Two cents blog

Gen Y… Collaboration is Key

by Ryan Archibald on 27 January 2015

For the past six weeks I have had the invaluable experience of interning at BCM through their Baptism programme. So how did I land this dream gig?

Well, the application process was far from ‘traditional’. It involved completing three challenges over three consecutive days using the photo messaging application Snapchat. Although an unconventional medium for intern recruitment, Snapchat is a creative and fitting choice for the target audience – young aspiring advertising students. With only three 60 second challenges to show off our personality, advertising prowess, and stand out from the crowd, it was a challenging task.

BCM are a social savvy agency and early adopters of innovative social media strategies for intern recruitment, having used the Pinterest and Instagram platforms in previous years of Baptism applications. Considering the majority of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18 – 29 it’s fair to think that the format would have been very attractive to me and my fellow Gen Y students – social natives. However, as I soon discovered, the challenge was not only the time limit, but the medium itself.

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Snapchat’s appeal as a photo and video messaging tool lies partly in the fact that “snaps” are sent privately and are only accessible for a limited time. They are out there, then they are gone. While using Snapchat as a platform for internship applications is certainly a great and innovative idea, the challenge for me, and perhaps other Gen Y applicants is that we are used to having a frame of reference. If we want to know what a good job application looks like, we Google it.

As Gen Ys, we’ve grown up in a world where social media “image crafting” is commonplace; creating online versions of ourselves that portray our successes and happiness, but rarely publishing our failures. We constantly follow each other. Once that frame of reference is removed, and we’re faced with an unfamiliar challenge with no way of knowing what our peers are doing, we hesitate, and unfortunately, sometimes we even choose to opt out.

I’m glad I didn’t.

From the application process to the 6th week of my internship at BCM, I have learnt that Gen Y’s tech savvy, collaborative and social nature is also our strong suit, and many would say the hallmark of our generation. This also makes us particularly well prepared for work in full service agencies like BCM, where interaction and collaboration with various departments is absolutely necessary.

However, what this internship has taught me, (amongst other things), is that to collaborate effectively, we need an holistic understanding of the bigger picture. At an integrated agency such as BCM, this is how each department works with and relies on each other to generate communication solutions that will help clients to solve business problems.

Ryan Archibald is an Account Service Intern at BCM

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