How Art Direction Graduate Belén Márquez Fell In Love With Miami Ad School and Followed Her Heart to a Creative Job and a Refugee Nation.
When people try to tell you to “get practical” with your career and that you can’t follow your heart and make a good living, don’t believe it. Over 8,000 Miami Ad School grads have done exactly that. They all found the creative job of their dreams. Art direction graduate Belén Márquez is only one of them.
Carlos Vázquez: So, what were you up to before you came to Miami Ad School?
Belén Márquez: Before Miami Ad School, I studied advertising and PR at the University of Sevilla in Spain and participated in a design program in Madrid. When I was in my third year of university, I traveled to San Francisco that summer, primarily to improve my English. It was there that I discovered Miami Ad School. I was invited to sit in on some classes and I absolutely fell in love with it.
CV: How did you land your first job after graduation?
BM: I got my first job [at Ogilvy & Mather in New York] thanks to the Miami Ad School portfolio review that I attended in New York. The review was such an amazing yet tiring experience. After talking with so many agency recruiters about your work, over and over, you learn a lot about your work as well as yourself.
CV: What do you love most about your new post at Droga5?
BM: Well, I’ve only been here a month or so, but I love being able to collaborate with all different teams, from strategy to design to production. You learn a lot working with all kinds of people and that really comes out in the work you produce.
CV: What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever worked on?
BM: My favorite project has been The Refugee Nation, which I worked on while at Ogilvy & Mather. We collaborated with refugees from all over to create a flag and an anthem to represent the 65 million displaced people around the world. It started as a proactive project with Amnesty International after seeing in the news that there were a group of refugee athletes competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio without a flag or anthem. We decided it was time for that to change. Proactive ideas—seeing a need and doing something about it—are the ones that satisfy you the most because, more often than not, they come from your heart.
The Refugee Nation case study. Belén worked on this Cannes Grand Prix for Good-winning project with fellow Miami Ad School grads Rodrigo Moran (Creative Director) and Eduardo Lunardi (Art Director) and Miami Ad School student copywriting intern Imen Soltani and art direction interns Arthur Amiune and Renato Tagliari. The fact that a total of six Miami Ad School grads and students were able to work together on this assignment is not unusual. Ogilvy & Mather has hired more Miami Ad School graduates than any other agency, over 800 graduates and counting.
CV: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be an art director?
BM: The eye is the art director’s muscle. It’s really important to exercise it every day and keep it curious and open to new things.
One of Belén’s award-winning student projects, “See the Rainbow” for Skittles with copywriter Chamsseddine Abdelhafidh.
CV: What were your favorite things about your Miami Ad School experience?
BM: My favorite thing about the school is, without a doubt, the chance to travel and work around the world. Being able to get to know different cultures and their way of making advertising makes you more open minded.
CV: Have you worked for or with another Miami Ad School alum?
BM: Yes, most definitely—they’re everywhere! In fact, I was fortunate enough to work with a strictly-Miami Ad School creative team on Refugee Nation at Ogilvy. I love how, once you graduate and get out into the field, you keep bumping into more and more grads. It feels like we’re all a big family that gets along really well.