in advertising as a whole, makes me hopeful for how advertising will change even more in the future.”

In addition to the recognition, the MPMS program includes a four-day industry immersion in New York City designed to promote diversity and inclusion within the advertising and marketing-related industries. It includes professional development workshops, agency visits and a recruiter’s expo.

“We’ve studied their campaigns in class, but being able to engage with the creators of great work is invaluable,” said Laramy, who aspires to work in art direction and ultimately as a creative director in an ad agency. “Also being able to share this experience with other multicultural students, many of whom I know from participating in the 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Intern Program this past summer, is an amazing perk as I know we all share a focused passion for advertising and will likely be collaborating together in the industry very soon.”

The industry immersion means a lot to Rabin, as well. “Not only will I be visiting NYC for the first time, but I’ll also have the opportunity to network and converse with professionals eager to find talent,” she said. “I’m interested in both strategic media planning and brand strategy. I am still searching for the best fit for my skill set, so I’m excited to talk to more professionals in regards to my potential.”

Both students attribute much of their success to Grady College and its faculty.

“I feel overwhelmed with gratitude to have professors who go out of their way for students to ensure their success after graduation,” Rabin said. “I am confident I’ll be relying on their expertise well after college as well.”

Added Laramy: “Grady has been a huge part of my journey to join the advertising industry. I applied to UGA in the first place so I could attend Grady, because of its reputation and dedication to the advertising program.”

With an average GPA of 3.6, this year’s MPMS Class represents 34 schools and 20 states across the country, according to a news release from the AAF.

Leading agencies and companies have utilized MPMS year over year as a recruitment tool, including BBDO, DigitasLBi, Google, Leo Burnett, Omnicom Group, Pepsico, Turner and Wieden+Kennedy, among many others.

Kim Nguyen (ABJ ’16) was a member of the 2016 MPMS Class.