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My naive experience with placement searching

2 min, 27 sec read
13:45 PM | 21 May 2014
by stephanie bradshaw
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I confidently put aside two hours to sort out my placement. I swear I had great plans to be the next David Ogilvy, knowing exactly which agencies I was going to hit first. I started to hear of people landing placements around me. This didn’t intimidate me, it fuelled my fire.

Brimming with confidence after submitting my first application, I winked at every housemate I passed as if I’d just secured a placement at NASA. With one eyebrow raised, I patronised fellow marketing peers, name dropping my one and only application.

"The process has now become tedious and mind destroying."

My first assessment day was brilliant. Employers personally congratulated my creative execution and I received three interview offers. The significant lack of pressure and pleasing results created a complacent concoction. But those big ideas about conquering the advertising arena were quickly corrupted by the reality of a rejection.

The process has now become tedious and mind destroying, finding new adjectives you think describe yourself. I swear I’ve edited out my personality and built a virtual version of myself lacking any life or flaws. I’ve taken this ideal candidate as a literal statement, questioning the need to attach my latest eye test as a means of proving I have an eye for detail. It’s also become a conflicting argument in my head as I question at what stage you suggest your attitude is worthy of being ‘can do’ as opposed to ‘can’t do’.

"I’ve taken this ideal candidate as a literal statement, questioning the need to attach my latest eye test as a means of proving I have an eye for detail."

I sit at my desk quarrelling over how necessary it is to finish with “hope you’re well” and risk showing a personality. I naively thought I was a promising candidate, now I write back to automated replies in a bid to vent my pre-written email speak.

I know I can confidently tick off the ideal candidate's desired attributes. But I don’t want to cheapen my CV by suggesting one of my core strengths is organisation. Organisation is a great thing, but probably the least promising and weakest trait out there. I don’t know why I am taking the moral high ground, my CV is brimming with generic terms, removing my potential one syllable at a time.

"I had forgotten I was talking to real people."

Well enough is enough. The need for a placement has changed my entire mentality about the industry and myself. FutureRising reminded me of my creative ability, before it was clouded by constant mundane careers advice. I had forgotten I was talking to real people. The process has enabled me to blossom and now I can talk honestly and confidently to employers, knowing I can bring something to the industry I love.


Written by Stephanie Bradshaw

Stephanie is finishing her second year at Bournemouth University studying advertising.

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