Dove. Pepsi. Audi. What do these three brands have in common? They have all recently been subject to scrutiny for insensitive advertising — a thread that is all too common in today’s world. While the communication world has plenty of cringe-worthy ads, they are not going unnoticed, and one program is giving students the opportunity to begin to change today’s communication environment.
Alexis Ayala, a graduate student at Boston University, has taken advantage of MAIP and all it has to offer. She believes that MAIP is helping the communications field become more reflective of society.
The Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) is a nationwide internship program for multicultural students (African American, Latino American, Asian American, Indian American, Native American, etc.) pursuing careers in advertising, public relations and media communications. MAIP connects aspiring diverse entry-level communications professionals with over 110 agencies such as Havas, Anomaly, Droga5, McCann, Hill Holliday, Omnicom Media and other prestigious agencies.
“[MAIP] is helping the advertising world become more diverse,” Alexis said. “Even though MAIP was created in 1973, the advertising world still needs people from all walks of life and different backgrounds. Advertising reflects society, so it makes sense that people working in advertising reflect American society by being diverse. MAIP does that and has been doing that.”
MAIP gives students real-world experience by blending work experience and networking opportunities within the industry. Simultaneously, the program offers agencies the opportunity to access top student talent and strengthens efforts to bring more diversity to the workforce in the communications industry.
The 22-week program consists of a 12-week virtual online training course followed by 10 weeks of agency internship experience. MAIP fellows have the opportunity to hone their skills in Account Management, Art Direction, Community Management, Copywriting, Digital, Interactive Design, Media Buying, Media Planning, Production, Project Management, Public Relations, Strategy and UX/UI.
Alexis was able to explore these areas during her MAIP fellowship in which she specialized in work with pharmaceutical clients. The largest account she worked on was for the biopharmaceutical company Pfizer, where she focused on media planning.
“I especially learned how ‘pharma’ works in advertising agencies,” she recounts. “I visited different agencies literally every week and was continually learning. One of the biggest things I learned was the importance of research. I was always researching the industry because it’s important to know who you’re advertising to. It was honestly a whole different world of advertising that I didn’t know was so big!”
While MAIP had 216 fellows this summer, only two of them, including Alexis, were from Boston University. The COM Graduate hopes to change this statistic by raising awareness about the program on BU’s campus and network. “Be part of MAIP! Help change the world of advertising!”
Updated: Number of summer fellows for MAIP was 216, not 2,016. The surname of the BU COM Graduate program participant is “Ayala.”
Brittany Bell, Staff Writer
Brittany is from Lewiston, Maine and is currently studying public relations at COM. She is planning on graduating after this semester and is set to participate in the Disney College Program in Spring 2018. When not writing or studying, Brittany enjoys running, yoga, reading, binge-watching Netflix and petting dogs (especially hers).