My program, International Advertising in Europe, was not a classic textbook study abroad program. I was fortunate enough to be able to dive head first into the industry thanks to a most widespread network of professionals, past colleagues, and friends that our professor shared with us.
This program provided real-time knowledge of the advertising industry as we were welcomed into the workspaces — 22 to be exact — of many talented individuals from an array of backgrounds, where we were celebrated and spoken to as future professionals of the industry.
Without this program I simply would not have understood what it feels like to be immersed in agency cultures of such great variety, what lies within our world’s depths of communication, innovation, creativity, and not to mention the brains of the creators actually behind it all.
Being abroad gave me an inspiration, confidence, and an intense hunger and curiosity to get my hands dirty in the field. The discussions we had along with the lessons, anecdotes, laughs, and casual chats with these professionals and their teams are those that I am truly grateful for as I know I would never have exposure to this within a lecture setting back at MSU.
This type of learning — absorbing the knowledge and experiences of others, ultimately “expanding our walls of previous knowledge” with trailblazing speed, surrounded by the freedom to explore the distinctive vibes of three cities in three different countries — is incredibly valuable for a young student like myself entering such a dynamic and constantly evolving field.
This trip has left me with a clear vision of where I aspire to go after graduation and both the ups and the downs involved in this career path. I have gained an immense pride as a student and future professional of the advertising industry which I will be stepping into alongside great fearlessness, storytelling and influence, creators of the future, and endless curiosity that drives so many aspects of our world.
Thank you Europe, and MSU for this priceless opportunity.
By Audrey Shaefer