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ADcademy’s partnership with UK business school is to upskill professionals into entrepreneurial leaders – Adewale

Adeyinka Adewale is the Director of Academics at ADcademy. In this interview, he shares the importance of such an academy to building the industry. He says the mission of the ADcademy which recently entered into partnership with Henley Business School of UK is to build the people who will build the businesses that will build Africa. He speaks more on the courses at the academy. Excerpts

Nigerian AdCademy has been under works for several years, where is it now in terms of academic offering?
AdCademy has officially commenced the delivery of academic offerings. Earlier in the year, a maiden three-day intensive certificate course for marketing communication professionals was successfully executed in partnership with the Henley Business School. The feedback and impact of that first edition has paved the way for a second course which has also received a high volume of interests and will be successful. From this point onwards and with the Henley partnership, expect more academic offerings.

Could you tell us more about the broad scope of faculties in the AdCademy?
The faculties in AdCademy offer a broad and rich experience of both academia and industry. Faculties have specialties in every branch of management and marketing education – leadership, entrepreneurship, marketing, branding, ethics, accounting, law and so on. For AdCademy having a solid balance of both worlds in each of these different fields of knowledge enriches the depth and quality of insight participants of all AdCademy programs will get.

Does it offer physical or online programmes or both and what is the duration for different certificates?
At the moment, AdCademy is online only and offers certificates for its online programs endorsed by the Henley Business School.
Would you consider the AdCademy as hands-on academy? Or what differentiates it from other academies and universities?
AdCademy is very hands-on because it allows for theoretical knowledge to find application in the practice through the help of the stellar cast of faculty (from both academia and industry) that deliver not just knowledge sessions but coaching sessions and lively interactive sessions with participants. We have a ‘3 tiered’ AdCademy approach to content and delivery i.e., 1. early entrants’ program (marketing focus), 2. mid level program (management & entrepreneurial focus) and 3. senior level program (shorter and a mix of keynote and panels)

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The uniqueness of AdCademy is first that it has partnered with a World-Class Business School in Henley Business School that guarantees the academic and pedagogical quality as well as integrity of all deliveries. Also, sessions offer unique features such as a real management challenge set up in partnership with major brands to enable participants apply all they have learnt in a practical way to a real-life issue, which is then assessed by the leadership of the brand in question. Besides, AdCademy has access to every major name and brand across industries, thereby providing an invaluable network of faculty, facilitators and coaches that is difficult to match.

Who are the target audience for the AdCademy?
Marketing communications professionals and adjunct at any stage in their career -entry, mid and senior levels.
Recently, AdCademy entered into partnership with Henley Business School, UK, what inspired this partnership?
The motivation of both parties is to make world-class education available and accessible to young professionals in Nigeria. The aim is to close the availability, affordability and accessibility gaps to quality education with a view to upskill professionals into more efficient entrepreneurial leaders. With Henley, our mission and focus in Africa has always been clear – to build the people who will build the businesses that will build Africa. When we find allies who are aligned with this objective, quality partnerships like this emerge from which great impact will typically follow.

You recently held a Master Class with the theme: ‘The Winning Strategy’. What informed the topic and how would you describe the attendance?
The topic was informed by the observed need and skills gap of marketing communications professionals at the mid-managerial level in the industry. Through copious research and needs assessment, we came up with the theme ‘the Winning Strategy’ which comprised three further subthemes: markets and marketing intelligence, essential leadership competencies and efficient work management.

The feedback and impact of that first edition paved the way for this second course which also received a high volume of interests. The masterclass was very well attended with over 50 professionals in attendance. This number was good despite the very short notice given for this masterclass; hence we consider the attendance an excellent turnout.

What skills did the Master Class teach and who were the target audience?
The masterclass taught the following skills: Effective Presentation skills, Digital Marketing & data analytics, Consumer Intelligence, Market Analysis, Emotional intelligence, Leadership and Business networking & relationship management. The target audience was Marketing communications professionals at the mid-level of their careers.

Looking at the topic of your maiden Master Class ‘The Future of Advertising’ and the topic of the second one, ‘The winning strategy’ would you say you are trying to build a robust advertising/marketing eco-system?
Indeed we are. The plan has always been to create programs that cater to the different managerial levels of the marketing communications profession. What is further exciting about the ‘ecosystem’ approach is that AdCademy is very hands-on because it allows for theoretical knowledge to find application in the practice through the help of the stellar cast of faculty (from both academia and industry) that deliver not just knowledge sessions but coaching sessions, a client sponsored management challenge and lively interactive sessions with participants. With this approach, we ae bringing together different key stakeholders that makeup the industry.

How frequently do you organise the Master Class and how do you assess the impact on the industry
We started this year and would have run 3 major masterclasses for entry, mid and senior level marketing communications professionals by the end of the year. The impact on the industry at the moment is at best quantitative as we see very high volume of interests in the masterclasses. This tells us the industry has long been overdue for this type of coordinated knowledge intervention.

What are some of the challenges you experience in running the academy?
Running an online academy is a new normal that comes with its one unique sets of challenges. The infrastructure challenge will always be one, but other challenges such as ensuring all participants are carried along as well as building programs that fit into the usual hectic schedule of working professionals are some of the key challenges.

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