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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Interning to see if the ad biz is really for me

Interning to see if the ad biz is really for me


Hi Jancy, just read your book, I appreciated all the advice. So I am hoping that you can give me some advice. I am coming from a fairly uncommon background, I went to a liberal arts university and studied art and art history (no specific business majors such as advertising or marketing existed), and in the past few months I have discovered a real passion for advertising. It has become all too obvious to me through my attempts to build a portfolio on my own that I need to go to a portfolio school. But my parents (who know nothing about advertising) are insisting that I look for a brief unpaid internship before I commit to 2 more years of school. Is it even possible to find an internship without a book?? The logic of it makes sense, I really do feel like it would be smart to spend some time in an ad agency to see if it is really something I would like to pursue. Is this something that you have heard before? I’m interested to know if I should even be wasting my time bothering CDs and other people about internships when I don’t have a book to show. Thanks!

intro Interning to see if the ad biz is really for meIf you can find an internship with no portfolio, it’s not a bad idea to see how the biz strikes you while you’re getting people coffee (you wouldn’t get to do “real” work with no skills to offer). However, every agency is so different, keep in mind you could have a skewed view of the industry through that one place. We know many people who have written off advertising after an experience at one agency where they had a bad time. So strictly speaking, you wouldn’t truly see the big picture going that route.

It may make more sense to try to get interviews with some senior advertising creatives at a variety of agencies. Pick their brains. Many successful people are glad to share their insights with people like you. Meanwhile, sign on for Creativity online, and other ad biz sites (including ihaveanidea.org of course). If what you see is fueling your interest, it’s another good sign you’re looking in the right direction. If you decide to go for it, our next advice is to do your homework on the portfolio schools. The high bar is VCU Brandcenter and Miami Ad School. Their sites show a very high standard of work, great teaching staff, and success stories about their grads. They win student awards at the One Show, D&AD, etc. Their curriculums are mind blowing. There are other good schools; be sure to look for the evidence of a good experience—the student work should speak volumes.

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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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