Thursday, 15 November 2012

Wannabe and current Planner types, read this...

That's these guys.

Hello gang.

An interesting opportunity, this. I'd estimate some 80% of the people who email me off the back of my witterings on AdGrads want to work in planning.

And, as a planner, I'm delighted to hear that. However, one of the most tricky questions I get asked is 'how do I get a Junior Planner job?' To be quite honest, there's no one clear or easy way into this line of work. It is frequently frustrating, and often requires months/years of interning or being an account handler/manager first.

I was lucky. Through a combination of blogging, interning and being in the right place at the right time, I was able to get into planning without having to do account management for several years. Partly, it was down to one of the dons of planning, Russell Davies (the mind behind 'Grr' for Honda and 'Run London' for Nike, and that's just the tip of the iceberg).

He and his good bunch at the London Strategy Unit have realised that formal grounding and training in planning is fairly thin on the ground, and want to help wannabe (and current junior) planners with some best in class training. Note, this ISN'T just for wannabe planners - it's for those in the business as well.

They're just about to launch a series of training mornings at their place, and have sent the blurb along. Read on:

"One of the things we’ve observed in recent years is how difficult it is for junior strategists, and wannabe strategists, to get a proper foothold into the discipline, particularly agency-side. And by ‘foothold’, we mean access not only to the kinds of people and businesses who can help them on their way, but also to the kind of training and other professional development tools that turn brilliant potential into brilliant performance.

Of course, there are people and organisations out there who have already recognised this, and we have a lot of time for the APGs and IPAs of this world. But they can only do so much, limited (as they often are) by available space, available time, and of course available money. (The money point is also important as the relative paucity of available subsidies often precludes people who aren’t already in successful businesses from getting the kind of training and support that can help them get jobs in successful businesses – ironically enough.)

So, we’ve decided to try and do our bit. Next Monday at 9.00am we’ll have a new Events section up on our website where you can register interest in our first ‘strategist bootcamp’. That’s a working title; we’re beavering away so hard behind the scenes right now that we haven’t quite decided what it should be called yet.

We’ll be running our first event over a couple of days in February next year. It’ll feature interesting industry folk as well as senior LSU people. It’ll be hands-on, practical, and give every participant something of genuine career value. As it’ll be our first one, and we want to use it as an opportunity to try stuff out and learn as we go, we’re going to run the whole thing without attempting to profit from it. That means we’ll be sharing with everyone exactly what it costs us to stage, and simply dividing that by the number of paid tickets available. Tickets will be strictly limited, although to help out those who aren’t currently in jobs we’ll also be offering a few free ones – we’ll leave information on how that works for next week.

It’s going to be brilliant, or at least the start of something brilliant, and we hope that you’ll spread the word and come back to learn more next Monday."

So, keep an eye on their site. It's going to be brilliant, whether you want to work as a planner, are just into planning (also, have a look at this post) or if you want to brush up on your skills.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

BMB Ad Scheme - Interviews For All!

BMB'sad scheme has on...

Hi all.

More gr(ad) scheme bits and bobs to tell you about. This time it's the turn of BMB.

They've been in touch to tell us about their advertising scheme; this time, they're doing things a little differently. Application forms are out - they want to chat, and to chat to everyone, grads and non-grads alike.

Here's what they've got to say:

"We're continuing our mission to challenge the status quo and democratise the interview process, so whether you're a grad, non-grad, martian or womble, if you want an interview, you can have one. We'll be doing it for one day only – November 22nd.

For those who are unfamiliar with how it works, it's simple really. We'll be getting you all to spin a virtual roulette wheel to let pot luck decide which one of our BMBers you will speak to via Skype for a 7 minute chat. Our BMB panel will be changing all the time, so you won't have a clue which one of our top dogs you'll be talking to. And neither will we.

Essentially, you'll need to come back and visit our website between 7am and 11pm on November 22nd (2012 – just to be totally clear). We'll be streaming the ever-changing interview panel live from an agency webcam – and it'll be up to you to spin the arrow to find out who you'll be chatting to for 7 minutes."

To learn more about the interview, and the job that's up for grabs, click here

Good luck!" 

Best of luck to each of you.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Want to work at W&K London?

This is one of the parking spaces. Lovely stuff.

Hi gang.

A bumper crop of opportunities this week, and this one concerns W&K London. They're on the look out for planning placements (both graduates/non graduates) to work there on 3 month long paid planning placements from January.

I know, from personal experience, just how tricky it is to gain meaningful planning experience when you're just starting out, and well, W&K are one of the best agencies in town, so this is a great opportunity. Also, the mass of applicants I had when my old agency Edelman needed a junior planner suggests that lots and lots of you want to get into there's likely to be a fair bit of competition.

You can apply by clicking here.  The closing date is the 24th of November, and you'll find out whether you've been invited to the agency for a day of chats and coffee by the 3rd of December.

Good luck, all.

Monday, 29 October 2012

IPG Media Brands...

This could be you (maybe without the baton).

Hi all.

There are a few opportunities to tell you about this week.

The first of them is from IPG MediaBrands. IPG (or the Interpublic Group) has a lot of agencies; this scheme is for their media side.

Here's what they've had to say:

"2012 sees the launch of the UK IPG Mediabrands graduate programme, as we are looking to hire up to 10 graduates on permanent contracts which will start September 2013 in London.
The programme involves a placement in one of the following London-based IPG Mediabrands agencies; UM, Initiative, Mediabrands Analytics or Mediabrands Audience Platform (which includes Cadreon and Reprisemedia).
Through 12 months of media-specific and professional-skills training, our graduate scheme will teach you all you need to know about media, give you the chance to work on high profile clients and give you great opportunities to get yourself noticed within a global media network.

Applications open on 1st November 2012 and close at midnight on 4th January 2013. For more details on what we are looking for and information on how to apply, please read the brochure on our website. Finally, to find out more about the scheme, check out our twitter account - @ipgmb_talent"

Good luck, all. 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

PHD & Leo Burnett...

Yes - preferably not via a load of disembodied hands.

Hello all.

Two things to update you on (with more coming next week).

1) PHD Worldwide

The good people at PHD are looking for media graduates. 

You can find more about it by clicking here.

A little bit of a blurb can be found below:

"PHD are looking for 4 to 5 Team Executives to join an exciting new Comms Planning Unit going live from 2nd January 2013. This is a terrific opportunity to develop your media career in one of the most strategic and dynamic media agencies working with one of the world’s largest and most innovative advertisers. We are looking for bright, enthusiastic and passionate Team Executives with a real passion for media/communications and an interest in consumer behaviour."

Just to note, the assessment day is on the 13th of November. So you'll have to get those applications in sharpish, by the 6th of November.

2) Leo Burnett

Leo's graduate agency (within the agency), The Foundry, have produced a stop-motion clip to advertise the scheme. Check it out below:

You can apply here.  The scheme's applications close on the 31st of October, so be quick.

Good luck with both, gang.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Dare's 2012/13 grad scheme...

You don't have to enter a room like this man - but it might help.

Hello all.

I've had another agency get in touch; Dare have let AdGrads know about their graduate scheme, which has just opened.

Details are below:

"Recent graduates and daredevil wannabes. This is Dare calling. We’re pleased to announce that we’re kicking off our Grad Scheme for October 2013 with a slightly different take on your standard application form.

We’ve been playing a bit of truth AND dare. We reckon you’re probably quite bored of answering the same questions on your applications, so we’ve dared ourselves to create a form that veers off the path slightly. We’d like to know how brave you are, as well as finding out how you think and what makes you tick.

Because we do stuff differently here, it wouldn’t make sense to copy everyone else in how we find our grads. We’re unique. Something we knew right from the off when we challenged convention by merging a traditional and a digital agency. What’s more, this diversity means our grads get to work on an unusual blend of projects; everything from TV to radio and apps to Facebook pages.

You’ll be able to find out more along the way on our Facebook and Twitter pages, which we’ll be stuffing with useful and interesting bits of information about what you can expect of us. We’re also running live Q&As alongside the application process to answer any queries you have about life at Dare towers. Our existing grads will be all ears.

We’d also like to invite you to our Open Day on Tuesday 30th October. It’s your chance to meet us, ask questions and have a nose around Dare Towers. It is first come, first served – as a result, we can only accept the first 100 people to request an invite. RSVP by emailing daregrads2013 at

First things first; head over here to get your application underway- we dare you.

Good luck and hopefully see you soon!


Good luck, everyone. NB - the scheme's applications close on the 9th of November, so be quick.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Quirk need YOU...

This is the wrong kind of quirkiness to display...

Hi all.

I've had another request for a graduate position from the good people at Quirk.

I'll let them explain:

"Quirk is a dynamic, fun, hard-working and rapidly growing agency looking for an Intern or Graduate to join our Engage team.  The post is for a minimum of 3 months, and you’ll be working closely with our Paid Search and Social Media teams.  You’ll be supporting some of our largest accounts setting up PPC campaigns, monitoring Social Media accounts and even assisting our SEO Manager.  This opportunity will provide you with invaluable, hands on experience that will equip you with important skills & knowledge to help start your digital marketing career. 

You will also be required to support other areas of the agency as needed. Skills needed include: A real passion for digital, an analytical mind, excellent attention to detail, Excel experience, Google AdWords experience is advantageous - and finally, good writing skills.

Please contact tammy at for more information."

Good luck, chaps.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Graduate Schemes 2012/13...

You, in about nine months time?

Hello all.

If you're thinking about getting a job in advertising, this post will hopefully be a helpful guide to this year's intake. Now, there are other schemes throughout the year, but the bulk of them happen between September and December. NB - the majority of these schemes are for account handlers and planners...most agencies have creative teams/lone creatives in on placements, which usually require a book/contacting the agency directly.

Also, I may have missed one or two. If I have, please tell me in the comments. Right then:

AMV: This has opened via their Facebook page (here). The main deadline's the 19th of October at 6pm - their twitter account appears to have died a death, so I'd join the group, if I was you.

BBH: BBH have no ‘formal’ graduate scheme running; they run BBH Homegrown (the link's here), which is a year round initiative.

BMB: BMB have yet to open any kind of scheme yet this year. Last year, they opened their scheme on the 1st of November, so it's worth keeping an eye on their twitter account to see whether it'll open this year.

CHI: CHI&Partners Graduate Scheme is now open. You can apply here.  Applications are open until 4th November 2012. Their twitter-stream should also help keep you informed.

Chime: The Chime group (which comprises of Ad Agencies - VCCP - design and PR) will open their scheme in November 2012. Keep an eye on this page.

Dare: Dare’s grad scheme has yet to re-open this year, but it looks like it's also going to open in October. Check this page out.  Again, their twitter page is a good place to look as any.

DAS Accelerate: The DAS scheme has just launched. It shuts on the 2nd of January 2012. You can find out more about it on the DAS link above, or go straight to the application page here. Alternatively, you cancheck out their twitter here.

DLKW Lowe : My old agency is has yet to open its graduate scheme, and I can't find any mention of it on their site. It's worth keeping an eye on their twitter account to see if anything is announced.

Elvis: Elvis have yet to announce this year's graduate scheme (I'm actually not clear if it's happening this year - can someone from Elvis confirm?). Last year's opened in the Autumn, so it's worth keeping an eye on - again, check their twitter-stream.

JWT London: JWT's graduate scheme is happening this year - find out more here. Applications shut on the 1st of November.

Leo Burnett: Another that's yet to open, the agency runs a mini agency called 'The Foundry' that provides the bulk of the training/experience on offer for new graduates. The Facebook page is what you should keep an eye on, as they've recently posted they're about to open. UPDATE - they're just about to open, and the applications close by the 31st of October.

M&C Saatchi: M&C's site indicates that they are going to be recruiting graduates this year, and the form's live on their separate grad recruitment page. I can't find a deadline, but be quick.

McCann: McCann have been quick out of the blocks this year - their site has been live since the 10th of September, and closes on the 28th of September. Not long. Check out the site here, as well as their twitter-stream here.

Ogilvy: Ogilvy's much lauded 'Fellowship' programme is yet to open for 2013's intake. However, the separate site is here - worth a read, as it explains neatly how to get into the business - there are some very good tips there. The twitter page is here.

RKCR/Y&R: Rainey's grad scheme is due to go live on the 1st of October. More can be found here. There's also separate Facebook and Twitter page/s.

WPP Fellowship: WPP's 'golden ticket', 3 year, multiple country and marketing discipline scheme isnow open. It shuts on the 8th of November at midday, GMT. The twitter account is here.

Good luck with all of these, guys. Again, let me know if I've missed any.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Guest Post: 'Getting In & Knowing Stuff'

This could be you...

Hi all.

As part of the start of a new influx of AdGrads writers, below is an account about how to prepare for interviews by Jen Meyerson Dubbin. Take it away, Jen:

“They aren’t going to expect us to know stuff, right?”
by Jen Meyerson Dubbin

Your blood is pumping. You are hopefully not sweating through your suit. You nervously tap your foot against your leg while sitting on a modern chair that was clearly chosen for design instead of comfort. After having applied to every grad scheme and junior position under the sun, you have landed an interview.

You’re an ad grad who knows their stuff. Your lecturers and professors have prepared you. You brought your portfolio of your previous work to show, and yesterday you reviewed pertinent materials from your lectures to refresh yourself.

You start talking to and sizing up the competition whilst you all wait for a chance to break into Adland. There's someone with a BSc in Biology from Edinburgh, BA in Medieval History from Cambridge, BA in English from Sheffield, and then there's you; an ad grad. When the group finds out you are an ad grad the whole dynamic changes to you versus everyone else. The guy from Cambridge anxiously asks, “They aren’t going to expect us to know stuff, right?” While the girl from Edinburgh reassures him by saying, “They know we aren’t ad people.”

This should be obvious, but make sure you prepare for your interview. When I went on interviews, I was surprised at the number of people who didn’t seem to think they needed to do anything to prepare. Yes, ad agencies do expect you to know about advertising. You aren’t being hired as an account manager or planner for your ability to make a decent cuppa - especially in this economy. There is nothing wrong with never having taken an advertising course, but that’s not a valid excuse to not know about advertising. You wouldn’t expect a lorry driver not to know how to operate a vehicle. No-one expects you to know everything and it's okay to be wrong. However, it’s essential to have an opinion - make sure you're more knowledgeable than a general consumer. 

There are several things you can do to prepare for an advertising interview. It might take a bit of work to get there, but knowledge is empowering and a confidence booster too. Obviously, I can’t cover everything in this post - those who've gotten in, please feel free to post additional recommendations in the comment section.

Knowing how an advertising concept works and having knowledge of a little bit of history is essential; especially if there is a team task involved in the interview process. Sometimes you will be lucky by being informed before the interview the type of task you will be given. Use that information to focus your preparation - for instance, I was in a team where one of members was trying to explain to the team that the target market should be as broad as possible when it should actually be narrow and specific to be optimally targeted. He obviously didn’t do his prep work and it hurt the team. In these situations, you don’t want to be the weak link in your group.

What's more, you should try to find out what the person in the position you are applying for does. There are a lot of websites and blogs that should have the information available (Linkedin, for example). If you can’t find anything, note that some agencies do have quirky job titles, so be sure to ask in the interview. Use what you learned to sell yourself by connecting your skills and experience to the position - most things you've done can be related to advertising in some way - you've just got to know what the job entails.

When it comes to research, look at the agency you are applying to online. You can learn about their agency culture, clients, current & past work, people, and history. You can also find information in trade publications and websites such as (e.g., IPA, Brand Republic).

Learn about other agencies. Agencies are brands with communication products just like Coca-Cola is a brand with soft drink products. Other agencies are the competitors of the agency you are applying for. You don’t need to do SWOT analyses for each, but basics like what they offer, who their current & past clients are, current & past work, and agency culture should have you well covered. In the end, you should be able to talk about what differentiates Agency A from Agency B.

Finally, when I set off in advertising school I thought Planners & Account Managers went to college and Creatives went to portfolio school, but the ad world isn’t like that. There are no extra points for having a communications and business background. No specific mold of what makes an ad person exists. 

Advertising is incredibly diverse. Some people have degrees while others don’t. Those who do have degrees come from a variety of disciplines. Regardless of their discipline, ad people are willing to put in the work to stay current and knowledgeable because they genuinely like what they do.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

An important post..(updated)

Yes, you, dear reader.

Hello all.

You'll have noticed that AdGrads has been curiously quiet in the last few months; a combination of pitching and clients have kept me from updating as frequently as I'd have liked.

As such, I think it's the right time to ask for a hand.

AdGrads originally consisted of four people writing about how they got into the business.

However, as time's moved on, we've all had gradually more busy jobs, and all dropped off, save for yours truly. And, in truth, it's been tricky, these past few months, what with various new pitches and otherwise.

Also, when we founded AdGrads, the intention was always to help those who were near us in age get in, as we weren't a bunch of hoary old gits who had no idea what was going on at the sharp end. Well, I'm 28 now (a dinosaur in ad terms), and AdGrads needs an injection of younger folks to help it live on.

I'm very proud of what the site's achieved (I still feel absurdly flattered when people email me to mention that AdGrads has been helpful), and don't want it to wither on the vine as I have less and less time.

What AdGrads needs is the following:

  • A pool of writers (ideally about 4 or 5) from an account management/planning background, ideally aged between 20-28 (preferably, recent or current grads - you don't have to be on a scheme). Must be able to write well.
  • Not creative grads, as the YCC has it pretty well covered.
  • An agreement as to who writes what.
  • Ultimately, a separate URL (this site, annoyingly, has remained the same as one of the guys I founded it with has the details/I haven't been able to reach him). I'd love for it to become the definitive grad site for adgrads for the foreseeable future.
I will still be involved with the site, but I'm conscious you'll be doing most of the writing

Post something in the comments or email me at william.humphrey at if you'd be interested in meeting up for a coffee to chat through in a month or so's time.

UPDATE: I've been overwhelmed by the number of people who've been in touch. We're up to about 10 now. There's still going to be a demand for more writers, but let's close it for now.

Thanks for reading, folks.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Anomaly need a runner..(redux)

Hello there.

Would you like to work at my current place of work, Anomaly London?

Details of the job are below, and ideally, you'd be available to start mid June. It is paid.

"We're after a runner for our London office, based in Clerkenwell. The runner's job is to keep the agency running smoothly, primarily assisting with office admin..
Examples of the sort of duties you'd be expected to perform include:

Answering phones
Dealing with post
Booking and setting up meeting rooms with tea and coffee
Running errands
Keeping the place neat and tidy
Booking out meeting rooms
Ordering stationery, paper and other office supplies
Booking a variety of things - travel, couriers, taxis, IT/AV equipment
Helping organise office parties

Additionally, you're more than welcome to get involved with other agency work, but the duties above take priority."

The deadline's the end of the day on the 15th of June. Email uktalent at to apply.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

LBi need YOU...

The lost boys need you...

Hello all.

There's a new opportunity from LBi that you guys should be aware of. They've sent through quite a detailed graduate spec, with a few questions to answer. Have a look, and get involved:

"LBi is a global marketing and technology agency blending strategic, creative, media and technical expertise to create business value.  We help our clients to understand ‘What’s next?’ on their digital journey to ensure their customer’s needs are being met in an ever evolving marketplace.

We call what we do ‘Building Exceptional Things’. What that means is that we’re set up to solve our client’s business problems using a number of different digital initiatives.  We develop creative concepts that translate into digitally led advertising campaigns, transactional websites, loyalty programmes and social media campaigns and anything else along the way.  Our client list includes some of the UK’s biggest and most exciting brands such as Virgin Atlantic, Coca-Cola, Compare the Market, BT, Lloyd’s Banking Group and many, many more.

The Opportunity

To manage such high profile clients, we need exceptional people to join our 600 strong UK team, the majority working from our Brick Lane office in London.  We’re looking for up to 4 amazing graduates to become part of our Client Services department.  You’ll join our graduate training scheme where you’ll develop your skills over a 9 month period with a view to becoming a fully-fledged member of the team working as an Account Executive within one of our portfolio of clients. As part of our structured programme you’ll be given a background in all of our departments, work with some high profile clients and be sponsored through an industry recognised professional qualification with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).

Given our dedication to developing new talent, we’re not solely looking for applicants with a background in marketing or digital (although this would be a bonus).  We’ll ensure that through training and on-the-job learning, LBi will help you become a well-rounded member of the agency with a solid background in all the essentials it takes to become an account management guru.  

The Application Process

In order to be considered for this opportunity we need you to send us your CV along with your responses to the questions outlined below by 25th June 2012.

1. At LBi we help our clients through their digital journey, describe some of the key challenges you think they may face and how we could help. (200 words) 
2. Our Client Services team are considered to be the face of the agency both to our clients and to our internal teams.  Why do you think you’d be a fantastic addition to our client services team? (200 words) 
3. What excites you most about working in the digital industry?  (200 words) 
4. Our values are expert, collaborative and provocative.  Give us an example of when you have embodied one or all of these values. (200 words) 
5. We are known for putting on amazing parties.  If you were to be in charge of our next party, what would be the theme and how would you ensure it would be a success? (200 words) 

You can either apply directly via our website at or email your application to careers at with the subject header ‘Client Services graduate scheme’. If your application is successful you will be invited to take part in an assessment day in our Brick Lane offices on 17th July 2012."

Sound interesting, gang? Good luck.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Grad Down The Track: Di Caplinska

We haven't done one of these profiles for a while..

Hello all.

Something a little different today, but a feature that's something that (hopefully), older AdGrads readers will remember. We've got a fairly recent grad, Di Caplinska, who is a planner at Euro RSCG, to write for us about how she got into the business.

So, without further's Di's account:

"On a number of occasions recently I have found myself on the receiving end of questions from soon-to-be graduates about how to get into this tricky industry. A number of paths can be proffered, but how people get into their first advertising job are always interesting - and never straightforward. So with some encouragement from Will and AdGrads, whose contribution to my journey has been invaluable, I have decided to write up mine, as long-winded and frustrating at times as it was.

Coming from Latvia, a small country loved by British stag dos, feared by Scandinavian ice hockey teams, and hated by the IMF, advertising was never really on my radar. Being born in a family of Soviet engineers and spending summer holidays in Maths camps didn’t exactly further my exposure to the industry that is, frankly, still in its infancy anyway (as you’d expect from a country dealing with a communist hangover). My love affair with advertising kicked off when I moved to the UK for University and studied Business, later switching to Marketing - focusing on Brand Management in my final year. At the same time, suddenly finding myself in a new country provoked a deep interest in all things ‘culture, people, and the way they think’, so I started observing the world from an outsider’s perspective to an almost scientific degree. One would have said that is a pretty clear path into Planning, but not before I spent a year in the corporate world of B2B Marketing; something which helped to confirm that it’s not for me. 

My first exposure to advertising in practice (as opposed to through books, blogs, and newsletters – all in this deck) was with JWT London as part of their 2 week Account Management placement just before the start of my final year. Apart from meeting great people, having to squeeze a gigantic papier-mache cow into an elevator, and running 5k in holey Converse, it confirmed my intuitive leaning towards Planning, as well as teaching me very valuable lesson. Namely, that getting in was going to be painful, especially if you don’t have any relevant family contacts, and even more so if your alma mater is outside the Russell Group. And…let’s just say I felt like I was doomed as I wasn't born speaking English and wasn't able to master some eloquent assessment centre banter. With this positive outlook, I decided to harass the finest of JWT’s Planners for advice. Some shared interview wisdom, others bought me encouraging cups of coffee, and one pointed me towards Miami Ad School’s Planning Bootcamp in case graduate schemes didn’t quite work out.

And they didn’t. In the interests of putting my dissertation first, I limited my applications to Planning positions only and managed to secure two final rounds – at Dare and Leo Burnett, but sadly, I didn’t land the coveted gig. In parallel to this, in the climate when redundancies were far more popular than graduate schemes, I pulled out at all stops. I ran a cheeky recruitment Facebook ad that got blogging exposure and some LinkedIn introductions, I milked what advice my lecturers had to give, crashed semi-relevant industry events with a handful of (pretty embarrassing, frankly) business cards, and watched agency twitter feeds for internship opportunities. And when my university wasn’t part of the advertising recruitment milkround, I blagged my way into the one that was - Oxford, which was conveniently next door.

Unemployment panic aside, my graduation week culminated in shooting a cringeworthy video about how geeks are the new mainstream as part of my Miami Ad School application. Less than a month later I was in their Hamburg office trying to shake off that ‘Business School student’ look and soak in all the ideas flying around. Probably the most tangible thing I came out with a few months later was this ‘Junior Planner for Hire’ presentation that has been viewed over 1,000 times since. And then I came across The Planner Survey, an annual report on the state of Planning in the world lovingly crafted by Heather LeFevre, which provided a handy list of relevant recruiters in the UK. In the end I got a break with the help of wise, genuinely interested, and very well-connected people at Copper who helped me land an internship at EuroRSCG London which eventually led to a permanent position.

There it is, a very happy ending! And now, in the interests of keeping karma on my side, I’ve put together this presentation of ultimate tips on getting into the industry. Enjoy it, pass it on, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions."

Thanks very much, Di. I hope that was interesting for you, AdGrads folk.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Karmarama need YOU...

Karma's a pretty big thing.

Hello all.

The lovely people at Karmarama have got in touch about their 2012 grad scheme, Karma Kadets (now in its 2nd year), which is now open. It is an 8 week internship that runs from the 9th of July to the 31st of August, where one person will be given a job as an account executive after the scheme.

Since their recent acquisition of Crayon, the Kadet opportunity has become even more exciting. From June the entire group will be contained within one floor of their new office in Farringdon, and the scheme will provide a full rotation throughout Karmarama, Kream, Kaper and Crayon with experience in areas including production, PR, data, planning and advertising.

According to the entry page, the application closes on the 4th of May. There will be interviews between the 21st and 25th May. Applicants will be informed on the 1st of June.

Good luck, all.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

IPA Summer School..

Want a job in advertising? You should probably check this out.

Hello there.

The good folks at the IPA have let me know about their 2012 Summer School. There's quite an extensive blurb - read more below:

Students: do you want to work in adland?

Have you always wanted to work in advertising? If so, the IPA’s Ad School could help you get one step nearer to getting your dream job. Submit your entry now for your opportunity to work in one of the top UK advertising agencies, including Addiction London, CHI, Euro RSCG, Karmarama, Kitcatt Nohr Digitas, Ogilvy One, Rapier and SFW, this summer.

The 2012 School comprises of three programmes: the client service/planning programme, the creative programme and the search programme. The programmes provide students with the opportunity to work at some of the top agencies where you will learn from the best in the business, work on live briefs, projects and pitches and enjoy a series of evening seminars and social events. In addition, you will be given prize money, and if you prove to be successful in your placement, there is the possibility of a job interview.

The client service/planning programme:
• You will work at your allocated agency for eight weeks (starting on 2nd July 2012) on briefs, projects and pitches.
• You will be provided with an agency mentor who will guide you through the eight-week experience.
• You will receive an £800 prize on completion of the programme.
Here are details of how to apply.

The creative programme:
• You will work at your allocated agency for eight weeks (starting on 2nd July 2012) on briefs, projects and pitches, as part of a creative team - one copywriter, one art director. The IPA will pair the roles up accordingly.
• You will be provided with an agency mentor who will guide you through the eight-week experience.
• You will receive an £800 prize on completion of the programme.
More details can be found here.

The IPA Ad School has also launched a new Search Programme this year which will offer students the opportunity to work in one of the UK’s top search agencies this summer where they will gain an extensive insight into the ever-evolving world of search.

The search programme:
• You will work at your allocated agency for eight weeks (starting on 1st August 2012) as part of their search team.
• You will get the opportunity to take the IPA Search Certificate and the Google Adwords Fundamentals Exam (GAF) at no cost. This means that you walk away with two qualifications as well as an extensive eight weeks immersed in the search industry.
• You will receive an £1500 prize on completion of the programme.
More details can be found here.

Says Chris Whitson, Planning Partner, SFW and Co-Founder of the IPA Ad School: “The IPA Ad School is our industry’s chance to prove its worth to bright, motivated young people. And for those young people to see if it’s an industry that can offer a compelling career choice. It’s an intensive learning experience for the successful candidates.”

For full details, click here. UPDATE: The deadline's Friday the 20th of April.

Good luck, all.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Gap Jumpers..

Either this or that...

Hi all.

I'd like to alert you to a new company my brilliant friend Niko has just founded, called Gapjumpers. Check it out.

It's just gone live for challenges, but essentially the premise is that industry people post challenges (clients and agencies), you guys answer them, and earn kudos from relevant brands and people - providing you with relevant endorsements long before you join the workforce, hopefully making the transition to a full time job more fun and less costly.

I think it's a great initiative. Find out a lot more here.

I hope to post a challenge soon. Have a look, chaps, and good luck.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Quirk need YOU...

If you do this, you may be just right.

The good people at Quirk have been in touch. They're after a graduate on a year-long contract, with the possibility of it being extended further.

More details on them (and the role) are below:

"Quirk is a digital marketing agency based near London Bridge. We work with clients including The Financial Times, Warner Bros., SAB Miller and Nando’s. With over 140 employees working throughout London, Cape Town and Johannesburg, Quirk is a dynamic, fun, hardworking and rapidly growing agency.

We want somebody who wears their personality on their sleeve, has opinions and ideas and is excited by the prospect of taking ownership of a project. This person also needs to have a strong eye for detail, a positive resourceful attitude towards organisation and a fantastic sense of humour. We are looking for somebody to not only work hard, but also to contribute to the culture of the agency. There is a real prospect for growth in the agency for someone who is ambitious enough to make the role their own.

The job: Quirk Graduate
This is a paid 12 month graduate position which will cover a wide range of roles and responsibilities. We want someone who is keen, enthusiastic, a hard worker and quirky.
Sufficient Undergraduate or Post Graduate qualification
Must possess a love for digital and a passion for marketing
Must be intelligent and have the ability and drive to learn quickly
A high level of organisation and motivation
Work well under pressure and must meet deadlines
Must be a team player
A good level of numeracy/literacy
Ability to use Word, PowerPoint, Excel
A sparkling personality along with a unique sense of humour

Administrative support across global projects
Learning and upskilling him / herself into a valued member of staff
Office administration (prepping for client meetings, general running)
Contributing to brainstorms • Conducting audits of potential client sites

We want somebody with lots of energy who isn’t afraid to get stuck in. In return for your efforts we are prepared to pay for you to take (and hopefully pass) a number of qualifications, including:

Quirk eMarketing qualification
Google Analytics practitioner

We buy you cake and present on your birthday and we do lots of fun activities to take a break from the grind.

Opportunity for growth
Though this is a 12 month graduate programme, should you demonstrate that you have what it takes there is the potential option of a full time position beyond the 12 months.

UPDATE: The correct email address to use is tammy at quirk dot biz.

Good luck, all.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Dare to dream..

I doubt you'd be working with the US Women's soccer team...

Hello folks.

There's a new, exciting graduate job up, posed by the lovely Nick Emmel at Dare. Below's the job spec:

"Do you ever look at the likes of Zuckerberg and Larry Page and think that you could have done the same if you were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time? Do you get angsty when you see all these exciting little start-ups selling themselves for enormous sums and wonder why you never got a slice of the action? Do you pine to be there at the formation of something great? To get the chance to mould it with your own fair hands?

These opportunities rarely pop up. And when they do, it takes a clever (or lucky) soul to spot them. Sometimes you just need someone to point them out to you.

We need a graduate to join our new little venture. It's a rather exciting, nimble little beast. Doing all those digital agency things, but doing them in the way that everyone agrees they *should* be done.

No process, no politics, no timesheets.

Just clever, quick, creative thinking by a few lovely people. Making proper stuff, properly.

Below is the job spec:

  • A graduate, with maybe a few agency work placements under their belt looking for their first permanent gig.
  • You'll have an impressive academic record and a desire to keep on learning every day
  • Someone, that despite being new to the game, is already thinking about being at the top
  • A broad-minded soul, willing to get their hands dirty in every part of the agency world. Planning, account management, production, even creative.
  • An articulate, chatty individual who doesn't get intimidated by senior types or men with beards
  • Finally, you better be a lovely person. Being in a small team means that plonkers aren't tolerated.
You have a passport and no criminal record (unless it was for something cool).

Drop me an email at nick.emmel at It'll be fun, we can chat and stuff."


Sounds like a cool gig to me. Good luck, chaps.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

The importance of a mentor..

It could even be this guy (though he's a videogame Samurai character).

Hello, all.

It's been a little while since I sat down and actually wrote a post for AdGrads, beyond job openings. Sorry about that - the day job's been rather busy since I started in October.

Anyway, I thought i'd write a little post about mentors and mentorship, and why they/it are the most important thing for your impending career (or even if you're a year or so in).

Though it's in the annals of the AdGrads' first year, I thought I'd explain a little bit about how I came to get into the industry.

I'm actually very fortunate. My father worked in the business, in the Midlands. So, I grew up knowing quite a lot about Advertising. At least, how the industry worked outside of London in the 90's, at any rate. And, being aware of the history of certain agencies, something that I think most graduates could benefit from - so as to not repeat some of the mistakes of the past/to learn from what's gone before.

So, if you like, my first mentor was my Dad. I still call him whenever I have a big career decision to make, and he always proffers a thought through opinion. Being an ex-client too helps.

Moving on then, I initially found it tricky to get into the business (and this, in truth, is how AdGrads came to be - borne of frustration), and relied on my Dad a lot for his opinion and support.

I also began to blog - before AdGrads was and is my 'other' blog, Confessions of a Wannabe Ad Man, that's been around since mid 2006. Not only did it enable me to show off my thinking, it also, more importantly, helped me meet people in the business who I'm still friends with today.

One of them, Richard Huntington (now CSO of Saatchi & Saatchi), gave me my first planning job. We're still very good friends today, and still talk about career stuff/life/the Universe, and so on. He (and others) provided me with an up to date appreciation of what the business is about. He's been invaluable to me when I've had tricky decisions to make.

Before my experiences with mentor figures (and there's more than just Richard and my father, but that's just a flavour), I tended to have more of an academic approach to learning about the modern communication business - reading Campaign, key books (Truth, Lies & Advertising, amongst others) and so on. That's not wrong, but what's better - reading about it second hand (and, undoubtedly realising about half of the graft that's gone on) or talking to someone who does it day in and day out?

Now, getting in contact with these 'mentors' is difficult, I must admit - particularly if you aren't from London or the South East. But it's not impossible. The web is a tremendous tool, and if you can email people for a coffee before their day begins, or pique their interest with a thought through opinion or piece of work online - you'll be much closer to getting in.

And, one final thing - don't ever stop meeting people. You'll find new mentors for yourself along with becoming a de-facto 'mentor' for new people. And you never know when one or the other will come in handy. I'm not saying 'be a tart', but instead, be open and willing to meet people if they need your help when you're a year or two into the business. You never know who you'll end up working with, or even, perhaps, running an agency with.

Let me know what you think - I'm happy to answer any questions you may have in the comments.

TCA have ANOTHER opportunity...

Not sure that would work as a CV posting.

Hello all.

The good people of TCA London have another intern position open for you guys.

I'll let them explain further:

"We have an opening for a paid Internship (£200 a week) for a 3-month placement within the Promotions team, starting immediately, working on the Argos account. For the right candidate, this could even lead to a permanent graduate role.

The Argos team creates collateral for Argos stores and to complement a vast number of calendar and Argos-owned events, as well as creating and delivering high-profile consumer promotions. The Intern will work closely with the Account Manager to:

- brief Creative teams, Designers and Studio

- compile competitor reviews

- create weekly status and contact reports

- provide general management support for all projects

If you are interested in applying for this position please go to and email your CV to the Recruitment email address, subject "Argos Intern".

The closing date for receipt of CVs is the end of the day on the 23rd February 2012."

Good luck, guys.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Two helping hands..

Two helping hands? Quite possibly.

Hello folks.

Two more grad related odds and sods have found its way to AdGrads towers in the last few days. One of which is an internship opportunity, and the other is an agency fronted resource. Here we are:

1) TCA London - Digital Internship

"You would be a junior member of a growing digital team in an integrated marketing agency. The size of the business and the breath of digital opportunities within our agency means the role would offer plenty of variety and be a great opportunity for a analytical, web savvy marketing graduate to start a career in digital advertising. You would work across social media, eCRM, online advertising, website development, search and mobile projects. We have outlined some of the key responsibilities below, but this list is not exhaustive:

- managing updates on our company Twitter feed

- helping compile digital competitive reviews for our clients

- helping compile a monthly digital newsletter for our clients

- web analytics and reporting on a scheduled and ad-hoc basis

- supporting our Digital Planner on creative briefs

- comprehensively testing websites before they go live

- helping manage Social Media campaigns

- general Digital Team support where required

If you are interested in applying for this position visit our website and click on the appropriate link.

Please use the subject line “Application for Digital Intern, fao DM/SP” so we can process your application as quickly as possible. It is a paid internship (£200 per week), and they are typically 3 months at a time"

NB: Amended job spec. CLOSING DATE IS THE 15th of Feb, at the end of the day.

2) Leo Burnett - The Foundry

"The Foundry is Leo Burnett’s brand spanking new grad scheme. It came about when last year’s grads pitched the idea of a graduate-run micro-agency to the senior management, with the aim to get as much hands-on experience as possible. And by God they took them up on it.

A junior planner, two account execs and a pair of friendly creative types have been hired to take on some real work, working together as The Foundry on some exciting young businesses.

The Foundry blog page has been set up as a useful tool for grads trying to get into the industry – sharing the experiences of the infant madmen and women as they get cracking on some juicy work. It’ll be also be a place where grads can pick up tips, tricks, industry knowledge and find out who does what and why they do it. We hope it'll be useful for grads deciding whether to get into the ad business."

I hope those are both useful, folks.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Work Club are after interns..

These people won't be working there.

Hello all.

The good people from Work Club have been in touch - they're offering internships in account management, to start ASAP.

Below is the blurb. Good luck, gang:

"We're looking for people to start from around the end of January for three month internships in Account Management.

We want people who are self starting, creative, sharp and interesting.

If you're a Campaign/Marketing reader, you'll be aware that we won digital dark horse of the year and Agency of the year. These internships are a fantastic opportunity and a great place for a graduate to come into.

We have several hires who started here as interns and have been offered full time positions off the back of it.

Please email hello at if you're interested."

UPDATE (6th February): They have closed their applications now, and those people who've been lucky enough to get an interview will be contacted this week.

Best of luck, all.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Anomaly need a runner...

Not like this.

Hi all.

Two updates in a week - I'm trying to fulfil my New Year's resolution of updating AdGrads more frequently, y'see.

Anyway, my employer, Anomaly, is after a runner for our London office. You'd get to work with, lucky things.

Details of the job are below, and ideally, you'd be available to start at the beginning of February. It is paid.

"We're after a runner for our London office, based in Clerkenwell. The runner's job is to keep the agency running smoothly, primarily assisting with office admin..

Examples of the sort of duties you'd be expected to perform include:

  • Answering phones
  • Dealing with post
  • Booking and setting up meeting rooms with tea and coffee
  • Running errands
  • Keeping the place neat and tidy
  • Booking out meeting rooms
  • Ordering stationery, paper and other office supplies
  • Booking a variety of things - travel, couriers, taxis, IT/AV equipment
  • Helping organise office parties

Additionally, you're more than welcome to get involved with other agency work, but the duties above take priority.


Good luck, all.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

A few more Graduate opportunities...

Hopefully the rainbow brought on by a job will be less painful..

Hello all.

Sorry for the tremendously slow updates; a combination of Christmas and a very busy run up to the festive period left me sidelining AdGrads a tad. But no longer.

There are three opportunities to tell you about:

Publicis are running a graduate scheme that closes on the 22nd of January at 8pm. You can find out more here. You need to send the application form and your CV to gradteam at

Their blurb is below:

"Publicis London is looking for the most promising new grads to join our account management team. Successful applicants from the interview stage will be invited to the ADcademy: an intensive 4 day introduction to the ad industry taking place at 82 Baker Street. Here, you will glean insight from some of the best people in the business and learn what the job is all about, including pitching your idea to a real-life client.Following the ADcademy in April, some lucky grads will be offered places on the year long grad scheme to start in October 2012.

Saatchi's graduate page can be found here. Its Facebook page is here. It has yet to announce dates, but given the launch of the page/the relatively closed nature (you have to ask to be invited to the FB page) of the FB page in order to apply, you should sign up sooner rather than later. As soon as anyone knows the dates, please email me at william dot humphrey at UPDATE: I've been told this launches on the 19th of January, and anyone who asks can be a member of the FB group.

A few grads have alerted me to Fallon's internships. You can find out more here. In short, you can apply for a paid 3 month internship in account management or planning, or a month's creative placement by emailing myfuture at Planning internships are particularly thin on the ground, so you could definitely apply if Planning's something you might be interested in.

Good luck with those 3, all. I hope to post more regularly in the next few months.