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Copywriting: Brandcenter vs. MAS?


Dear sweet, wise, and generous Jancy, I am currently an undergraduate who is currently conducting an obsessive amount of research about “finishing schools”. Like many who decide to travel down the creative path, I’ve zeroed in on the Brandcenter at VCU and MAS (preferably the San Francisco location).
I intend to go into a copywriting program and was just wondering does one school have a better copywriting program than the other? What should I be looking for in a curriculum?

intro Copywriting: Brandcenter vs. MAS?We don’t normally include your salutations, but we don’t usually get called sweet, wise and generous, either. We’ll do our best to shine up our crystal ball.

We’re often asked to recommend schools, but most students don’t have the win-win in front of them that you have. It’s safe to say that both VCU and MAS produce stellar copywriters and have killer programs, so maybe there are a few other things to think about along the way.

Who will teach you to think biggest? No one is just a copywriter or art director anymore. The lines are super blurry and knowing how to write a great headline or website is only one piece of the puzzle. These days, it’s about how good you are at solving the problem first, followed by your specific skill.

Business Week magazine wrote of VCU, “Instead of getting students to make portfolios of print or television campaigns – the more traditional approach -students work on holistic brand-innovation projects, designing packaging or retail stores.” But added that this is becoming true of more and more schools every day.

What kind of experience do you want to have? School is about education, but it’s also about life. How do you want spend the next two years? VCU Brandcenter is part of a university in a small city with all the community that campus life offers. The building itself is unique, stunning, designed for the purpose of encouraging creativity and the activity of two years is centred there, with opportunity of a semester away. MAS offers one year at a base school, San Francisco in your case, with the chance to spend the second year moving among several different Miami Ad Schools in other cities around the world.

Which program offers you the most realistic snapshot of what your life will be like when you graduate? The integration of brand management, planning, media thinking, creative, digital into a big blob of problem-solving brainpower is the way things are going. Our world is pragmatic, not theoretical. Who will give you the best hands-on experience?

Both schools are excellent; their grads get hired in a big, fat hurry, so you really can’t lose. Still, it would be good for you to get the vibe of each place. There’s nothing like seeing with your own eyes, maybe auditing a few classes, and talking to people face to face. Only a visit will help you decide for sure.

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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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