One of our Account Executives Maria Šimurina, recently went to Miami Ad School in New York, the most prestigious advertising school, for a twelve-week training. Understanding different methodologies for research, transformation of data into powerful insights and brand messages, learning about strategy of innovation and storytelling – this is just a part of the knowledge Maria will receive at Miami Ad School New York, first hand from the leading strategists of the world’s most prominent agencies. The school cooperates with companies of the likes of Google, Facebook, YouTube, Starbucks, Burger King and others, as well as top agencies like Droga5, Ogilvy, R/GA, etc.
If you want to know more about her experience there, below you can read Maria’s interview for Media Marketing.
What are your first impressions from the Miami Ad School and New York City?
Maria Šimurina: We still haven’t reached even half of the program, and all of my expectations have already been surpassed. The school, the teachers, the students, as well as the city itself are incredibly inspirational. I am gaining a lot, and I feel great here.
What motivated you to enrol in Miami Ad school, and why this school in particular?
Maria Šimurina: When I started working at Imago Ogilvy, I started to pay a lot more attention to specialized portals and books on advertising and, for the first time ever, came across Miami Ad School, what they offer, and how “crazy” things their students have done while still in the studies. I’ve been in Imago Ogilvy for just over two years, and I had the chance to learn how agencies work, how it is to work on interesting campaigns, and I got the confirmation that advertising is the industry in which I wish to grow. I wanted to get better understanding of the background behind strong campaigns, learn how to approach a business problem and think strategically. So, I made a decision to seek additional education. Apart from that, Miami Ad School seemed as a great opportunity because they offer intense specialized programs of optimal duration. Now I’m honing the skills which will help me in my future work, and I can already see an unquestionable result.
How did you decide to get further education in the scope of strategy?
Maria Šimurina: It is in my nature to ask a lot of questions, and this is one of the touchpoints with strategic planning. Agencies and brands have the great power to offer people a new perspective on different topics, to change their behaviour and perception and offer experiences. It makes me happy that I can personally have a more active role in that.
Tell us something more about the program.
Maria Šimurina: It is an intensive program of education in the area of strategic planning. It lasts for 12 weeks, 7 days a week and includes lectures from top New York agencies and clients. Eleven weeks are intended for real client projects, and the last week we tour the agencies and get feedback on our work over the past three months.
Throughout the program we learn through work, collaborate with copywriters and designers to develop integrated campaigns based on briefs and our insights, take part in pitches for clients, and the best teams will be rewarded. An interesting part of the program is the so-called. “Industry Heroes” segment which hosts global advertising experts and deals with advertising trends.
Does this mean you’ll be transferring to the strategy department?
Maria Šimurina: As I see it, strategy is the most demanding part of the agency job, which is why it attracts me but, for the moment, I really like the account role I have. I think that accounts have a wonderful job because they have the most connection with clients. Hence, they have the privilege to “feel how clients breathe”, and transfer the insights about clients into the agency work – which I see as a great responsibility and challenge. I like to be part of that touchpoint where, through my work, I convey Imago Ogilvy’s culture to clients and vice versa. My goal is to do this even better and offer added value to both clients and agency colleagues. Besides, these jobs are intertwined.
As an account executive, where do you see the greatest problem in client–agency relations?
Maria Šimurina: Each client is different, so each relationship is built individually. I wouldn’t say I see problems, but I can definitely say that the highest value in any relationship, including the client-agency relationships, is trust. When an agency and a client create a trust-based partnership, the results are incredibly good solutions.
What are your expectations from the School, and what are the expectations of Imago Ogilvy from you?
Maria Šimurina: I expect – and I can already feel it – a great dose of inspiration and motivation from all the lecturers as well as the people I meet during the program, a lot of new knowledge and the ‘aha’ momenta related to my experiences so far. I am very happy to push my own limits, which was also shown by Imago Ogilvy when supporting me without hesitation in my decision. Once again, they confirmed the quality standards they pursue! And I thank them for that!
Original article available on link.