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If you stop learning, you stop growing.  So I’ve recently gotten that little voice in the back of my head nudging towards a scenario of heading back to school. But, like everything else, education is changing with technology and the options are different than they were a decade ago.

I was in the typical millennial scenario after graduating college. If you didn’t score a job out of school, the only other spark of hope in the dead economy was an MBA. Unlike a majority of my classmates, I was one of the lucky few who got a job right away, and was quickly thrown into marketing and advertising. On my current path, I don’t see as much value in an MBA, which requires taking two years out of the industry and amassing a ton of debt.

So I started searching for shared curriculums, online degrees and even free resources (which are offered by a surprising number of good schools). But simply reading books and taking online classes at (insert ridiculous price tag)/credit hours leads me back to all of the pains of the MBA. I don’t need a degree. I need knowledge. And I need knowledge of an industry that’s constantly changing.

Thanks to our friends at Taylor Guitars, I got to hang out with skateboarding legend Tony Hawk in Beverly Hills…and for a good cause, too.

The cause is building quality public skate parks in high-risk, low-income areas; the event was the 2013 Stand Up for Skate Parks Benefit, hosted by the Tony Hawk Foundation.

September was the month of monetization for the major social media networks. As Facebook continuously refines its program and offerings for advertisers, Instagram and Pinterest are now jumping on board to start bringing in the cash.

I had a good time at Advertising Week, but, let’s face it, you can only take so much Advertising Week. So last Wednesday afternoon, instead of heading to yet another panel or presentation, I hopped the A Train from the Port Authority and rode all the way to 190th Street, the northwest tip of Manhattan, an area most would not recognize as New York City, lush and wooded and near the water, Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights, and hiked through the park and up the hill to The Cloisters.

Pretty much as far from Madison Avenue and Advertising Week, both figuratively and literally, as you can get and still be in Manhattan.

The Cloisters is a stone museum, a branch of the city’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, built during The Great Depression in the 1930’s via a grant from John D. Rockefeller. It was designed to resemble an old European medieval abbey, and built with stones imported from abbeys that once stood in Spain and France. It’s loaded with art from the Renaissance period, the most striking a series of huge and magnificent tapestries, beautiful as they are disturbing, depicting the hunt and killing of the last unicorn.

The CEOs of Advertising Week’s NY Times CEO Forum were talking about the same trends as everyone else -- programmatic buying, cord cutting, talent retention -- they just sound a lot smarter while they’re doing it.

Wednesday, The New York Times' Stuart Elliott moderated a panel that included AMC Networks President & CEO Josh Sapan (Breaking Bad fan swoon), Havas Global CEO David Jones and JWT Global CEO Bob Jeffrey. The conversation was a general, but elevated, version of everything else being discussed at Advertising Week, and put a few things into perspective. Here are a couple more analogies, to keep with Day 2’s theme, that I’m actually quite sick of, but going to talk about anyway:

“Content is King”

This year at Advertising Week, it was clear that if content is King, then creativity is a god. Or better yet, if content is King, then creativity is Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who hit his presidential term limits and transferred all the presidential power to the office of the prime minister. Content is a vehicle, only as powerful as its driver. Creativity--humor, storytelling, human connection--is really in charge.

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