My Peruvian Experience

The visit to Peru ( Illimo, Chiclayo) was much more than work and cultural experience. This was planned during the reading of the semester, I personally felt it was one of the useful ways to spend the week. Before the trip even started, we had to do a lot of per – work so that we had an idea of what to expect when we visit the institute. The institute where we worked is called Instituto de Educaciόn Superior Technolόgico Publico (IESTP) and this is located in Illimo which is an hour distance from Chiclayo.

At first, we made a quick one day stop at the capital – Lima to do some little sightseeing and have some cultural experience. We walked down the streets and saw the beautiful south Pacific ocean, spend some time there and then we commute back to the hotel and to the airport for our next flight to Chiclayo.

Unlike Lima, Chiclayo had a completely different setup. The “City of Friendship” as the locals lovingly call Chiclayo was more on the rural side with narrow and busy streets. We were amused to see the city being lively even in the late hours. Our work in Illimo, Chiclayo was scheduled in such a way that we had industrial and field visits in the morning and the work-related to the institute was in the afternoon. After our first field visit to the Guinea pig facility, we were actually excited to see the institute as we were informed that the person who developed this institute put their heart and soul to this project. We were amused by the work they have done to this institute. We started off the work by auditing the premises which were our initial task. I initially thought the work which was assigned to us was to apply the knowledge which we gained in the lecture, but that perspective entirely changed when the partners started to value our opinions. This motivated us to further work hard and give them the most of the information we could give in a short period. The people there are really ambitious are using every single opportunity to obtain even the tiniest bit of information that they receive and this gave us furthermore enthusiasm to work even though the hot sun drained most of our energy down.  The Peruvian partners were such lovely people even though the language was a huge barrier they took every single chance to in tract with us and made us feel that we were one among them.

The industries which we visited was quite unique. We had an opportunity to visit a guinea pig facility, bee apiary, a small goat facility, INIA – Instituto Nacional de Innovacion Agraria, Grandules international and one of their fields where they cultivate peppers. Each facility had its own significance. From the Guinea pig facility, we learned about the breeding conditions and types of the breed that are in the facility. In the Bee Apiary, we got to know about the importance of the Queen bee and its cultivation. In INIA we saw how the biopesticides were developed and its usefulness in the society. We also learned about the soil in that area and its apt condition for cultivation. Grandules is an international company that exports peppers, sweet peppers, and mangoes to varies parts of the world including Canada. Following this visit, we had a chance to visit one of their pepper cultivation fields and we got to know about the parameters and the methods that they practice to obtain maximum production of the produce.

We ended the trip with cultural activity and sightseeing. The activity started with a wonderful Peruvian home-style dinner and the following day we had an opportunity to see a few museums like Museo de Sitio Huaca Rajada – Sipan and Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum. The guide who came with us gave us a detailed input of the civilization present in that region and made us understand the importance of the culture. Finally, we ended this trip with the visit to the beach and we headed back to the airport for our way back to Toronto.

As a whole, this experience made me realize the importance of knowledge and technology. The trips had it’s up and down and we weren’t able to quickly adapt to the change in the climate and food in a few of the places were excellent and few places did not serve the best. Apart from the cons, this was a very good learning experience. I thank my professor and the college for giving me this amazing opportunity.

Tarakeshwari Parthasarathy.

A Memorable study trip: FLIP-Peru

I am thankful to Centennial college for organising Faculty Led International Program. It was an honor to be the part of the FLIP -Peru program. Along with my ten other classmates and two faculty members (Prof. Xavier Aguirre and Prof. Marco). Our journey began on Feb 22, 2020. We had a daily visit to IESTP – illimo to work on pilot plant. Along with IESTP, we visited few other places such as Guinea pig farm, apiary, National Institute of Agricultural research and Gandules internationals.

On day one we visited Guinea pig farm where we learned about rearing of the pigs. Later we headed to see the IESTP pilot plant. On day two, we visited apiary where we saw honey bees, artificial honey combs and equipment to obtain honey.  Day three, we visited international institute of agricultural research where we learned about the natural media of pest control (Using insects and larva). Day four we visited one of the biggest facilities in Peru “Gandules Internationals”. Day five, was scheduled to visit farms and fields of Gandules Internationals. Day six, we utilised for cultural activities where we visited three amazing museums.

The IESTP pilot plant is designed for the production of jam, yoghurt, pickles, cheese and honey. They have few modern equipment which are enough to start production for small scale business. The professors and employees of the institute are very hardworking and trying their best to start the plant as soon as possible. I am very glad that I also contributed something to help them. The task was given to us was to develop process flow chart and diagram for jam, pickles and yogurt production. We all tried our best to develop those. For their better understanding, we translated those charts in Spanish. We also got chance to do premises inspection which was a great learning experience. The visit at Gandules International was amazing. I learned a lot about pickle facility and GMPs. I saw practically what I learned so far during the course of three semsters. We also visited their farms and fields to see how and what technology they use to grow their vegetables especially bell peppers and jalapeno.

The Peruvian people are very humble, kind and warm. They respect their visitors and try to provide best hospitality. Our cultural activities began with dinner party at guinea pig farm owner’s house. Next day we visited three museums where we learned about the Peruvian ancestors and their culture. We returned home safely on march 2, 2020.

Overall the experience of FLIP Peru program was amazing and memorable. I would like to thank #SaGE for organising such a wonderful study trip. Our instructors, prof. Xavier and Prof. marco took care of all of us and made sure of our safety. It was a safe and pleasant journey. I will never forget the FLIP Peru trip.

Thank you.

Amanjyotkaur Banwayat

#FLIP-Peru (Food Science Technology)



There and back again.


An hour and a half hiking to a waterfall

The title is a reference to Tolkien, more precisely to Bilbo Baggins. Why? Well, because just like Bilbo, I have been on an adventure with a group of people almost unknown but returned with friends.

Our journey through the Dominican Republic aimed to look closely at how community economic development works. Community economic development happens when a community, government, and business work together to improve the quality of life in a place such as TUR!SOPP (Operational Partnership Public-Private Project in Tourism) has done. There, in Puerto Plata city, we spent eight intense days learning.

Learning from Juanin how to use our knowledge in favour of the community and creating opportunities.

Learning from Sandra how to transform realities regardless if the resources are denied.

Learning from Alexis how to save the environment and at the same time bring income to home.

Learning how to be determined with Sally.

Learning how to be welcoming hosts from Mr. Tim Hall, Señor Orlando Doña Julia.

Learning how to absorb knowledge wherever it is from my teachers Linor and Rachel.

Learning from my friends how to support and take care of each other. We had two birthday parties!

Learning from myself how to make my week productive, physically active and enjoyable at the same time.

In addition to formal learning by Ambra and Juan Pablo.

However, learning is just one of the many products that I bring from this trip. Being part of the workgroup to design activities using a community-based tourism approach is another reward from this trip. Understanding how to use community assets to improve local tourism will be valuable in my career. Besides, of course, all the tours around the beautiful city, the hiking and waterfalls, the delicious food at Tubagua Lodge and Sandra’s restaurant, the traditional Merengue and my dance class, thank you Rita, the smiles and hugs. 

Now it is time to practice all learning because being there brought me memories from my last jobs in Brazil where I worked inside the communities like Puerto Plata, and I miss that.

Thanks to Sage, who splendidly provided everything for this trip since the beginning. The Flip Dominican Republic 2020 is among my unforgettable experiences. I wish to say to Centennial students pay attention to the Sage website and take every opportunity they offer. You won’t regret it. 

Luciano de Lima
Community Development Work student


It felt like home…

This opportunity was completely amazing! How often you have the chance to go to a wonderful country to learn about your program and at the same time share with your classmates. My Global Experience was in the beautiful Dominican Republic. My trip started with nostalgia, the first time that I saw Dominican people, the sun, the landscape, I immediately remembered home. I did not expect that everything was so similar to my home country but I was there experiencing the warmth and happiness of the people, eating delicious food, and allowing me the opportunity to reconnect with my roots.

We stayed in an eco-lodge; the cabins were very particular, very artisanal. We share our space with many animals, it was like finding this balance to coexist with these interesting creatures. Our schedule was very fascinating, every day we did something different but always related to our program. When you have the opportunity to see the things that people are doing for their community, you feel motivated. It was a shot of reality but also an appreciation for the work of these human beings. Although we are kilometers away from them, the goal is still the same. To contribute to our society no matter the context, the country, the people, the approach. Every effort impacts positively on the community. This experience gave me another perspective of life and it was a reminder of why I decided to come to Canada, to study a profession that is oriented to the social field. The truth is that I am not here just for my benefit. I am here also looking for a better life for my family and my community.

Being there and having the opportunity to share with my classmates and professors is the other aspect that I will always keep in my heart. You realized how amazing people are. I learned from the community, I learned from my professors, I learned from my classmates. These people were an open book that offered me the opportunity to grow spiritually and intellectually next to them. This experience brought the best of us, the support that was given from each other is invaluable. This experience was the opportunity to reconnect with your roots, with your peers, with your thoughts, and your inner child.

Marian Torres

Community Development Work 

You are now connected

As I signed up for the Flip (Faculty lead International Placement) program I had no idea what to expect. Would we be working with grassroots trailblazers? Perhaps we would be focusing more on the economic history of the area. Maybe we would be working to share the message of living a greener and cleaner life! Everyone said it would change the way I look at the world but it was hard to believe. Taking off into Canadian skies, I felt excited and nervous about the adventure I was about to embark on.

We landed in Puerto Plata, a city hosting the first port ever created by Christopher Columbus in Dominican Republic and soon learned that part of our job was to keep our eyes open to notice the assets available in each community. This was to come up with ways to engage tourists, that recently began returning to Puerto Plata on cruise ships, in a sustainable way. The point was to step away from walled off resorts and cruise ship routines enough to take in the beautiful communities that surrounded the port, support local economy and take home an unforgettable and changing experience.

We visited many budding experiences with fresh eyes and eager hearts. We visited a backyard mine owned by a local family where chunks of amber were extracted from the ground and made into jewellery. We visited a beautiful and warm family that owned a coffee plantation up in the mountains. We experienced how coffee beans travel from the tree to the cup and clapped along to a diddy they sang while grinding freshly roasted coffee beans (which smell amazing by the way). We scaled mountains and slunk through rivers examining prospective tourism opportunities and enjoyed the breathtaking view.

It all seemed so beautiful, tranquil and new but we learned that Puerto Plata was actually recovering from a difficult past. Puerto Plata was well known for being a major port, tourism hotspot and coffee growing region which attracted attention from around the globe. In the 1980’s, coffee leaf rust, a global disease that had been spreading, killed 80% of the coffee trees in the area and its economy took a devastating hit. This caused farmers to begin deforestation in an attempt to rid the mountainside of these diseased coffee trees and pick up cattle farming instead. Large expanses of grass replaced lush shaded coffee forests and in turn, less rainfall was able to trickle through the mountainside gound into the riverways. Because of this, Yasica river, a large river flowing through the area lost 50% of it’s water flow over the course of twenty years.

It took a while to get my head around that one. I’ve heard of cause and effect. I’ve learned in class how everything is connected but I haven’t seen it like this. To think that what would seem like an opportunistic moment (beginning a cattle farm) could become so devastating (drying up a major river) was beyond anything I could imagine! This trip wasn’t about one person, one project, one town… it was about realizing how everything is intertwined and connected and how every part of the economy is part of a fine intricate web.

I walked into this program expecting to help a few people or work together on a project that needed extra workers on the job but I was so mistaken. Although we did meet beautiful people, listened to excellent music, experienced amazing food and shared incredible conversation about the Dominican Republic, this was about increasing the health of communities through something as small as tourists planting little coffee tree seeds and placing them in a nursery. A task that took a few minutes out of the day and meant to appease bored vacationers, created a whole opportunity to impact the entirety of Puerto Plata. If the coffee trees can be given to farmers, they can plant those trees and the forests surrounding, protecting those trees will return. If the forests return, the roots that hold those forests will hold more heavy rain and allow the waters to trickle through the ground and replenish the rivers. If the waters are going into the river, there is less runoff and flooding of towns will lessen and people can build their communities with more security. The impact is tremendous!

Everything is connected whether we see it or not. This just so happened to be a more dramatic situation in which I could spend one week with the right people and see the big picture but life isn’t like that and many communities aren’t either. It’s important for us to realize that. I went from feeling so confident in participating in this program to being humbled and dumbfounded by how big the impact of each activity is. I feel that I need to learn, now more than ever, about how those interconnections work and how I can be an advocate for positive change. As a community development worker, I would like to carry this experience into every project I work on. Not only is this applicable in community development work but it’s applicable to all areas of life. I would like to remember that all things are connected, whether I see it right away or not, and work towards healthy connectivity between those aspects.

FLIP 2020: Puerto Plata – CDW

This experience has changed all my perception about Community Economic Development, the course which my FLIP was connected to. I could see and understand how it works in a practical situation and it made all the difference for me. I am glad for the learning, for the group support, for the professors and my friends, we created deep connections and we quite enjoyed this experience together.

We visited communities, talked with local people, compared the community-based tourism and the typical tourism in Puerto Plata, Dominic Republic. We learned more than concepts and processes, we felt the reality and how things happen in the real-life. I feel more prepared for the placement next semester. Also, we had two professors with us, so we could have insights about the engagement process.

I was happy to see how the community did not give up and is still looking for a better quality of life for all of them. The Dominican Republic has a sad history with a lot of struggles and fights, but they are strong, happy and kind people. I would like to mention our guide, Juanin, an excellent professional who took care of everyone and very knowledgeable.

In each community, we understood something about Community Development Work, which is a wide program. We had moments to connect all the aspects within the program, such as local people, economic aspects, sustainability, social issues, different and divergent approaches. Also, every day we had moments to discuss what we did and our perspectives; they were great talks, where the group felt safe to present their opinions and different reflections without judgement. Learning from other´s experiences is one of the best ways to increase our knowledge and expand our minds. After these days I feel more confident in myself and my professional future. I believe I can do a good job and support people to change their lives.

Marina de Medeiros Costa [CDW-301094810]

International Student


FLIP Dominican Republic 2020


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My trip to the DR was amazing! From living at Tubagua Ecolodge to hiking miles of beautiful mountainscapes, from learning about Dominican culture through Merengue dancing to being on the ground interacting with folks, this experience was one of the most eye-opening and impactful trips I have ever taken part in!

I felt immediately connected to the people there, and I was pleasantly welcomed with open arms to the community. I feel grateful and humbled by my experiences at Tubagua Ecolodge, and I was extremely impressed with the food and accommodations (THAT STUNNING VIEW)! I was also very impressed by the Community Based Tourism (CBT) in the community, namely the Amber Mines tour because we learned about the development of the tours and how far they have come in the way of developing the tour to support the needs of many different tour groups/tourists.

Heading to the DR, I was expecting to experience a bit of discomfort surrounding being ‘off the resort’, as I have been told my entire life that “it is unsafe to leave the resort”. However, my assumptions were proven wrong, and the reality was that I felt safer and more confident while I was in the community that at any resort I have ever been to. I learned that there is so much more to the community than what the big resort chains have made me believe for all my life.

This experience has made me realize that there is so much beauty in development, and I am grateful to have been able to witness CBT from the beginning stages to the finished tour. I am excited to take my knowledge back to the Centennial College community, as well as my future career opportunities, and apply the tools I gained while taking part in this FLIP trip, to benefit other CBT initiatives in the GTA!


Katie – 301110271

CDW Class of 2021



Being an international student is not easy. When you begin to experience the changes of being away from home, many feelings can take place and make you think day by day if you made a good decision when you left. However, there are places and people that from the first moment, make you remember where you came from and give you the warmth of the home you left, allowing you to forget those sad feelings and providing you a wonderful experience.

I am going to tell you  about my trip, when I found the opportunity to go to the Dominican Republic, I was very excited to meet a new country, fear and happiness took  a place on me because I did not know what I was going to find in This place, which at that time was unknown to me and. When I got there, these feelings got bigger once I realized that I was in a country that would remind me thousands of things that I had left behind.The experience on Puerto Plata gave me the feeling of being at home, having the opportunity to experience their culture allowed me to see the world with other eyes and grow personally and professionally.

I met many places and people who full me with their happiness. One of them was the Community of Pedro Garcia, which is characterized by coffee production. When I found myself on his coffee trial, I could understand the importance of persistence and the desire of a community to move forward. I also saw how people care about teaching others to be able to progress on their own. On the other hand, I learned about the love and conviction of people in the Nuevo Renacer neighborhood, where they taught me that any goal you set for yourself, you can achieve if you wish with your heart. This community gave me great motivation to continue striving within my profession and to be able to do my best. Since I could feel the pure love of these people, especially children, who thank you for your work with a huge smile and a hug that leaves you breathless.

If you ask me the reasons why you should go to this place, I will assure that the community of Puerto Plata, will fill you with its wonderful culture, you will feel the warmth and hope of its people and you will be able to experiments its beautiful nature, that day by day gives you a new sense of peace and tranquility, while allowing you to learn about the importance of working as a team, being persistent and having a vision beyond the limits.

Saying goodbye to this place was not easy and I thanks with my hearth for the great teachings that left me, especially those with whom we could share more moments. Juanin, Tim, Alexis, Sandra, Amber, Juan Pablo and Liz .



Andrea Castillo, 301098175


Community Development Worker

Industry & Life Insights from Advertising Week New York

Published By
Bruna Tenorio Bruna Tenorio

I never thought that one day I’d have the chance of attending Advertising Week New York – the premier world’s event in the industry.

However, as unpredictable as life can be, I’ve just come back from the last edition.

It was four days full of insightful panels about data, tech, e-sports, gender equality, diversity, creativity, branding, storytelling, emotions and customer engagement, and so much more.

I knew that once I got there, I’d be lost between so many panels I wanted to attend. Unfortunately, we (still) can’t be at more than one place at the same time, so, I did my best to plan ahead.

With a notebook, a pen, and an immeasurable mix of excitement and curiosity, I left my Airbnb in New Jersey, early every day, to get the maximum out of #AWNEWYORK!

DAY #1

Six panels attended, an entire day of learning and astonishing. From “Co-Creation“, by Cirque Du Soleil & Sid Lee to “Bias in Advertising“, by Saturday Morning and P&G, I left the first day full of energy, insights, and joy.

Some of the highlights from Day 1:

  • “Humans avoid uncertainty. Uncertainty comes from our fear of death. Unless you embrace it and decide to take risks. That’s what we do at Cirque du Soleil.” (Sheila Morin, Senior Director Marketing of Cirque Du Soleil)
  • “Media is not creating only one moment with consumers; it is creating different moments across the entire consumer journey. By using emotional targeting it’s possible to create genuine engagement and drive brand value.”

Advertising is biased toward gender and race.

Wait, no.

The world is (unconsciously) biased.

The issue is bigger than we think and is still a work in progress. “The Look“, a campaign created by P&G and Saturday Morning, brings the issue to ads to provoke discussions around it. More than worth to watch it.

DAY #2

Six more incredible panels. Starting the day with Fernando Machado, the CMO of Burger King, and closing it with Disney in a compelling presentation about “Storytelling.”

I can’t even say how amazing it was to have the opportunity of attending such panels. Fernando Machado is undoubtedly one of the bravest marketers I’ve heard about so far, always willing to take risks that others wouldn’t even consider. The “Whopper Detour” is one of the best proofs of that.

Some of the highlights from Day 2:

  • “The best question to be asked is ‘What happened?’ because this gives room to the interviewee to tell her/his story.”(Mike Greenberg Host, Get Up!, ESPN)
  • “Nowadays everyone is looking for ways to implement the newest tech in their strategies. However, they are doing it wrong. Briefs shouldn’t be made focused on using tech. Briefs should focus on your objectives towards your target, and tech should come as one of the tools you could use to create real engagement with your consumers.” (Fernando Machado, CMO of Burger King)
  • “TV is now fragmented. Consumer behaviour is dynamic. And there is a lot of content available across different devices. Such a fragmented viewership also fragments data, which can lead to media opportunities: companies can now reach a specific audience on TV.”
  • “It’s not only about technology improvements, but also (most important) about the internal organization. Teams must collaborate with each other to reach a common goal, as each of them has different touching points throughout the consumer journey.”

DAY #3

I decided to start the day attending one panel that wasn’t in my pre-defined schedule: “Morning Meditation & Optimized Business,” by Conscious Enterprises. Why? Well, I believe that taking care of our minds is one of the most important things to do and that we usually forget.

How many hours per day do we truly dedicate to take care of ourselves? 🙂

As a person who has already tried to meditate for thousands of times without succeeding, there was one lesson from this section that got into my mind, and I’d like to share with those who feel the same way:

“The mind thinks involuntarily, just as the heart beats involuntarily. So, telling your mind to stop thinking, is as effective as telling your heart to stop beating.”

(Emily Fletcher Founder & CEO, Ziva Meditation)

That’s how learning to meditate should start: by accepting that the thoughts and concerns will keep coming while you’re there seated and breathing. However, once you recognize there is nothing you can do about it, you’ll feel much lighter after taking some minutes to just quietly sit and breathe.

The other panels that I got the chance to attend during Day 3 were all about AIunderstanding Generation Z,and improving customer experiences.

Some of the highlights were:

  • “When you’re designing your customer experience journey, you should view problems as goals. And adopt a transformation vision: bottom-up, using tech to understand your customers, and top-down, using tech to improve their experiences with your brand.” (David Levin, VP, Customer Experience & Digital Innovation, Bob’s Discount Furniture)
  • “GenZrs are religious to brands, as they see it as an extension of who they are. However, brands must represent GenZrs values at first.” (Nadya Okamoto, Chief Brand Officer of JUV Consulting)
  • “Within the Advertising Industry, only a few women are in power positions (11%). And when it comes to creative, it gets even worse. Without enough women having the chance to produce content, ads end up being much more likely to be gender-biased.” (Rachel Terrace, CMO of TIME’S UP)
  • “Machine Learning is a program that consumes data and makes predictions. Artificial Intelligence is a program that considers predictions and takes an action. In Advertising, AI can be applied to audience discovery, dynamic creative, and predictive analytics.” (Jacob Grabczewski Head of Product, Copilot, Xaxis)

DAY #4

Last day of #AWNEWYORK and the desire to get the most out of it! Burnout x Resilience, Women: Decision Makers and Influencers, Future of Content Marketing, Brand Building and Experiential Engagement… What a day!

  • “Accept that you’re not in control of anything besides your mind, your actions, and your will; this will give you real freedom.” (Lucio Ribeiro, Professor at RMIT in Marketing and A.I.)

“Podcasts are only good if they fit into your content strategy. It must have context. It shouldn’t be only about checking a box.” (Jamie Luke, Director of Content at The Foundry @ Meredith Corp)

  • “The future of content will focus more on what people/influencers are creating/crafting instead of how many people they are reaching. It’s about quality instead of quantity.” (Julie Hochheiser Ilkovich, Co-Founder at Masthead Media Company)
  • “Brands want to be out there sharing content about themselves; however it’s more important to first understand what consumers are looking for, which phase they are in the consumer journey, and deliver the type of content they need – so you can truly engage them.” (Stephanie Stahl, VP at Content Marketing Institute)
  • “You learn the most from the people you like the least. Difficult people teach you what not to do and also how to do extraordinary things.” (Sarah Ivey, Founder at Agents of Necessity)

Finally, here is an example of what happens when women are in power in the ad industry. Coors Light launched the first beer ad focused on women as consumers: “The Official Beer of Being Done Wearing a Bra.” The idea was not to exclude men but to include women in the conversation. Watch the ad.

Chelsea Parker is the Senior Marketing Manager behind it.

When we developed this campaign, we made a conscious decision to focus on real moments — things our consumers were actually doing. Taking your bra off at the end of a long day is one of those moments that really resonated. By choosing to feature occasions that feel surprising for beer advertising, we’re hoping to forge more authentic connections with our drinkers.


What more can I say?

Attending such an exciting event and learning about the future of advertising from such amazing speakers was just… mind-blowing!

It was also one of those life opportunities for me to get out of my routine and put myself in some uncomfortable situations:

  • I was travelling to a city I’ve never been to before (New Jersey);
  • I’ve been one time in New York before, but now I was walking around the city without data to access the internet;
  • I had offline maps, yeah. But I still got lost multiple times – which was great because I got to accidentally discover different places;
  • I was alone out there, and as a shy person, I confess it scared me at first. But, I just ignored my fears and once I was there, I enjoyed the opportunity to talk to different people, why not? 🙂

I can say that after all the experiences and learnings I went through those four days, I left Advertising Week feeling more human, more energized, and more prepared to face the challenges that are yet to come.

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

― Brené Brown

A special thanks to Centennial College for the bursary that helped me to attend Advertising Week 🙂