Why I Teach
I was never that great at school. I was a good student, got the grades I needed to get and tried to soak up what I thought was valuable.
I was extremely lucky to go to college in a place that was filled with experts in the field I wanted to pursue. I went to the George Washington University (Raise high!) and in all of my political science classes, professors would bring in fascinating guest speakers who gave the most valuable insights into their professions -- and how to get there.
That is why, when our HR Operations Manager Keisha Kellman approached me about working with the Advertising Education Foundation (AEF), I jumped at the chance. The Advertising Education Foundation has been connecting advertising and marketing professionals with students from around the country since 1983. Their mission is to be “the bridge connecting the Marketing, Advertising and Academic Communities.” I immediately remembered that this was the part of school I loved: professionals in the field sharing their insights to inspire the next generation. I wanted to be part of that, to share the little bit of this world that I know well with young minds that are interested in helping us pioneer the future. And, it gave me my "give a man a fish/teach a man to fish" moment.
Over the last two years, I've spoken at Fordham Business School, Yeshiva University, Montclair State University and to the leadership team at AEF. Not only have I gotten the chance to teach, I've also had the chance to learn.
When teaching about the basics of a social strategy at one school, I had the chance to chat with an engaged class of 35 undergraduates. After class, a students approached me and asked if I had a few minutes to chat. He was an older student who dropped out of school to tour with a band. His parents urged him to go back to college and he was interested in advertising. After we dissected his interests and “why advertising?,” I was able to share with him the element of advertising dedicated to sourcing and licensing music. He knew right away that this was what he wanted to explore.
Another student who sat in my social media 101 class had a dream of getting into account management. She was a division 1 athlete and wanted to make the transition into the professional world. After a few 1:1 sessions, she came into McCann and met with some of the best account leaders in the business.
At this point, I've spoken with over 120 students. I get to learn their stories; the ads they remember that made them want to explore our world; the fight that some have undertaken just to study at a university; the drive they exhibit when talking about their future; the excitement that comes across their faces when they see activations that they love that our agency created. The experience is truly humbling.
I highly recommend getting involved in this program with the AEF. You never know who is sitting in that classroom -- it could be the next great agency leader.