Friday, 24 August 2007

I Am Sam

Target market. That's what I'd say I am in two words. In relation to this blog that is. I am the type of person that we're all trying to help. The desperate, poor student that yearns for a job in the glamorific world of advertising. Or something like that.

I'm just about to start my final year at university and am standing on the edge of the real world hoping adland is the place for me. I stumbled upon advertising as a career choice 3 or 4 years ago (the truth being I can't remember exactly when) with Andrea Neidle's How to get into advertising and the old Brand Republic forums. It was there I first met Anton and JB, the meeting with Anton ultimately responsible for The AdLads, but it's important to remember (for me at least) that we're friends before bloggers - I don't know why it's worth saying, but it is.

So I read the book and I liked it, and I thought now what? Need some of that work experience. My first place (which I won't name) they tried to make me do PR stuff. So I did the foolish thing and didn't bother going back after one day. I had the problem of not going to university in London as well as the fact that vacation time is often spent in the Lone Star State so I had to be well organised and lucky to try and get a couple of placements lined up.

I applied to BBH's work experience scheme twice and got the standard rejection letter, which annoyed me no end. So I decided to ask why I wasn't getting anywhere with them, and within an hour of sending the 'why not' email, I had a week secured. Bingo. I spent a week there with the Audi and Levis teams, doing work experience stuff but trying to soak everything in, I talked to a couple of planners and pretty much made my mind up right there that adland was it for me.

The next vacation time I had, I had a week at Saatchis and a fortnight at Leith London. Saatchis was good because I actually semi-knew the account director I was with, in that she had gone to the same university as me, I got my hands dirty with designing the application process that Will completed for his scholarship and generally had a pretty good time. The fortnight I had at Leith was probably the most valuable thing I did, because it's such a small agency that you really get the chance to see what goes on everywhere, creative / production / accounts / planning etc. They had just lost the Carling account so it was a place in crisis as well and you all know that crises really tell you about people / organizations.

My ultimate goal with the work experience stuff was to get a years placement (because I was doing one as part of my degree), I got close but the agency that offered me one was going through the blender money-wise and I heard no more from them. So I took the offer that I had on the table, from one of the top 3 car makers in the world and spent a year in their digital marketing department, learning about this internet thing.

While the year client side was good, I felt disconnected from adland and thought I should apply for summer schemes to get back in the groove of things (at this point Anton and I had started to write AdLads as well). The Saatchi Summer Scheme application ended up being my secret weapon, as I created a fake eBay listing for the job (with, as the song goes, a little help from my friends), which got me into Campaign but eventually got me a rejection letter as well. But the silver lining was that I met a ton of cool people over the course of the next few months, and eventually I got myself onto a summer school type thing (Omnicom's), which I'll be at next week (if you are as well drop me an email).

So I talk too much, sleep too little, have an unhealthy obsession with the Dallas Cowboys, Superman/Smallville and Heroes, use the word 'awesome' too much and am pretty much totally crazy. And I'll see a lot of you come grad recruitment season in the Fall (yes I call it Fall, in real life). I'm Sam.

A razor and the light is what I seek

No comments: