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So finally a little bit of breathing time. I guess this entry marks the beginning of an end. This blog was created to follow my adventure into a bit of self discovery. Graduated Miami Ad School Europe a little over a week ago, summer has come and gone, autumn has taking over, new friends were made, a city was explored, much has happened. So what can I say about the past couple of months. Do I have any regrets? Absolutely not. Was there anything that could have been different? Of course. All in all, the program taught me invaluable knowledge about planning, met some remarkable planners, and handled some intense client projects. Realizing that this path could definitely be for me was worth the change. But of course, with every relatively new program there could have been many improvements. I’ve already voiced them and hope to see the Boot Camp prove to be even MORE beneficial for the future classes. But as always, the quarter is what you make of it. I’d like to think I did what I can and feel quite content with the end results.

So what can I say about planning? Well a few things, but of course I can’t cram 10 weeks into a few words. Let me start off by saying planning has no clear definition. It varies from agency to agency, but the exciting thing is that you can explore which type of planner style fits you best. If you’re someone who enjoys staying ahead of trends, is curious, loves to share ideas, enjoys observing and exploring, is socially comfortable, wants to make a difference, can be clear and concise, then planning may definitely be something to be considered. Of course there’s so much more to it, but it’s a type of career that is a never-ending challenge and won’t stop to wait for you.

For those searching for a way into the world of planning and was as clueless as I was when I started, I recommend this program. But always do your research before hand and feel confident going into it.
As Russell Davies told us during a guest speech (pretty cool), 2 books that all planners should read, Jon Steel’s “Truth, Lies, & Advertising” and Adam Morgan’s “Eating the Big Fish.”

As for location to choose from, Hamburg is a remarkable city. Didn’t have much expectations, but once you submerge yourself into the city, you realize how diverse and just plain awesome it is. It’s a peaceful city, but is never boring. There’s always some event or crazy action going on. You have the very posh parts of the city next door to the very artistic or liberal sections. Then you have the infamous Repperbahn which always proves to be a great night out. You have the therapeutic Planten Un Blomen Park (which I’d prefer over Central Park and Hyde Park). The tropical wannabe beach bars. Great night life, great eats, great everything. And of course, the world renown Miniature Wunderland!! (new post about it soon, amazing place).

Not only is the MAS here considered to have better work, but the students you meet are from every corner of the world. According to one of our teachers, we’ve reached 37 varieties of ethnicity’s since the school has been established. This creates an international family of crazy, eccentric, joyous, and lovable advertising students. A group that is sure to galvanize anyone that comes in their way.

Of course, 3 months later, the state of the world has not improved dramatically, but I guess you can say I’m a bit more optimistic about my chances to survive. Now it has just become a waiting game to see what doors will open. Made some great connections, but there is only so much you can do once you’ve reached the right person. So i guess we shall see where I end up.. could be Berlin… Amsterdam… reside in Hamburg… NYC… or get pushed back to LA… open to everything! The life of a nomad is a great one.

Now on a bit of a side note, just a few pointers jotted down from Russell Davies’ Speech:
– Think post digital
– The future will need a balance between analog & digital
– USP is always crucial (unique selling point)
– The future of communications does not necessarily lie in the ability to get the message directly to the consumer.
– “Uncanny Valley” – People begin to freak out when advertising knows too much about us, the loss of privacy scares us
– A planner will have to be able to quickly draw ideas
– Communications via products is going to be big
– Advertising is the best industry to start then leave. You will learn a lot about everything in advertising and will be able to carry these skills into a vast variety of fields
– Creatives vs Planners – Creatives are “fucked up.” They live of a life of rejection, idea after idea, pitch after pitch. Planners can’t cope with rejection. Planner must be able to give credit away where as creatives are all about credit. A successful planner will need to build a reputation through what others say about them.
– A planner with more creative skills will always prove to be more valuable. Working with designers is a great direction
– What program does a planner have open all the time? Keynote / Powerpoint. A planner will need to be an expert at giving presentations
– When starting off in advertising, just go anywhere big & boring if possible, you’ll be doing photocopying for the first 2 years anyways.

Russell was definitely not what most of us expected. A household name to worldwide planners, you’d expect someone who had an influence from all the glory. When I first saw him, I must say I thought he was another student. Everything about him was quite casual, but that was the most respectable part.
There was no clear structure for the way the lecture was unfolding so we all just talked (at least the ones who had things to say). There was a lot of great information for amateur planners and the best part was his ability to just talk or ramble, but still maintain the interest of the audience and still be relevant.


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