Kev Hughes and I recently went along to the ‘Meet the Professionals’ event organised by Newcastle Uni. Basically, it runs a ‘Bitesize Uni’ for 16-18 year olds from a wider range of backgrounds, than those who would traditionally go to Uni to encourage them on the path to higher education.
It’s an informal set up in the style of speed dating/café conversation (career dating if you like) with ‘professionals’ allocated ten minutes per table. It was a chance for potential students to learn more about our career paths and ask any burning questions about how we got into the industry.
I’m completely biased but advertising is one of the B E S T industries to work in. If you’re a bright young thing reading this and need some convincing, I promise, you’ll have a blast. It’s no mean feat getting on the ladder though. In fact, it’s extremely competitive.
Here’s five ways to go about getting a foot in the black door of no.70:
1. Have attitude.
More than talent, you need attitude. And a good one at that.
It’s the generally nice folk who appear to be really keen and have a willingness to learn that grab our attention. We realise it’s daunting but try not to be overly shy (we tend to forget those ones) and definitely not too cocky, just kind of somewhere in-between.
2. Make tea. It’s a brilliant ice-breaker.
In my day, when you started out it was a given you were the general gofer/tea maker. Today, students expect us to make the tea. Seriously guys? We’ll show you the kitchen and it’s up to you.
3. Don’t look down, look up.
As an agency, we haven’t exactly ‘banned’ mobiles during placements but they’re definitely frowned upon. It’s very disconcerting and generally rude when someone’s engrossed in a phone. It looks like you’re completely disinterested. Hey, we’re all for a bit of socialising but FB will still be there at lunchtime.
4. Be indispensible.
You have people at the top of their game sitting right next to you. Why wouldn’t you do your damnedest to pester them, to ask questions, to make yourself indispensible?
And that, that word right there is the biggie. Indispensible. It’s the ones who offer to do a sarnie run when we’re rushed off our feet and who are still there long after the bell goes that we’ll consider first when we’re hiring.
5. Say thanks
When you come to the end of your placement, thank everyone for their time. That’s just basic manners. You might want to leave some biccies so we can remember you all the more. Everyone remembers the guy or gal who left us sweet treats. We’re easily bought.
Here at number 70, we offer work experience placements for people of all levels, from school leavers and students, to older folk considering an entirely new career. Our ‘Takin’ Care of Talent’ programme is all about giving something back and supporting the future of tomorrow – after all, someone once gave us our big break and imparted their knowledge.
If you’re interested in a placement, you’ll need to apply. Not everyone makes the grade though, so if you want to secure a place, you’re gonna have to impress us. If you’re interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be back in touch.