A quick catch-up

August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

I guess I must have been really busy. What else could excuse neglecting to write for 2 months? Well, at least this time I was actually doing something, rather than sitting around pretending I’m busy as a student.

Before I can talk about what’s going on in life at the moment, I feel the need to catch my little blog up to speed. A hell of a lot has happened in the last few months, and it feels so weird to read over my last post as so much has changed since then. So consider this a catch up on what’s being going on in my life, and I promise to update with more present information soon.

Easiest way to do it will be in chronological order (well, I say chronological but it will be what I remember doing when so pretty much as chronological as it can get without referring to currently non-existant diary…)

First of all, I got on the IPA Creative Summer School. The interviews went really well and despite tripping over my words several times, and one Exec Creative Director telling me I would make an excellent planner rather than a copywriter, I got on the programme. I was placed at Euro RSCG with another girl who also went to Leeds acting as my Art Director partner. More on this later…

Next up, would be finding out my degree results. Despite my earlier pledges of confidence, I did actually end up getting  a 2.1. I didn’t do as well as I could have done in the final exams, although I think I revised harder than I ever have in my life so I can only assume the pressure finally got to me. Overall, it averaged out as 67.5 which is exactly one percent of a 1st at Leeds so annoyingly close. After feeling disappointed, stressy and annoyed for a few days and trying to reject anyone and anything that tried to make me celebrate, I eventually stopped being an idiot and decided that a high 2.1 is a great mark and still something brilliant to show for the last 3 years. Besides, it’s not even relevant to the job I want to go into anymore! Of course, this does all mean I’m £250 down and my Uncle had a lucky escape…

Next, was my holiday in Valencia visiting one of my best friends Laura who was on her year abroad out there. Such an amazing city, and had a very welcome break exploring the city, eating too much frozen yoghurt and laying on the beack. It was lovely to see Laura  again and cannot wait for her to come back to England!

Immediately after coming back from Spain, it was time to start my placement at Euro RSCG. It’s a pretty big challenge working with someone you don’t know very well as a creative because the whole ideas process needs a lot of trust, team work and respect but I think we figured out how to work together well in the end. We actually got through to the next round of the TBWA Young Bloods as a creative team as well so that should be pretty exciting.

Working at Euros was a great experience, even if I did rarely get enough sleep and worked the occasional Saturday, because it really gave me an insight into what a large advertising agency is like. The office politics, the fierce competition and the obvious hierarchies are all something that I should have, but probably wasn’t expecting. More than an insight into the environment though, the five weeks there just really cemented in my mind that working in creative advertising is exactly what I want to be doing. Getting real hands-on experience on live briefs and new business pitches makes you learn so much faster about what will work and what won’t work than working on your own inventing little briefs for yourself ever will. Working in a high-pressure, tight deadline industry whilst constantly trying to stay creative and innovative is really, really hard but I love it and am definitely up for the massive challenge of pursuing it as a career.

As part of the IPA placement, we’ve also been having evening seminars each week with talks from industry leaders at different London agencies. For example, a few weeks ago we speak to the leader of Technology at Ogilvy who is basically living in this kind of futuristic lab space. Amazing stuff. And we had a talk on social media and digital advertising at Lean Mean Fighting Machine, which was really interesting. During all this, we were also being set weekly creative briefs to present at the next meeting. We did some work to develop a radio ad for a new diet pill, but the biggest thing we did was to present our ideas at the graduation ceremony for how to advertise the IPA Summer School 2012. Me and Annie worked on this idea for about two weeks, and went round and round in circles about which direction to take it in, decided and then undecided on ideas and then finally changed our mind at the very last minute when a great piece of copy mysteriously and magically came to me, as if it had been staring at me in the face the whole time. We finally went with the strategy of challenging people who think advertising is a soft option and that their current career pursuits would be more fulfilling to “Try working in Advertising.” We didn’t win, but some feedback we’ve had since then has told us that the individual ads we did were the best of the night and that there was some contention in the judging as to whether we should win so I kind of feel like we won anyway!

This was one of the executions (2 page magazine ad) of the idea:

See I told you I’d been busy…

So my next step (although all the work we did at Euros working on live briefs makes it feel like a bit of a step back) is developing my portfolio of work, finding a partner to work with and start asking people to look at my book and find a job. Feel like I’ve got a long way to go and a hell of a lot of hard work ahead of me, but am so, so excited about what the next few months are going to bring.

If anyone knows of people looking to work as an Art Director who is currently partner-less send me a message. Otherwise expect to see me hanging about at various single creative speed dating events soon…

I’ll try and keep you posted!

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