Summer school is in

Looking to sharpen your skills? The Ontario College of Art and Design is accepting applications for the country's first advertising master's degree program, led by a who's-who of local talent including Ogilvy's Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Zig's Elspeth Lynn and The One Club CEO Mary Warlick.

Looking to sharpen your skills? The Ontario College of Art and Design is accepting applications for the country’s first advertising master’s degree program, led by a who’s-who of local talent including Ogilvy’s Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Zig’s Elspeth Lynn and The One Club CEO Mary Warlick.

Starting in July, the part-time, three-year Executive Masters of Design in Advertising program is open to marketers, art directors, planners and writers with minimum four years’ work experience. Four students from each background will be accepted, forming five multidisciplinary teams to encourage media neutrality and what Robert Saxon, director of graduate studies at OCAD’s Faculty of Design, calls ‘diagonal thinking’: ‘Clients today recognize that their managers need to think more creatively, and creative people and planners need to think more like marketers,’ he says. ‘By taking courses together, the creative people are going to hear the client’s perspective, [and] creative directors are going to teach marketers how they go about problem-solving.’

With perks like trips to agencies in New York, London and beyond, Saxon says competition for the 20 spots will be fierce. ‘We’re looking for really top-notch people,’ he says, adding that he hopes the international talent lured to Canada first to study will stay to work at local agencies. ‘We want to turn out [the] leaders in tomorrow’s industry.’ The application deadline is Apr. 1.

Many instructors are also on the advisory panel that helped develop the degree, including Taxi’s Steve Mykolyn, the Doug Agency’s Mike Welling and Target’s Noel O’Dea. (The program is not related to the ICA plan discussed in the Forum column on page 43.)