The Desire for Hunting
Knowing Bright Blue Day (BBD) is not by chance, my first visit to the office traced back to November 2017. Richard Scullion (my BU Professor) arranged a session outside of classroom to visit BBD which he explained as “an ideal way to help Advertising students link practice and theory and to get a ‘feel’ for agency life too”. So much truth lies in his words, I did get a ‘feel’ of the agency and I guess a ‘seed of desire of wanting to come back to live the life’ planted in me by then. And yes, I have got this 2-week placement here in Bournemouth office, my treasure hunt began on 29 May 2018.
Still remember all the smiley faces first day in, time just flicked away like never before the past two weeks. If I would to put 3 most exciting things that I have done over this period of time, they are 1) listening; 2) asking questions; 3) jumping directly into work if given chance to.
The induction sessions in the first couple of days by the team leaders from creative and client services were enlightening and eye opening - Gavin’s showcasing of the compelling creative visuals for various well-known brands they accomplished in the past; Laurence’s view on ‘prioritizing clients’ value’ and ‘importance of reading people’ to future account managers. By listening to these invaluable experience-talks, it absolutely shed light for me to position myself in the industry, as well as put together a long-term career plan; it might not have given a concrete answer of what to do or what not to do, but definitely got me thinking and wondering – it is a 100% good thing.
- Asking questions
I personally think that theory and practice are two things that are not always consistent, just like the celebrities’ posters and their real look in life. Self-reflecting of things happened in the first week, I asked the question to my mentor Mags “Where is the team behind the strategy and media planning roles”? This question led to a few interesting conversations with Karl about what strategist’s role entails, digital evolution in the marketplace and how employers favor people with multi-skillset in today’s job market.
- Jumping directly into work
The most exciting part within this experience is actually being able to get evolved in actual work, that is building websites, joining conference calls, doing research and making sure delivering precise outcomes for clients, etc. There is so much to explore since BBD has clients ranging from financial services, to high-tech, to retailing, to consumer goods, the list goes on. Amazingly, in spite of multiple projects running parallelly, all the individuals in the office act as if they are one, with seamless collaboration that enables them to manage their rhythms comfortably.
Think, act and collect along the journey
Working in an Advertising Agency, the core winning chip is to be top in critical thinking and creativity. The most talked about were ‘how to keep the existing clients happy’, ‘how to win pitches to get more new clients on board’. It is utterly simple that there is not one client is identical to the other, it will not be possible to bring the same idea to pitch twice for different clients – in this case, it is essential to update knowledge, keep learning constantly in order to generate original ideas and new effective solutions. Here in BBD I have seen many of them either learn how to be more creative by doing hands-on graphic designs, or self-taught how to run digital campaigns and being a strategist in the meantime. One certain thing (may be the most valuable treasure collected) that I will be doing – keep upgrading, never stop learning to get more acknowledged of what I love and what I do.
Meet people, allies and mentors
Coming all the way from the other side of the world, I have met many people from different cultures, various backgrounds via university lectures, workshops and social occasions, each of them whom I talked to have taught me things that I probably never thought of or corrected me for things that I once understood wrongly. I will say in BBD I have met allies and mentors (yes, plural) - we are fighting the same battle as allies, to make this industry more equal (as per women advertisers social movement); they are my mentors as well for their experience and insights working in the industry.
Special thank you to Mags (my No. 1 mentor), and my little team of 3 (placement newbies)…