When I consider the experiences that have truly shaped my confidence, career aspirations, and idea of community, ADcademy immediately jumps to mind. It is a week unlike any other. One of the things I admire most about MMI is the readiness of its members to invest in one another and work together toward common goals. During ADcademy, this value was expressed in tangible ways as professionals engaged with us and devoted themselves completely to helping us learn.

Team ‘Breaking AD’ celebrates after winning the ADcademy group challenge











People were drawn to ADcademy for different reasons and began the week with a variety of strengths and weaknesses. Some wanted to develop specific skills. Others were interested in learning more about advertising or certain aspects of it, such as copywriting and research. Many just wanted to expose themselves to something new and clarify their career goals. We were all over the board.

MMIers placed us in teams and gave us invaluable guidance. Everyone approached the challenges we were given differently, and the staff at MMI taught us the beauty in that. They helped us highlight the things we were good at and strive concretely to improve at the things we found difficult. For example, I was able to help others with presentation, and they taught me a little about digital editing. It was a hands-on way to learn.

Team ‘Breaking AD’ shows off their group challenge trophies with their staff mentor, Julé











Throughout the week, we were also able to hear practical advice from members representing every branch of MMI. We learned to develop resumes, network responsibly, present our projects and ourselves well, and overcome roadblocks. The list goes on and on. By the end of the process, I had been completely inspired and motivated. When the time came to present our final response to the team challenge, I felt ready to stand in front of a room full of peers and MMIers with my group and propose our ideas. I was so well equipped by everything we had been taught that I was not even nervous; I was excited. I couldn’t wait. Winning that team challenge is one of my favorite memories. The “eMMI” sits in a place of honor on my desk to remind me of everything I learned that week – not only logistical details of how to approach projects, but how to respect others and conquer something that may be intimidating at first glance.

Taylor Odum and Rachel Schultz intern with MMI at the Houston Grand Prix, clipboards abound












ADcademy taught me to make the most of my talents and work with others. I pull out my binder from that week (yes, you get a colorful, wonderful binder!) and use the information in it regularly for my classes, public relations internships, and other endeavors. I cannot recommend ADcademy enough and honestly believe that whatever field you decide to pursue, you will gain immeasurable advantage by having attended. It’s also the most fun you will ever have developing yourself as a professional!

Written by Rachel Schultz, Baylor University

Click here to apply to ADcademy for 2015!

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