Advertising Seniors Among the Most Promising Minority Students at AAF

Selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, two advertising seniors recently attended the 2015 Most Promising Minority Students program (MPMS), hosted by the American Advertising Federation.

Joined by 48 other students from across the country, Saumya Wali and Kendra Croft spent three days at the New York Athletic Club in February gaining invaluable learning experience through agency immersion, mentor workshops, and panel discussions. Students also were exposed to top industry recruiters and executives through multiple career fairs and networking opportunities.

“I had some really great conversations with some of the industry leaders we met,” Wali said. “They gave great advice and I really appreciated hearing their life stories.”

As a graduating senior, Croft particularly appreciated the extensive learning and networking experience. “This experience really motivated me to go for what I want and to put myself out there without the fear of rejection. It shows you that any confidence battle you may have needs to be put to the side. You are the most promising for a reason.”

Meeting with industry professionals wasn’t the only benefit to participating in the program. Croft and Wali also forged strong connections with their peers. “We were surrounded by so many different students from all various walks of life and talents,” Croft said. “We were able to learn from each other and connect to new talents for our future.”

Along with being named one of the most promising minority students, Wali, a TexasMedia student, walked away with a  $1,000 award that recognizes student achievement in media from The Interpublic Group (IPG), one of the big four global advertising holding companies in the country. And her professor, Lisa Dobias, could not be more proud.

“Saumya is an ideal student,” said Dobias, also founder and Director of TexasMedia. “She is a natural leader and a positive influence on those around her.”

For other minority students who are pursuing careers in advertising and public relations and want to apply to the program, Croft and Wali have some advice.

“Sell yourself to the MPMS board,” Croft said. “Show them why you are the most promising over everybody else. Start early in crafting yourself and what you care about. Talk and network to your peers and beyond.”

Wali added, “Students selected are extremely curious about the industry and driven to grow as both individuals and professionals.”

The MPMS program was developed by the AAF to diversify the communications industry by connecting the nation’s brightest and most outstanding minority students with top advertising, PR, marketing, and communication companies. 

Chun-Yung Chen