Blog Home 21st March, 2011

Digital Advertising Workshop for Agencies and Marketing Professionals Comes Back to New York


Buzzwords. They're thrown about all the time. It's easy to feel intimidated. That's where Miami Ad School's Digital Reboot comes in.

Digital Reboot is an immersive, three-day workshop created to help marketing and advertising professionals acquire the new tools they need to bring their existing expertise into the digital world. A comprehensive overview on the present state of the digital advertising industry, and a primer on the emerging technologies that will shape tomorrow's marketplace. And Digital Reboot is a time-sensitive program that won't require taking a sabbatical and it's right in the heart of New York City's emerging digital community.

For some further insight into the nature of Digital Reboot we spoke to Mehera O’Brien, formerly of AKQA in New York and now Director of Miami Ad School’s new DUMBO location. She's also an instructor in the program.

Mehera, what motivated Miami Ad School’s creation of Digital Reboot?
Miami Ad School's mission is to train creative thinkers of the future before the future happens. To "engineer pop culture" from a global perspective. As the advertising and marketing industry has evolved with digital technology, many professionals are facing decisions about how to make digital work for their careers. Do they leave a "traditional" shop for interactive agencies? If they do, are they forced to become juniors again? What does it even mean to be an interactive creative? We created Digital Reboot to address these concerns. And we designed it as continuing education class that runs in two-and-a-half days, so it's fast and easy. This isn't part of the two-year program. Ultimately, I like to call it a crash course. There is a growing need for in-market professionals to top up their skill sets in different knowledge areas, and Reboot is a perfect format for that. This specific course broadly introduces participants to the world and mindset of digital thinkers. We welcome not only creatives, but all marketers (including client side) who just want to get started with understanding digital.

For all the prospective attendees out there, what would you tell them as they set out to join the digital-savvy ranks?
I'd say don't be intimidated.

I've heard comments before like, "I want to know more about digital, but feel it's too late to start" or comments like "I know so little about digital that I don't know where to start" – well, this class helps break down those barriers. Remember that "digital" and "interactive" are really broad terms that cover a range of technologies, processes, viewpoints and industry categories. So getting familiar with the basic mechanics of digital is a simple way to start making a more digital career plan. For some participants, maybe they'll just start following their favorite companies' Twitter feeds. For others, maybe they'll make a huge career shift and focus on app development. Our client-side marketers might be inspired to allocate budget to a small pilot project. So don't be intimidated – all of the leading digital professionals today started somewhere. The best part of digital culture, in my opinion, is the amount of collective curiosity we have. This drives collaboration and experimentation. So digital shouldn't be viewed as impenetrable. It's exciting!

Leaving the industry at the top your game to enter the educational field is certainly an unorthodox move. What motivated you to take that sort of leap?
I decided to put my professional expertise into the educational market for a few reasons. Primarily, as a hiring manager at AKQA, I was finding it incredibly difficult to recruit junior talent that I felt understood brand development and storytelling as well as functional application and digital culture. I have always been an industry mentor, had previously served as a guest lecturer with Miami Ad School and wanted to do more teaching. When the opportunity came to open the New York school, I saw a chance to help fix the junior talent pipeline problem I'd been facing, which I hope helps serve the greater industry at large. I admit, though, the best part of the job comes from engaging with the students every day. They are awesome balls of creative energy, unjaded by the workplace and client frustrations. They inspire me every day.

Brooklyn’s DUMBO is quickly gaining a reputation as a hub of digital creativity in the Big Apple. Why has the digital industry in the city embraced the community to the extent that it has?
Brooklyn is being credited as the cultural heart of New York City, providing homes to many musicians, artists, writers and architects. The DUMBO neighborhood in particular has gained traction as the "digital district" because a number of companies focused on interactive design & communication work call this area home. These companies are growing rapidly and creating a vibrant, fun community. In fact, we're all banding together during One Club's Creative Week in May for a special DUMBO experience! Breathtaking views of Manhattan, the Brooklyn & Manhattan bridges, charming cobblestone streets, murals and industrial lofts provide constant visual inspiration. There are also some great places to eat and shop here – from Jacques Torres' famous chocolate and an amazing french bakery (the smell of buttered croissants wafts down the street in the morning) to Powerhouse Books and a very cool Japanese manga store around the corner. It's a fun place for a stroll and an inspiring place to work.

We hope you can join us in DUMBO on March 28th, 29th & 30th. For more information on Digital Reboot click here.

Click here to register for Digital Reboot

Click here for more information on the New York Base School.

Click here for more information on the Program.


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