Charlie Dawes, a senior advertising major on the art direction track, attended the 2019 Adobe MAX conference in Los Angeles, California. The three-day annual event featured notable keynote speakers, informative breakout sessions and plenty of inspirational projects to observe. However, Dawes believes that as a student, the most helpful part of the conference was having the opportunity to speak with and learn from professionals in creative fields. 

Dawes began her time at Temple University as a marketing major in the Fox School of Business, but she realized before the completion of her freshman year that she wanted more creative flexibility in her future career. After consulting with other students and faculty, she switched over to Klein College of Media and Communication as an advertising major. The following spring, she was accepted into the art direction track and fully realized her passion for contributing to impactful campaigns through her artistry.

"I just loved it," says Dawes. "I came out of every class like 'Yeah, this is what I want to do.'"

When Dawes found out about Adobe MAX through a friend who previously attended the conference, she leapt at the chance to immerse herself in new knowledge about multidisciplinary work. Although she had interned at creative marketing organizations before, she had never attended a conference that gave her the flexibility to choose exactly what she was interested in learning. Adobe MAX exposed her to others further along in their careers who gave her new ideas to explore the ways she could combine advertising, art and creative freedom in her work. 

The conference also featured prominent keynote speakers such as renowned photographer David LaChapelle and record-breaking recording artist Billie Eilish, but Dawes was especially impressed by the insight of industry innovators Annie Atkins, a graphic designer who creates film props, and Paula Scher, a partner of the international design consultancy Pentagram and Temple alumna.

"It was just so inspiring and so interesting to see what's out there," says Dawes. "And of course it was really fun."

Because of the invaluable knowledge Dawes took away from Adobe MAX, she encourages all students who are interested in advertising and creative work to find a way to be a participant at the conference. As an honors student, she funded her trip to Adobe MAX by applying for a Temple University Honors Program Grant, which covered the cost of her student ticket for the conference, her flight and her accommodations. Zach Martin, an academic advisor in the honors program, says that the grants, which are a relatively new opportunity for honors students, can cover the cost of co-curricular or extracurricular activities that substantiate students' interests outside of the classroom. In Dawes' case, she left with enthusiasm that will supplement her for years to come.

"I came back feeling so much more secure in what I was doing."