Hi! I've gotten some questions about my school and how it works and how to apply and why I'm in different cities and so on and so on. I did a post about this about a year ago but I can't find it anywhere. It must have disappeared somehow when I moved the blog. BUT I've been collecting the questions I've gotten recently as well as some old questions from the old blog and created a little guide based on them. So here we go.
What is Miami Ad School?
MAS is an advertising school based in Miami, but with schools all over the world. I go to the one in Hamburg which is part of Miami Ad School Europe, the other part being Berlin. I attend their two year portfolio program, so it's no bachelor or something like that. There are two "parts" of the program, copywriting and art direction. I'm a copywriter, which means that I write everything you see/hear in an ad (headlines, taglines, script etc etc). The art director is in charge of the visual part of the ad. The program starts off in your base school, so Hamburg for me, with classes. First quarter you mostly cover the basics. You learn the Adobe programs, you take basic writing classes etc. The rest of the three quarters are more focused on concepting (coming up with ideas) and you start building your portfolio. The second year you go on Quarter Aways on internships. That's the funnest part, but more on that later!
How to apply
The application works a little bit different depending on which school you want to go to. As well as if you're applying as copywriter or art director. You can find everything you need on the MAS website. I think the most important thing is to prove that you are creative. And who the hell knows what creativity is, right? But what I did was to send in all kinds of stuff that could help them see that if I have an idea I'll make something out of it. I sent in some creative writing I've done in the past, photography, illustrations, a link to a video where I'm singing, anything I could think of really. Then there are all kinds of paper work you need to send in. That's the annoying part and usually when I say ah fuck it, I ain't doing this. BUT, it's worth it. You need to send in a bank statement proving you can pay tuition (if you're Swedish and are planning on cover some of the cost with CSN, then maybe your parents can send in their bank statement for now because you don't have to pay from the actual account you're showing them). You also need to have all your grades from high school/college and two letters of recommendation.
I wish I had some of the things from my application to show you, but I don't have anything of it on this computer. Just try to get your personality across and don't be scared to be a little out there, that's the most important thing.
So, as I mentioned earlier you take about 5-7 classes each quarter during your first year. The first quarter the whole class (copywriters + art directors) take the same classes, but in the remaining three you also have separate classes. Copywriters take script writing, long copy, radio etc while the art directors take different layout and digital classes. The classes you have together are concepting classes where you get briefs from your teachers and have to come up with ideas for them.
At the end of every quarter there is Face 2 Face which basically is your last presentation. You'll show the teacher the chosen projects and how you decided to execute them. When I first started I was so scared of this "Face 2 Face thing" that everyone talked about, but I'm guessing it's just like any other week of finals at any school. Sure, it gets a little intense. I've slept in school and worked for 24 hours straight and forgot to eat breakfast lunch dinner, but you'll survive.
When you reach your fifth quarter (this is also different from the different schools, New York-students don't go on quarter aways for example) you'll get to go on quarter away. You can do classes (at locations where there are base schools), Agency Labs (internship + one or two classes) or Internships. What I love about Miami Ad School is that you'll get a long list of agencies that you can apply to. So you don't need to sort out your internships by yourself. This is such a relief because you don't really have time to research and contact agencies during school time. The whole process of applying to the agencies you want is super easy too. You basically just fill in your top three choices and then send it off to Miami where the woman in charge sends your book out to the ones you've chosen. Then it's all about crossing your fingers!
I've been lucky to get my first choices on all three quarters. My first one was in London at McCann, second one in Berlin at BBDO and third one, as you might know, Havas Worldwide in New York. All three has been very different. Both in workload and integration with the rest of the agency and work climate. But you realize that you learn so much from actually working and not just being in the little school bubble you're so used to.
If you go to any other school than Hamburg and Berlin you'll get to do an internship in 8th quarter too. But Hamburg and Berlin students almost always go back to their base school to graduate. We take portfolio class (which is basically just creating your final portfolio) and get a few briefs to complement in case you have to.
At the end of 8th quarter you'll have screenings where you get to show your portfolio to different agencies. Like speed dating interviews. This is a great chance to get in contact with people at agencies and maybe even get a job out of it.
AND - on top of all of that you'll meet the kindest, funniest, weirdest, most talented people you'll ever know. At least I did.
Apply for crying out loud! You'll never regret it. (If you're interested in advertising that is otherwise you'll hate it).