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.