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How’d You Get In: Alan Madill

Posted on October 22, 2008 and read 2,658 times

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It’s generally agreed upon that when looking for your first job the most important thing is your book. But as Juniper Park Co-Founder/Creative Director Alan Madill discovered, a little serendipity also helps. Check out how going for a massage eventually got him a job at one of the hottest agencies in the city – a move that would eventually lead to him opening a shop that in just over a year would be nominated for Marketing Magazine’s Agency of the Year.

As Alan puts it, the agency “creates brands from scratch or takes existing brands and points them in totally new directions. Juniper Park is just over a year old and is already working on 13 brands for nine different clients. The agency is located in Toronto but its clients can be from anywhere.”

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alanmadill Howd You Get In: Alan Madill






To get a job in advertising you need a great portfolio, but great timing helps too. When I graduated from OCAD I thought my book was good and that I’d have no trouble finding a job. In my first interview the creative director tore my book to pieces. I felt like crap. I went to two more interviews the following day with the same result. Deflated, I booked a trip to Europe to find inspiration. When I returned, I reworked my book from front to back. I went to my first interview and was hired on the spot. The only problem was I didn’t know if I was hired as a copywriter or an art director. Awkwardly, I asked the associate creative director what position I was hired for. He flipped through my book and handed it back to me and said: “art director.”

My first year in advertising was difficult and although I was technically “in the business” I still wasn’t feeling it. And it was at this point in my career that the Goddess of Good Timing stepped in. My boss at the time had a massage at the King Edward hotel every Friday after work. He went on vacation and I took his appointment. I was sitting in the waiting room when a tall, bald man with a baritone voice came in and sat down. I introduced myself. He said he was looking for an art director and a couple weeks later I was hired at TAXI. And my career took off.






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