After 11 months interning with DDFH&B, Chloe took the chance to provide a review of her job and offer advice to other students.
Where do I start? I could tell you about the nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach while I sat waiting for my interview to begin, fingers trembling around the edge of my carefully crafted CV. Or I could talk about my first day, overwhelmed by the passing faces and trying to control my thoughts… “I am way out of my depth” soon followed by “get on with it, it will be fine.”
Opportunities don’t often come along. So, when they do, you have to grab them.
Will I run through the moments of chaos, laughter, birthday cakes, mistakes and the moments of growing confidence? To be honest I wouldn’t know where to begin in describing the one giant learning curve that was my 11 month internship at DDFH&B. Sink or swim, I was entirely in control of what I got out of this experience – I grabbed everything I could, absorbed every little piece of industry knowledge possible. Any regrets? Not a single one. Would I recommend the experience? Absolutely.
The opportunity presented itself back in my penultimate year of UCD where I was studying Commerce – I will be honest and say I was clueless, I wasn’t a fan of finance and as I tell many, I prefer to spend money than account for it!
What I did know was I loved research, project management, adored people and I seemed to have some kind of gravitational pull toward all things marketing and media, including modules that allowed you to develop strategies and analyse the creativity of branding and impact of advertising concepts. I loved learning new things and developing that tiny little spark of creative intuition and flare that I would like to say I had. I am no TV addict, however in those moments I found myself gritting my teeth through those three minute advertising breaks, I would continuously find myself deciphering the good and clever from the bad and confusing.
I would look at adverts on buses, billboards and buildings, awarding merit where warranted and passing a typical South Dublin School girls, “ugh” face when I thought something was daft, confusing or downright unoriginal. Perhaps this is because I am somewhat opinionated and question almost everything – but I knew 100% that I had to apply to DD’s when I heard they were one of the potential employers of the 2015 internship programme.
I read the job spec and the line “puppy dog enthusiasm” and “no hand holding” still prevail in my mind today. Ask my colleagues. Enthusiasm is most certainly something I do not lack in; I love a good cackle and relish the opportunities to get stuck in. Take for example our team bonding evening. We took to the docks of the murky Grand Canal waters for an evening of water sport madness. The team cannot deny they were a little hesitant but, me being me, I dived right in! That’s the best way to do things – get stuck in, don’t over-think and enjoy every little bit.
As for the no hand-holding, this is a place where a young student like myself can prosper. But that level of prosperity and growth is a direct result of the initiative you take; your willingness and interest in getting involved. When you begin to twiddle your thumbs, that means it’s time to send an email around demanding work – some tasks may be slightly more remedial than others – but I had to remind myself these are building blocks, and without those smaller tasks I wouldn’t be in the position I am today.
Many a time I was overcome by the possibility I was going to mess up or get it wrong – and boy did I get it wrong sometimes!
Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and on to the next challenge. It’s ok to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.
H. Stanley Judd.
It is near impossible to reminisce over my 11 month internship. So much happened, from research to radio, from pitches to countless meetings, from TV to tremendous Brand Campaigns – I was in the thick of it all. It is no doubt a chaotic, buzzing and bumbling industry whereby problem solving becomes as natural and necessary as knowing the alphabet. At the beginning you do feel like a small fish in a very big pond, more of a hindrance than a help, but I found that as I grew, my surroundings became more familiar, responsibilities became bigger and relationships became stronger. I fully assimilated into my role as part of the team.
I will say this for anyone fortunate enough to be accepted as an intern in this mad world of advertising and marketing; pipe up and ask for work, get involved, take every opportunity that presents itself, look for ways to make things that little bit easier for your colleagues. If you are dumbfounded by the task given to you, ask someone for help! I do recall everyone talking about 6 sheets, POs, rotations and rich media - trust me I found myself regularly googling the terminology people were using, terrified to ask. However when it came to various jobs where I was, let’s be honest, dying to impress, I went by Roosevelt’s approach;
Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, “certainly I can!” Then get busy and find out how to do it.
Although it felt great to know I worked something out by myself – it was never good to be on a deadline and spending hours doing the entirely wrong thing!
There will always be something to do, and if not do your very best to find something. Set targets and goals, work on projects to develop your skills whether it be drafting a brief for the coffee-drinking creatives or trying to understand the role of the strategic planner by researching various markets and extracting informing insights.
If you are considering an internship in marketing and advertising, GO FOR IT, if you are about to begin one – YOU WON’T REGRET IT!!
Chloe Bolton is a Client Service Executive
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