I've wanted to be a graphic designer since I was 12 years old. In my junior year of high school I was the student body president and my favorite responsibility was designing flyers and posters to market events we held. My english teacher at the time told he looked forward to seeing my work in times square — it may have been a passing comment to him, but as someone who has been dreaming of design since 6th grade, I've been working toward my times square moment ever since.

The Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) has been on my radar since 2018. One of my coworkers was part of the 2018 class and was able to spend a summer in New York working at an advertising agency. MAIP's focus on diversity and inclusion in the advertising field and the possibility of going to New York was incredibly inspiring, and in my junior year of college I applied for the MAIP class of 2019. I became a MAIP finalist but when selection day rolled around there was no news. I was incredibly heartbroken, but life goes on. I joined the Graphic Design Student Association (GDSA) as a public relations specialist and I was the Art Director for Centric Magazine, my university's only official publication. 
When MAIP applications opened again for 2020, I was incredibly nervous. I looked through my MAIP 2019 application and realized that in just one year I had grown so much as an artist and designer. In my opinion, the best thing about having a career in the arts is having a visual barometer and being able to actually see your growth and progress. The projects I highlighted as my best pieces in 2019 wouldn't even make it on my portfolio in 2020. 
While the MAIP application is challenging, the most difficult part is waiting from October to February to hear back. The day I opened the MAIP portal and saw that Omnicom Health Group in New York had extended an offer was incredibly validating. 12 Year old Kathy was finally going to live her dream! 

As we all know, the COVID pandemic picked up in March and most internships were canceled. I'm incredibly lucky and thankful to work at an agency like Omnicom who stayed committed to diversity and inclusion by keeping their MAIP interns as remote freelancers. While I might have to wait a year or two before I head to the city, MAIP has been an incredible experience so far and I'm looking forward to growing this year. 

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