This year I was selected as one of the 50 Most Promising Multicultural Students in the United States. This program was created by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) to immerse dedicated, multicultural students in the advertising industry before graduation. After being selected, I was invited to attend a 5-day conference in New York City. This was a unique experience for me because I visited the offices of various elite agencies and media companies including Wieden + Kennedy, Turner / CNN, Omnicom Group, Sparks and Honey, 72 and Sunny, McCann, FCB, and FCB Health, and IPG. During the visits, I spoke to advertising professionals and recruiters about agency culture, personal and professional experiences, and advocacy for multicultural talent in the industry.
Because this incredible opportunity unites hardworking students from different backgrounds across the country, I was able to connect with 49 students and learn from their experiences in advertising so far. I value these connections because together we are the future generation of advertisers and may work for the same companies someday. I am extremely grateful to have been selected for this opportunity and I encourage all multicultural students to apply next year.
To end, I wanted to share some of the pearls of wisdom that I collected from this trip:
- “School is never out, keep reading and learning!”
- “Fear is the indicator you are ready.”
- “As you enter the professional career, choose several mentors that are not like you and learn from them.”
- “Speak up. You will never regret speaking up and saying what you think.”
- And the quote that struck me the most: “If you are here, you have earned it. It is not a matter of luck. Be proud of that and embrace your achievements.“
Temerlin Advertising Institute (TAI) faculty members Carrie La Ferle and Amber Benson were among 25 Dallas women in advertising honored with the 2018 AAF Dallas Shining Stars Award, presented by the Dallas chapter of the American Advertising Federation. The awards were presented June 21 during a dinner ceremony at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas.
Inaugurated in 2017, the Shining Stars Award recognizes Dallas advertising women who are producing thought-provoking and innovative work, breaking through barriers to create something new, or forging partnerships that drive growth. AAF noted on its website that the Shining Stars winners are “community leaders, C-suite executives, co-founders, executive VPs, strategic masterminds, media mavens and more. They are breaking glass ceilings and making the Dallas advertising community look good.”
A noted scholar, Professor La Ferle conducts research on how culture impacts advertising and consumer behavior. She also has taught undergraduate and graduate classes in international advertising and ethics for over 20 years and has won several prestigious teaching recognitions at SMU, including both the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor and Meadows Distinguished Teaching Professor awards. Benson is an executive-in-residence at TAI and the founder of Seamripper, an insights and innovation agency focused on high-growth companies. As a marketing consultant, she has over 20 years of experience in strategy development, digital marketing, e-commerce and corporate communications.
The impetus for creating the Shining Stars Award was frustration at the lack of recognition for talented women in the field. AAF wrote, “Last year, inspired after attending the Southwest Advertising Hall of Fame event, we googled ‘top women in Dallas advertising’ and the result was ‘The 10 Most Beautiful Women in Dallas.’ We thought … Dallas, we can do better than that! After a successful first year, we are proud to say when you google ‘the top women in Dallas advertising’ you will find our inaugural list of Shining Stars from 2017.”
“I commend Dallas AAF for being a leader in developing this award to highlight the many talented women in our field,” said Steve Edwards, chair of TAI. “I am delighted for our Temerlin Advertising Institute to have not one, but two women in advertising selected for this year’s Shining Stars Award. We do great work in Dallas and this award not only celebrates these talented 25 Dallas women, but also our entire Dallas advertising industry.”
Pictured left to right at the 2018 AAF Shining StarS Awards ceremony are TAI guest Tanya Conovaloff; TAI Program Specialist Sandi Edgar, who accepted the award for Amber Benson; TAI guest Kelly Tokarczyk; and TAI professor and award recipient Carrie La Ferle.