Chazni Darden, a senior advertising student in the School of Advertising and Public Relations was named as a MAIP Fellow for 2021. The Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) fellowship focuses on placing highly skilled BIPOC or multicultural students within the advertising industry. The highly competitive program combines real-world training and professional development through an immersive summer program. This year, the program will be held virtually for all fellows.
MAIP fellows are selected from over 3,800 colleges, universities, and portfolio schools and are interviewed by industry recruitment professionals. MAIP’s slogan “together we triumph” embodies their goals of bringing a diverse community into the advertising field.
Darden was also an intern through the inaugural VOLs Remote Internship Program which paired ADPR students with social and digital internships in the nonprofit sector. Now in its second year, the program hopes to pair 8-10 students with remote internships this summer.
Chazni shared her story with us:
Q: What brought you to ADPR?
I was an undecided business major, and I felt the program was too stuffy and not creatively focused. I quickly realized that I could merge marketing with the creative aspects of business through an advertising major. I switched and never looked back.
Q: What do you like about being a major in ADPR?
Even though there are over 400 majors, ADPR feels like a small family. You get to know all of your professors one on one. The small class sizes allow us to work in groups and to find our strengths while working on our weaknesses. We also have two student organizations that help us learn more about the industry and to network with professionals.
Q: What helped get you to where you are now?
AdClub and PRSSA. I highly encourage students to join both. The student organizations are how I found out about the annual New York City trip. By going on the trip, I learned more about the field and found my path in production. I got more out of the trip than I expected because the alumni were so welcoming and encouraging. I don’t know that I would be where I am today without the trip. I’m thankful to the department for providing financial assistance on these trips. It helps students get the same opportunities as everyone else.
Q: Do you have any advice for students?
I would tell women, especially women of color not to be afraid. Show the world who you truly are and show your creativity. Don’t be intimated by anyone because you are worthy of being there in the room.
Q: How did COVID-19 change your plans?
Last year when everything shutdown, I couldn’t find an internship over the summer. I knew I needed the experience in order to succeed but after weeks of searching there was nothing out there. Then I received the email about the VOLs Remote Internship Program. I was so thankful for the opportunity and I immediately applied to the program. After interviewing with Jamie Lonie, I was picked for the program. I was paired with Teach for America, Houston. The entire experience was wonderful, and I learned how to do industry work outside of an agency. It helped me to think outside of the box.
Q: Who will you be paired with this summer?
I was paired with Movers and Shakers in Santa Monica. They’re a boutique startup agency that began operations in 2016. I’ll be working on the integrated production of ads and commercials. I’m looking forward to working with them and seeing what I can contribute to their campaigns. They were behind the Elf makeup song on TikTok and received national attention because of the campaign.
I hope I can share a lot about my experience with my Instagram takeover on @utadpr.
This story is part of our Women’s History Month series which highlights how the women of ADPR #ChooseToChallenge. You can see more stories in our news archives.
To donate to the VOLs Remote Internship Program, please visit giving.utk.edu/volsremoteinternship
School of Advertising and PR: Lauren Ziegler, (865) 974-3048 or firstname.lastname@example.org
VOLs Remote Internship Program: Jamie Lonie, VOLinternship@gmail.com