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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  An American Ad Grad in London (or elsewhere in Europe)

An American Ad Grad in London (or elsewhere in Europe)

Dear Jancy: I’m an American ad student who wants to work in Europe.
I’m a grad student at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, but I’ve been thinking about possibly working in Europe when I graduate. The agencies I’ve been particularly interested in are Mother London, Fallon London, W+K London and W+K Amsterdam. I’m just curious about how the international job hunting/hiring process works. Is it basically the same as looking for a job in America? Are agencies more hesitant to hire someone who doesn’t live in their country? How does an American fresh out of ad school go about getting a job there?
I know there is an alum from my school who works at W+K Amsterdam, if that helps any.

intro An American Ad Grad in London (or elsewhere in Europe)The wildly clever and talented Alnoor Ladha is the Director of Planning at Purpose in NYC. He worked at Mother in London before his current gig, and with us at Ogilvy Toronto before that. He has this to say:

“As a young American grad, it’s actually quite difficult to get a UK or EU visa. Especially if you don’t have a lot of work experience. It’s much easier as a Canadian due to the Commonwealth visa rules. My advice would be to go New York. A couple of years in NYC allows Europe to open up. They respect the experience, agencies and work culture there. Also, if you land in a shop that has offices in London or Amsterdam, the transfer becomes infinitely easier. If not, at least you have something to say to recruiters in those places after you’ve spent some time in the toughest ad market in the world. It’s the old Frank Sinatra rule about making it in NYC. For the rest of the world, that’s the market they’re trying to get into. And it’s probably the hardest place to get a working visa. You have access. You may want to be elsewhere right now, but take the endowment you have and use it to your advantage.”

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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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