AD+PR’s a la Mediterranean Study Abroad Benefits Student Careers

Summer in Rome and Cannes Teaches Students About the Industry and How to Network

By Anna Kuchiyash

For some, study abroad is simply an opportunity to travel and make friends, but for many enterprising AD+PR students, study abroad is much more.

“Advertising and Public Relations a la Mediterranean” is a six-week program each summer held in Rome, Italy and Cannes, France. Students are enrolled at The American University of Rome. Most of the time is spent in Italy, but for one week, students attend the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France. It is an opportunity for students to attend as student delegates and is one of students’ favorite parts of the trip.

“I was able to talk a lot about the things I learned about ‘what’s hot’ in advertising in one of my summer courses, which gave me the opportunity to become a teaching assistant and share this experience with other students,” said Gabby Boston, an advertising management senior and summer 2019 program alumna. “I’ve also used this experience in place of other industry experience in interviews.”

Speakers like Shonda Rhimes, Sophia Bush and Justin Baldoni took the stage at Cannes in 2019 to give panel talks.

Aside from being able to talk about personal experiences, Boston says the program taught her about cross-cultural communication and the global perspectives of politics, economics and cultural issues.

Students who return from this experience say they have gotten better at networking from practicing at the Cannes Lions, and are able to incorporate the knowledge they learned about the AD+PR industry in their job search and interviews. For some, the experience has given them the final push to decide what part of this industry they want to work in – data analytics, social media, media planning, etc.

“We expect students to expand their comfort zone and learn to challenge the assumptions they have about human behavior that is based on culture. Students who participate in study abroad gain a perspective that you just can’t get without taking a chance and immersing yourself in someone else’s reality. And our students gain applicable skills in advertising and PR that employers are seeing increasing value in,” said Andy Corner, AD+PR professor of practice, director of undergraduate studies and director of the Public Relations Minor.

Corner also co-directs this program with AD+PR instructor, Alexandrea Thrubis Stanley. Upon their return from the trip, Randi Martinez, CAS career counselor at MSU, helps students unpack their study abroad experience for inclusion on resumes and in job interviews.

Please note: Effective March 12, MSU has suspended all academic year 2019-20, spring 2020 and summer 2020 education abroad programs.