About a month ago we had a group of college students visit the agency as part of the American Advertising Federation of New Mexico’s (AAFNM) Advertising Agency Tour. It’s an opportunity for current students and recent grads to get a first-hand look at what working in the advertising and marketing industry is really like by visiting several firms and agencies. The students can see how the offices are set up and ask questions about what they can expect when they enter the field.
It was also a learning experience for us too. We get to think more reflectively about what we do and how we felt when we were starting out. They asked good questions. We did our best to answer truthfully and not bore them with how we used to do things in good ol’ days.
We ran through all the tangibles of working in the advertising industry and obtaining employment at an agency. These are the things that they most likely already know: have a good portfolio, produce spec creative when starting out, be passionate about what you do, work hard, etc. But since then, we’ve come up with some intangibles that are worth sharing.
Our Top 5 Intangibles to working at an ad agency:
Personality matters. Being able to collaborate with coworkers and focus on serving the work and the client is what’s important. It’s not about you.
Conflict is good. You don’t agree with the direction of the creative? Speak up.
Have interests outside of work. This will help you be more creative on the job. Everything can contribute to the work.
Be curious. Ask questions. Advertising is about communicating and finding solutions to clients’ problems. A lot of these solutions come through brainstorming sessions.
Be willing to get out of your comfort zone. You may be asked to do more than what you learned at school. Working in advertising requires constantly brushing up on your skills and wearing different hats.
From what we saw in the group that visited our offices, the future of advertising looks good. The students were attentive, professional and curious. We can’t wait to start working with some of them.