I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to intern at Mindshare last year in the role of a media buyer. Looking back I had never thought that I would enjoy the media industry as much as I did.
On the internship, I learnt many things about media I didn’t know before. Such as how campaigns are planned, carried out and measured, that people don’t bury you alive when you say hi and ask questions. And that you get taken to posh restaurants every Friday.
If you are looking for a job and considering a media agency, or just want to know more, here are 5 things I learnt about the media industry.
1. There’s no harm in trying
What is the first thing that attracts you to the wonderful world of advertising? Could have been that amazing poster you saw on the London Underground, or that annoying ad which keeps playing on TV, but weirdly enough, you remember it for decades.
Most of the reasons why people are interested in advertising tend to come from the creative side of the industry. But hey, it’s not all bad here in media. Yes, there is a lot of Excel work involved, but there is a lot of socialising and good lunches.
There’s no harm in doing a little research on what a media agency does, and even getting short term experience. You might end up loving it, like I did.
2. Ask questions
I guess this applies to all jobs, be it your first or tenth. Ask questions, many questions.
I found that even my bosses asked me questions sometimes. These are people I respect a lot, because they don’t stop learning. When they want to find out more about a topic, they read and speak to people until they understand the topic well enough.
That’s what life is, isn’t it? The world changes every single day, and you have to as well. So, if you are not sure of something, don’t be afraid to say hi and ask.
3. Make mistakes to learn from them
I’m very thankful to Shreena, Elli and Chris, the account execs who trained me. They didn’t spoon-feed me with answers. Instead, they showed me how things work, and what the results should be.
They told me not to worry about figuring things out on my own. So I did, and I made so many mistakes along the way, but I learnt much more than by doing compared to being taught. I realised that it is okay to make mistakes, as long as you remember what you do to resolve them.
4. Be friends with people you work with
As a media buyer, I worked not only with people from Mindshare, but also many media owners. I have to admit that meeting many new people at once was very daunting at first. I still remember my first meeting with Vikki from Dennis Publishing. I was so nervous! However, soon enough Vikki became my friend and I realised that working with your friends is so much better.
Be the first to say hi, get to know them beyond the work place while still being professional, and catch up with them once in a while. Always help whenever you can and show them that you appreciate things they have done for you. After all, everyone knows everyone in the media industry.
5. Keep on learning
At one moment during my internship, I suddenly realised that I was not learning anything new. Work became a routine for me, and it wasn’t as fun anymore.
So I decided to go back into reading, a pastime that I used to love but had not done in a while. I read a variety of books from novels to Campaign articles. For me, reading is a great way to learn and inform yourself.
For you, it can be different. Find your best way of learning. Be curious and figure things out. This is one way to keep your work, and life, interesting.
I hope that this article helps you in one way or another. Remember that if things don’t work out the way you want them to be, look around for other opportunities. If nothing goes right, turn left, or just keep going straight ahead or diagonally. There are many directions in life my friends. Keep trying and you’ll get there.
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