School of Communication senior Leah Brown attended Cannes Lions Festival, one of the largest annual advertising and media gatherings held for the industry.

Thanks to the University of Miami School of Communication, I got to experience the best trip of my life. I read the email about the program, called my parents, and planned my dream trip to Cannes, France.

The 2019 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity was held from June 17 to June 21. Each day consisted of special guest speakers who spoke on various topics, very cool workshops, and a daily awards show held every evening. As part of the program, each attendee in our group was required to attend five speaker talks per day but, with all of the amazing speakers, I found myself attending at least five per day and sometimes many more. It was such a cool experience.

Speakers included professional athletes, celebrities such as John Legend, and those with Fortune 100 companies such as Facebook and Google. The only task we were faced with from the University of Miami was to absorb as much information as we could. The festival affects every student in different ways and really just makes people feel inspired. You genuinely leave every day excited to come back and learn more.

Other than the talks, each night ended with an awards show where they revealed all of the bronze, silver, and gold winners for numerous categories. This is where the magic happened. Award after award you find yourself completely amazed at the talent across the world in advertising. The immense recognition is only given to the best of the best and watching the reactions from the crowd, it really just makes you want to be up there some day earning and receiving an award that has been seen by millions of people.

This is not your typical class offered by just any school. You do not spend any time in a classroom. You are constantly on the move networking with anybody and everybody along the way while hurrying to your next talk. Looking back on this experience, I have nothing else to say but if possible, don’t miss out on an experience as big as Cannes Lions Festival. Everywhere you go you are able to connect with someone who will help you in your career with a simple conversation. As a creative advertising major, this was truly an inspirational experience that I was fortunate and able to have attended.