Tuesday, July 7, 2015

{the cannes young lions academy}

This blog went radio silent for a bit but I have good reason! I just got back from a little sojourn in France. A few weeks ago, my aunt told me about a program for young advertisers {2-4 years into the industry} that was occurring during the Cannes Lions International Festival for Creativity. Literally 48 hours later I enrolled into the Account Executive course, got accepted, & booked my tickets! Everything fell into place so quickly & before I knew it...I was in Cannes. My aunt was attending the main festival as well, so it turned into a work slash girls trip {heavy on the "work", but still!}

For those who don't know, the Cannes Lions are like the Academy Awards for advertising. They recognize the year's best work in design, branding, public relations, advertising, & more. {Although there is a LOT of amazing work that does not get recognized.} In addition to the award shows, the week is filled with seminars, workshops, & networking events.

The Cannes Young Lions Academy is a five-day intensive course that is a mix of classroom-setting classes & main stage talks. There are four: Creative, Marketers, Account Executive, & Media.

It's really hard to sum up the experience in a few words, but I'll try:

The week was nothing short of life changing. The fact that I was able to attend the Festival at 23 is really crazy, & I'm fully aware of how fortunate I am to have gone. I've been back a little over a week & every single day I've appreciated the trip more & more. In full disclosure, it wasn't cheap to attend. But I knew it was a smart & valuable investment in my career & one that I wanted to make. Now that I'm back, I can confidently say it was worth every penny.

One of my biggest career tips is this: work for a company that supports & encourages their employees to learn. Even if they don't fund grad school or classes, it's enough if they tell you to do it. If I didn't work for an agency who exemplifies this, I would have missed out on what became one of the most defining weeks of my life.

Over the course of eight days I met some of the most interesting & forward-thinking minds in the industry. In my classes, I became friends with people from all over the world—which is especially cool when they have the same job as you. I was forced outside of my comfort zone multiple times. I learned more than I could have every anticipated—about my field, about the future of our business, & about myself. Not only did I come back feeling more inspired than ever to do good work, but I am more confident in my skills to do that work. It was just an incredible week.

And...the setting didn't hurt either! When I wasn't in class or attending seminars, I spent my time strolling the streets & snapping hundreds of pictures, so I thought I would share them here.

Below are some photos of the Festival & tomorrow I'll share some of the city...

^^my class was through those red pillars...not a bad spot!

^^Canned Lions for the Young Academy winners

^^the opening party {which played one of my agency's spots on loop!}

^^Google Beach

^^Marilyn Manson {LOL}

^^Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web

^^the Palais

^^Julia Louis-Dreyfus & the CEO of HBO

^^the co-founders of MY agency...their first time together at Cannes!

^^the creators of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge {who took home many awards}

^^Heineken—Marketer of the Year

^^the Lions

^^our full group! so lucky to have spent the week with them.

^^not the greatest photo but...graduation! 

^^I finished the week with a photo in front of the famous Palais steps

More tomorrow!