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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Will an agency let a high schooler hang out for a day?

Will an agency let a high schooler hang out for a day?

I am a high school student who has had a turbulent time deciding my career choice. However, after a lot of consideration, I think that advertising would be right for me. I am extremely creative, witty, a quick learner and fun to be with.
To make my life-long decision complete, I would like to go to an advertising agency for a day to see the actual work being produced. How do you think that I should go about this? Write a letter, e-mail, call, show up unannounced?
Also, can you please suggest some educational advice for me. York University has a five year joint program with Seneca college; this will get me a BA in Communications Arts and a diploma in Creative Advertising. Is this a worth while path to get me into a stellar advertising agency, like Ogilvy & Mather? Besides a magnificent portfolio and an undergraduate degree, do you think that I should also get an MBA to strengthen my business side and be more flexible in jobs?
Thank you very much for taking the time to read my questions and hopefully answering them too!

intro Will an agency let a high schooler hang out for a day?You’ve asked us a bunch of questions. Now let us ask you some. Why do you want to be in advertising? Do you know if you are interested in account management or creative?

Advertising is fun. And it helps to be witty and creative. But these would be useful attributes in any profession. If you were to spend a day in an ad agency, you would see a lot of people sitting around apparently doing nothing, punctuated by the occasional game of ping- pong. Because that’s what thinking looks like – nothing. And the biggest part of the job is thinking: developing strategies, developing ideas, developing arguments. The production process is long and things happen in stages. So you might see a moment of production, but not the whole thing. In general, agencies are relatively generous with their time, so I would call any place that interests and ask if you can hang around for a day. Be sure you know how you want to spend your time. Seeing all the departments at work may help you narrow down your particular interest.

You need to start somewhere. If you want to be in the creative dept., OCAD is the best school for art direction and Humber is the best for copywriting. If you’re more interested in account management a business degree is good. But some of the best account folks we’ve known have history degrees and other types of arts education. We would suggest you start with focus over flexibility.

Hopes this helps.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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