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Mind The Gap: AdLand and Academia
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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While we were totally immersed in the professional advertising industry, we made it a point to keep a connection with the schools and universities within our community. We judged DECA events on the state level, and spoke at colleges about our path from college to career and our hits and misses as a young professional.

We see several professional marketers doing the same, but it takes the initiative of the individual to really build that bridge between AdLand and the academic world.

In reality, there should be no such gap.

The AAA, or American Academy of Advertising, is hosting a conference at the end of the month in Chicago, not only highlighting the fact, but a host more questions and issues we have been asking and reproposing for years.

Yes, after reading the agenda, we were incredibly disappointed that we will miss this conference. But if you can go, take a look at the agenda.

The biggest thing that stood out to us were the number of sessions that had both college professors and industry professionals. We loved to see that kind of collaboration, so attendees can see how each side sees a situation, and how one can prepare the other for it. How wonderful.

As the media continues to shift into content providers, and influencers become even greater gatekeepers, we need to make sure that our marketing educators and professors know how to prepare the latest crop of budding marketing and advertising learners.

Keep on leading by example and working together. We need more of it.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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