If you listen to the podcast, you know I've had several guests mention the Multicultural Advertising Intern Program, better known as the 4A's MAIP. The industry's largest and longest running program of its kind, the 4A's MAIP hooks multicultural students up with summer internships at agencies all over the country. This special Guest Pro email is made up of three perspectives: a two-time MAIP Fellow and recent grad, a MAIP Alum turned Associate Director of Talent + Diversity at McCann, and a MAIP Industry Partner from The One Club. Each shares his/her own 4A's MAIP experience, along with reasons to apply and advice on your application.
Name: Jalen Mosby
2016 MAIP Fellow – DigitasLBi
2017 MAIP Fellow – R/GA
2017 University of Missouri-Columbia Grad
How I Prepared
I interned and volunteered at smaller agencies around my hometown and college to learn more about the industry. I started to follow the industry more closely, because I knew I would have to speak intelligently about it to impress and win over the people interviewing me for MAIP. I did everything I could to make myself stand out—things like completely overhauling my resume, cleaning up my social media, and making sure I'd have great and personable letters of recommendation.
First off, MAIP has given me the confidence and reassurance that I belong in this industry and can actually bring change to it. Before I wasn’t sure that there was going to be much progress in the industry, but MAIP opened my eyes to many opportunities, and has given me a large network of people that I will use for the rest of my career. Being around so many people with the same passions as you is life changing, and your MAIP class will become some of your best friends for life.
Do as much research as possible. The advertising industry is not an easy thing to understand with so many different types of agencies, work, and capabilities. Be a team player. This industry is a team sport, no matter what someone might tell you. Lastly, I encourage everyone wanting to work in the industry to truly be themselves. You should be able to be who you are and bring your experiences to work with you. An agency that accepts you for you is one that you will love and want to be a great asset to.
Name: Rati Vaishya
Associate Director, Talent Acquisition + Diversity at McCann Worldwide
2-time MAIP Alumnus
My MAIP Experience
During my senior year of college I was sitting in the library at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, researching internship programs when I accidentally stumbled upon MAIP. Advertising is not a common industry for people from my community and not a big major at my university, so it felt like unchartered territory for someone from my background. I was staring at this MAIP application and I decided in that moment to take a leap of faith. Something inside of me told me to jump, and I jumped. What an amazing, incredibly enriching, life-altering leap that was.
I have to be straight up when I say, if it wasn’t for MAIP, there is no way I would have even had a chance. The advertising world back then was pretty racially homogenous, and I simply didn’t have the social connections like many of my other peers. MAIP literally opened the door to my future, it gave me that chance I needed. It exposed me to a world that I had no previous knowledge of and ignited a love for advertising – a love that has stayed with me for the past 14 years.
Write out your goals and dreams. It’s okay if you don’t know what to write, but write something. In meeting hundreds of young, aspiring candidates, the thing that sticks out are the folks who have a clear vision of what they want, and are visibly passionate. The ones who get into MAIP (and even more so the ones that end up with full-time offers at the end of the summer) are the ones getting to work a bit earlier than everyone else, staying a little later, and offering to help wherever, however they can. They’re the ones that don’t sit and stew in their mistakes—they reflect and figure out how they can improve themselves. In interviews, they are the ones who took the time to read up about the agency and what’s happening in the world. So do your homework, give it 110%, and know your stuff. It’s worth it.
Name: Stefanie A. Smith
Inclusion & Diversity Manager at The One Club for Creativity
MAIP Industry Partner
MAIP + The One Club
The partnership between MAIP and The One Club is a special thing. Both organizations work towards the common goal of advancing the advertising/design industry in terms of diverse talent and talent development. The path to creative and creative-led careers is not a straight line—some choose portfolio schools and others choose to continually sharpen their skills through amazing pipeline programs such as MAIP and One Club's Creative Boot Camps (CBC). We work to shift the barriers to entry by providing dynamic programming.
Historically in our joint partnership, we've seen students start in one or two CBC's and go on to become a MAIP Fellow or vice-versa. After, our students/participants are literally ready to hit the ground running alongside entry level candidates. Both programs provide access to those looking to enter the world of advertising with hands-on experience and exposure through one-on-one and group mentoring.
Never stop being curious and asking questions. Ask questions of yourself, of others, and most importantly, ask them with a positive tone. If it's worth a shot to you, then it's worth a shot to give it a try. What's the worst that can happen? I will tell you, the worst that happens after trying anything new is...you learn! You learn something or meet someone new which, in turn, pivots your frame of mind. Change your frame of mind and change your circumstances.
Jalen, Rati & Stefanie
44 years ago, the 4A's introduced 10 MAIP interns to the world of advertising. These interns initiated MAIP's legacy of supplying the industry with world-class multicultural talent, influencing all facets of our industry. Today, MAIP has evolved into a professional development program, impacting the lives of more than 200 young executives each year by providing the platform to launch their careers. Unmatched in breadth and scale, MAIP is the industry's largest and longest running program of its kind.