This time last year I was finishing up my final assessment pieces at QUT, putting together my resume, and preparing myself for the long, arduous, and frankly terrifying prospect of trying to find a job in the world of advertising. Then I happened to come across an intern program called BCM Baptism. 12 months on, I’m sitting at my desk with 8 briefs, 3 empty coffee cups and 1 pressing task – write a blog. While the last year has felt more like a couple of weeks, I thought I’d pass on a few of my biggest learnings in my first year in the industry to any students, graduates, or future baptees.
One thing I wasn’t entirely prepared for was the cracking pace advertising sets. Not only the speed at which an agency functions, but the constantly changing nature of communications and the world that you need to keep up with. In the short time I’ve been in the industry Vine has vanished, Apple axed aux cords, Brexit baffled the globe and President Trump… happened. My only advice in this regard is to be adaptable, and be prepared to relearn everything you thought you knew last year.
Something that is almost impossible to learn through study alone is the cost of time. As a student you can labour over work at the expense of your social life and sanity, but in agency world you need to get things right, and right the first time. Lead-times disappear, other departments get cranky, and you generally find yourself slowly sinking under a pile of ever growing job bags. But all is not lost if you just…
I cannot overstate the importance of this enough! Not only for your own wellbeing, but for the benefit of others. When you’re asked to find that InDesign layout you made 5 weeks ago, that you somehow saved in a subfolder, of a subfolder, of an unrelated campaign, you’ll feel the pain. So exercise discipline at the start, or you’ll be spending your second year in the industry reorganising the 10,000 files saved on your desktop.
While ideas come a little quicker, copy flows a little smoother, and your client presentations feature less palm sweating, some things are always hard. But that’s not bad! The challenge of a big brief is always exciting and the feeling you get from cracking it only comes from the difficulty. So, prepare to struggle, but also prepare to have fun.
Matt Newman is a Content Creative at BCM