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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Canadian vs. American ad schools

Canadian vs. American ad schools

I am looking at ad design schools right now and have contacted many. It seems, from what I’ve found, that the schools in the US (Miami Ad School, Chicago portfolio school, VCU Adcenter in Richmond Virginia) offer much more than the schools in Canada do. the US schools seem to offer more opportunities to get involved in international competitions, better portfolio development abilities, more intensive programs (most are two year programs, wheras the best school in Canada, OACD, is a four year program) and more opportunities for ad agency reps to come see student work. Is what I’m finding out true, or have I been merely tricked by some of the info that schools are providing me w/? What can you tell me about schools in the US versus schools in Canada?

intro Canadian vs. American ad schoolsThere are very few schools in any country that are outstanding for advertising. We have to agree that among the handful in the U.S., The VCU Adcenter tops our list with their 2 year masters degree program (you have to have an undergraduate degree to get in). By comparison, Canada’s schools (and most anyone else’s) are miles behind. It’s interesting to note that the Richmond advertising community pitches in with huge financial support. This seems to be a key feature of their success and an interesting model for other schools to study. With financial health comes all kinds of benefits: a board of directors that are the Who’ Who of American advertising, a killer curriculum, world-class professors, and a superstar president (Rick Boyko). Their graduates land internships with shops like Fallon. When they graduate, their knowledge and polish give them the appearance of already having a few years in the business. As we’ve said many times on this site, we believe Canada’s best schools are OCAD and Humber, both in Toronto. We’ve hired many of their graduates and they do a fine job. But if the question is how high is ‘up’, see above.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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