In 2000, Bates North America was facing an image crisis regarding their overall creative reputation. The Bates network globally was creating a great deal of award winning and highly effective work, however there was a preconception in the New York market that their creative 'chops' weren't what they should be. As Chief Marketing Officer Worldwide, Paul developed a strategy and plan to correct this misconception in the industry.

As part of his strategy, Bates WW was to be lead sponser of the 2000 Clio awards (one of the industry's greatest symbols of creativity.) They announced Bate's' unwavering committment to promoting creativity among emerging advertising creatives at the Clio's and launched “THE MOTHER OF ALL PORTFOLIO CONTESTS”, the first ever Bates North America portfolio contest celebrating creative achievement from students at the top art schools across North America. The winners were announced at a reception in New York and an ad campaign supported the event to celebrating their outstanding creative talent. This gave Bate's WW relevance at the Clio's as a benefactor of creativity around the world and generated significant awareness and PR.

Today at Slightly Mad we continue that tradition with our extremely innovative internship program with participation from Cornell University, Syracuse University, The School of Visual Arts, The Fashion Institute of Technology, Long Island University, Adephi University, Hofstra University, Dowling College and Villnova University among others.

We take this program very seriously. We work hard to provide the types of experiences that students don't get in the classroom. It begins on day one with engaging projects, mentoring, and the kinds of opportunities that allow students to fill their resumes and portfolios with interesting and relevant experience. We work closely with professors to create a rigorous work experience for them, planning their time with us very carefully to ensure that they get as much out of their internship with us as possible. Many interns start continue working for us part-time through the rest of their college careers and beyond.

Through our efforts with Hofstra University as Executives in Residence at the the Zarb School of Business and guest lecturers on the graduate level and our position on the Long Island University C.W. Post Employer Advisory Board we strive to assist our local colleges and universities to prepare young talent for jobs in our community.