"It's not brain surgery, it's just advertising" - Matt Riley, 140 BBDO's Head of Strategy. Thanks for that Matt. However, to us young interns used to 9 hours of sleep and no experience, it felt like even a dozen years of medical education would not have prepared us for Adland.
Madison Milward and Gina Yuter... in the deep end.
Who would have thought that Interning at an agency would result in erratic sleeping patterns and the daunting challenge of learning a new language? Google became our best friend, helping to ease the transition into "acronym world". Notepads: like additional limbs while we manically adapted to the foreign dialect that has become our new normal. WTF? (Why. The. Face?)
Arriving in Adland was a shock to the system and although we tried our utmost to hold on to our already compromised sanity, it became clear that everyone around us had already lost the plot. Were we next? (Insert Lá Dramatic Music here) As the old saying goes, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."
And we did.Thrown in the deep end
In the first few weeks, receiving instructions from our managers became much like a game of Balderdash; "Please ask for a Sherpa with your FA." Right, so we are assuming we need to request an ethnic group in the Eastern Himalayas to finally attack? Sounds easy enough, challenge accepted! Once our initial fear (read: looking clueless) subsided, we realised that the 140 culture is all about being thrown in the deep end and learning to keep your head above water. This method helped us learn invaluable lessons within the industry and provided experiences beneficial to our future careers.
The dictionary states that an intern is: "A student or a recent graduate undergoing supervised practical training." However, at 140 BBDO, we got way more than what we bargained for.
It's perhaps not common to find an agency that allows interns to become so involved with a brand. Meeting clients, composing briefs and sitting in on status meetings is where the agency allows us young 'uns to thrive and grow. Before we knew it, we became like over-protective parents to nothing more than brown envelopes, guiding them through the stages of life; writing up street-smart briefs that could navigate their way through traffic and eventually make it to their final destination. It's that simple
But most of all, it's learning your work well enough that explaining it simply becomes second nature.
Work hard, play hard may be an overused cliché, but in our sphere it honestly rings true. And we know how to party! Our efforts are continuously celebrated whether in the office, or at the bar downstairs, feeding our proactive and close-knit culture.
Interning is just the beginning of the adventure, those few and vital moments spent lacing your shoes before a big race. It's going to be strenuous, muscles will ache and breath will inevitably fall short, but once you hit the ground running, there's no going back.