Sunday, 16 November 2008

Rejection's A Bastard..


Great illustration. Via AnnieMatronic. Usual rules apply.



...but it really, really doesn't matter.

By now, the acceptances and rejections will be coming thick and fast. Some will have gotten to a first round interview in the places they really wanted to. Others won't have been so lucky, and will be wondering why, and what they could've done differently.

This post is trying to help people make sense of rejection.

Firstly, as we've tried to say, a lot of agencies don't do graduate recruitment very well; there an awful lot of agency staffers roped into it. But then, don't expect wonders - agencies aren't PWC or Deloitte, they don't have whole teams plotting and planning your psychographic profile. They're human, they make mistakes. I'm sure there were thousands of applications, and maybe you misspelled something. Who knows?

Secondly...my advice is just don't worry about it. Here's a little story for you. When I first came out of University, being a lazy arse who didn't think to apply for any grad schemes in his final year, I noticed them all opening. I thought that i'd better think a little and try to get on with it.

Starting to be a little more fastidious, I blanketed them all. My first application was a success, and I started to think that this advertising application lark was pretty straightforward. Not so.

I then got rejected (without any real explanation, to be honest) from the rest. And I didn't get any further than a first rounder with the one interview I got. Bollocks.

I set about getting a spot of work experience - working at home in the Midlands to afford to come to London to do some ad agency bits and pieces. I then reapplied the following year, getting to every first rounder (work experience does make a difference). Got through to a few second round days as well, but didn't get on any schemes.

Well, bugger that. Kept blogging, kept coming down to London to meet people and eventually got hired as a baby planner by United London.

Which then went bust. You could say rejection was a bit of a bastard by this stage. There's nothing quite like being told your agency is going to close a few months into the job. Happily, I was able to find some freelance and then my current job. Which, amusingly, had rejected me when I was a grad without explaining why.

So honestly - don't take it personally. Retrenchment, grad rejection - they are part and parcel of the industry. It's very competitive, and I hope Ad Grads can help people get in without all of the faff I went through.

But if you have to go through it as well...don't worry. It's just another way in.

40 comments:

Jack Bauer said...

I remember getting rejected from TBWA Manchester. I felt gutted, but to put my mind at ease TBWA Manc did discuss their reasons for rejection over the phone - essentially they wanted someone that would stay in the land of Vimto and not bugger down to soho after a placement...
So as much as rejection will hurt it will always be worth asking for feedback. However not all agencies will have the time for this which makes you feel even more angry as a budding grad looking to enter the scene - but when you get your foot in, and believe us you WILL, it will soon become clear how and why they may not get back to you .

Peas

Anonymous said...

It's hard out here for young ad pimps! Vigilance and persistence makes the game go well. There is no short cut. I hated when my favorite instructor would say that! But he was right, one must pay dues and pay them in full to be worth anything in this profession.

Anonymous said...

On a related note, has anyone run into difficulties arranging interviews around current work situations? I've been fortunate enough to make it through to the interview stage of a few companies but my work is so inflexible that I can't make half the dates. Any suggestions??

Anonymous said...

Good post.

I've gotten rejections from DLKW and BMB which I'm not to saddened about. But the other's I've applied for says that they won't contact you unless you're called for an interview.

Has basically all agencies made up their mind or is there still hope? I'm most concerned with DDB, AMV and BBH.

Will said...

I'm of the belief that if an agency enters into grad recruitment, they should at least make contact with you. Not doing it is extremely unprofessional, IMO.

Anon: When it comes to work, I found most agencies to be ok at reorganising it (assuming it falls on the 3 day window they usually interview in).

Anonymous said...

I was rejected from pretty much every agency when I first started out. I think it's actually a fine way to tune your motivation. If you want it you'll get it eventually.

Anton

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Anonymous said...

Persistance is great, but feedback is paramount. Grads have to push for this as much as possible... don't let them wuss out of it. 'Not a fit with us' isn't good enough.

It was only after my third agency interview, and three phonecalls chasing them up, that I got some advice I could actually work with - without this I'd still be making the same mistake eight interviews down the line.

Anonymous said...

I will definitely try to get some feedback from the rejections.

Has anyone reading this got a "yes" from AMV, DDB or BBH yet?

Anonymous said...

Hi Alfred,

I got a No from DDB- with no feed back. Has any one got any interviews...

Anonymous said...

N,

Lucky you who at least got a no. :)

Johnny Utah said...

I've gotten an interview with AMV, a lovely rejection from DDB (they got some class) and so far nothing from BBH. I suppose 1 out of 3 ain't bad.

Also still haven't gotten feedback from RKCR, despite being told they'd 'request' it from my interviewers. Meanies.

Anonymous said...

There was me thinking no news was good news..

When did you hear back from AMV Johnny?

Johnny Utah said...

AMV called me about five days ago.

Anonymous said...

Just got a no from AMV, but good news is that BBH called me today to schedule an interview!

Good luck at AMV Johnny.

Johnny Utah said...

Nice one, Alfred. Graduate applications can be strange like that, eh.

Best of luck with BBH.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Johnny. Also got a very nice letter from DDB saying they didn't consider me for a first interview. The tone of voice and paper quality makes me want to work there even more. Effective.

Anonymous said...

No from AMV, damn.

Good luck Johnny, do us proud

Anonymous said...

TBWA's graduate scheme is on hold till next year now. Really annoying as I was looking forward to getting an interview (optimistic, I know...). At least they let us know sooner rather than later that it's on hold. Let's hope that I get an interview in Jan...

Anonymous said...

Johnny Utah, RKCR were the ones that I had to phone up three times for feedback (as mentioned above)..

Make yourself a nuisance and you should at least get an email!

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S4R said...

I had an Interview at DDB last week, 2nd Interviews start next week. Good luck guys.

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