Our panel included former interns of Mullen (Leslie Fines), mcgarrybowen (Katie Stirn), Saatchi & Saatchi (Yang Yang), Y&R (Chris Brown), Arnold (Shelley Kandpal), Digitas (Steph Krivitzky and Justin Perrelli), Euro RSCG (Adam Rubin) and Saatchi Healthcare (Jonathan Chan, also representing the MAIP program).
- Find agencies you actually would like to work for. Read Ad Age to see who's hot. Talk to professors to find out great places to go. Google it and find where your favorite brands are.
- Remember, advertising is not nearly as stuffy and rigid as other industries. Dare to be different in your applications and interviews. Don't over-do it, but don't blend in with the rest of the applicants, either. Remember, most of these places have 1000 applicants for 20 spots.
- Most programs pay pretty well (for the bad name internships get), but don't plan to escape with much money. If you have to take an internship for credit, be aware of what that will cost and plan for it. Internships not associated with large agencies and programs generally don't pay, but offer great experience if you're just a freshman or sophomore.
- Shadowing may be an option if you can't get your foot in the door at a major agency. See if a contact at an agency will let you live a day in the life on a random day. Use faculty contacts and make sure the day is convenient for them as well.
- When you're in an agency, never turn down a chance to help employees. If someone asks something, don't say "I don't know," say "I'll find out for you." If you're not busy, see what you can do to help other departments. Bear liked to explore the creative department when he got a chance.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. If you have to make copies, look at what you're copying. It could be information that will help you learn about the agency and industry. Find things out for yourself (Thanks for this tip, Chizz)
- Creative positions are always about the book. Build your portfolio, even if you haven't gotten to higher level classes yet. Master Photoshop. "Your portfolio is your thesis," says Steph.