Sunday, 10 February 2013

Getting the most out of your internship...

A part of it...but hopefully not the whole thing.

Hi gang.

We have a guest post for you today (two posts in two days - I'm as shocked as you). The very kind Lauren Ingram has written a post about her experiences as an intern, and offers tips for you lot about how to turn yours into a permanent job.

Getting the most out of your internship
by Lauren Ingram

If you’ve wangled an internship at an agency, make sure you give them a reason to keep you on, or invite you back after uni. It's all about making yourself invaluable.

I was on the IPA Ad School in 2011 in Client Services/Planning, and subsequently stayed on as a copywriter intern – this trial period was worth doing as I’m not quite cut out for Creative! So to distil some things that I learned the hard way…

Know what questions to ask and when to ask them: being curious is a positive trait in adland but don’t be a nuisance. Anything you could find out online – find it out online. Learn as much as you can about what a planner does, what an account handler does, and so on, and get to know your agency's campaigns in detail. This is still important even though you've got the internship now. Many agencies subscribe to Campaign mag as well as other titles, so borrow these during your lunch breaks to stay up to date.

Ask more about the projects your colleagues are working on. You get a better idea of what they actually do all day (and it’s not reorganising the stationery cupboard) and you can offer more relevant help this way. I often found myself asking “is there anything else I can do to help?” and this is fine, but what would be more useful for them is offering help on a specific task. For example, your agency is positioning a brand’s loyalty card, offer to do research into what other brands are doing in this area. Of course, your colleagues might have already done it, but it makes your mentor’s life easier if they don’t have to ‘invent’ tasks for you.

Make good use of empty time: As an intern you probably have more time on your hands than others in the business. Make use of it. Offering everyone tea won't build your skills but it does give you a chance to speak to more people. Also, read your company's blog and decide whether you could write something decent for it. There may be longer thoughtpieces by senior members of staff, but there may also be shorter pieces by other staff members on relevant news in adland. For example, at certain times of year (Christmas, Valentine's Day, around the Olympics, etc) there will be a flurry of advertising activity and you could do a round-up of some of the best ads during that period, or an emerging theme you have noticed within them. Ask who looks after the company blog, then ask them if your submission sounds suitable - they're usually always looking for more content to show how switched on the agency and its employees are. 

Also look at their Twitter feed, find some interesting links that you think would be suited to their style, then find out who manages it (more networking!) and pass on the links with a very short blurb for each. You could offer to manage the Twitter feed - the New Business/Marketing department probably looks after it - but they might say no as many a Twitter disaster is caused by a rogue intern. 

A last suggestion would be to ask to attend as many meetings as possible. Sometimes they will only want to have those who absolutely need to be there, so don't be offended if they say no, but for the most part it will give a good impression that you want to get stuck in.

All in all, it's a bit of a balancing act, making yourself memorable without getting in people’s way (and I still haven’t perfected it) but it might be the thing that gets you a Real Job.

Good luck!

Thank you, Lauren. Much appreciated.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

A Grad Scheme & A Marketing Internship...

Hi all.

There's a raft of new opportunities for you lot out there at the moment. Karmarama and What Now are both looking for talented graduates.

So, without further ado, here's more about both:

1) Karmarama

We're on the lookout for four bright, bold and ambitious people who will make good things happen in our Account Management Department.

If you show us that you’ve got some fire in your belly and some stories to tell, we’ll invite you on to our Kadet Scheme, where you’ll compete for a job in Account Management. We will be taking on 4 Karma Kadets for 2 months over the summer, with one of our Kadets bagging a full time role at the end of the internship.

You could be graduating this summer, or you might have got your experience from somewhere else – either way we’d like to hear from you.

Applications are open now, and the closing date for entries is 4th March 2013

All the details are at our Facebook page. You can follow us on Twitter at @karmakadets and our current Kadets @karmakadetkatie @karmakadetalex for further updates on the scheme!

2) What Now?!

What Now?! is an innovative new product that aggregates the best local information so travellers can use their smart mobile devices to discover interesting things nearby when they arrive in a new place – all without paying for data roaming.  We were a finalist at the London Startup Weekend last year and are busy helping bring the product to life. Tony, the founder, comes from a background of working in various advertising agencies and marketing client-side, before leaving to study for an MBA and, ultimately, set up What Now?!.  

What Now?! aims to launch in London and Barcelona in the early summer period.  We are currently looking for a marketing intern who can help with the following:

  • Manage social media activities – including Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Google Plus
  • Develop strong links with the travel blogging community (like/dislike, make suitable and valuable comments, make suggestions, engage people)
  • Co-ordinate our overall launch marketing activities
  • Monitor and report on progress and key findings
  • Promote blog content
  • Collaborate with our fast-paced, entrepreneurial and fun team

The ideal candidate:

  • Is not just familiar with, but also active social media sites and has a strong online presence. In particular, the ideal candidate would be very familiar with Twitter and its partner platforms (HootSuite, TweetDeck etc.)
  • Possesses excellent written communication skills, so they can make the right judgements on what to post without damaging the brand. Our social tone of voice is important
  • Has top-notch social skills - and a sense of humour!
  • Is a self-starter with the ability to work independently and make judgement calls
  • Has a passion for travel, culture and all things Social Media

Working in a startup is an incredible learning experience and you would be exposed to a huge amount of diverse business and marketing experiences.  The internship length is flexible depending on the right candidate and there will be a small salary to cover expenses

The internship will be a great opportunity for the right candidate – and, even if your passion is to work in an advertising agency and not take up a full time role with us afterwards, it would look great on your CV.  If this sounds interesting to you, then please email a CV and covering letter to tonys at

Good luck, all.