What are the latest entrants to advertising looking for in their new career?

By Ruby Derrick | 17 October 2023
Credit: Joshua Hoehne via Unsplash.

Aspiring new entrants to the advertising industry are redefining what they want out of a career in advertising.

Is it about wanting to write funny, clever and pointed copy, or is it the lure of a dazzling shiny award?  

Many say they just want to have a positive impact on the world.

John Dingeldei, creative strategist and lecturer in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, says most just want a start in the industry.  

Some can’t decide whether they are a copywriter, art director, content producer, planner or a suit, he told AdNews. 

“The best are curious to explore what the industry has to offer knowing they have skills that can take them anywhere,” says Dingeldei. 

“Most RMIT advertising graduates are job-ready through the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programs offered that enable most students to complete one or more internships during their studies."

At Publicis Groupe ANZ, Sukhpal Sondh, head of talent acquisition, says entry-level students this year came from various backgrounds and experiences.  

This includes those with university degrees, TAFE, completed relevant short courses or diplomas or some who might have undertaken marketing internships. 

Publicis sees a lot of entry-level candidates who have been working in the hospitality and retail industry (often while completing a degree), finance, real estate or sales. 

“All of whom are looking to get their foot in the door to the marketing and advertising industry for the first time,” she says. 

“Of course, we also have a cohort who have moved within the industry from other agencies and want to begin a career at Publicis.” 

At the end of a degree, notes Dingeldei, graduates have a portfolio of work created from industry-supported real world briefs that demonstratecapacity to produce, operate and innovate in a range of industry sectors. 

“And show that they are technologically fluent communication professionals who are highly adaptable to evolving roles in a global communication context,” he says. 

In the 12 months following graduation, most are employed in creative, account management, strategy, media and production roles in the industry, says Dingeldei. 

Some of the creatives choose to complete Award School after graduation to hone their skills while others jump in the deep end and swim,” he says. 

At Publicis many candidates come seeking meaningful work that can make a difference in society, which is a testament to this industry's influence and creative power. 

Graduates want to learn how great marketing campaigns work and exercise their creative spark while upskilling in an exciting space surrounded by great people.

Working in an international company with diverse clients across various channels is a huge draw for new talent,” says Sondh. 

Fiona Finn, lecturer in advertising at RMIT, said the university's graduates are more diverse than ever and they want to feel comfortable at work.

"They are collaborative and kind. And they are concerned by social equity and global issues like the climate crisis. They want to use their marketing skills for good," she says.

"As they face searching for graduate positions, they are hoping to pave the way for more conscious and sustainable advertising."

Six final year advertising students at RMIT on what they’re hoping to get out of an advertising career:  

Joe Whybin:

"The advertising industry (from what I’ve experienced thus far) is an industry full of talented people and boundless potential. As a copywriter, I want to hone my craft, but there is the obvious allure of shiny awards and recognition.  

"I have a 1993 D&AD annual on my coffee table. To be honest, I believe I will have reached some state of self-actualisation if I ever see my work in one of those."

Chelsea Addison:

"As the creative producer of the 2023 season of RMIT’s advertising talk show Hungry Talks, I was lucky enough to meet many people working in the industry. It was so refreshing to hear their advice, including from people who have found themselves a successful career in the field through unconventional pathways. My skills in advertising will be useful in adjacent industries so I know that as I grow, I will have the privilege of being flexible in my career.

"I’m excited to continue to work alongside other creatives on projects that make a positive impact. I want to make advertising and content that people fall in love with, the same way I did when watching ads growing up. It’s an industry that so many people are exposed to, and so it is so important to me that the content I produce is meaningful, exciting, and progressive. I gravitate towards campaigns that have a real impact and human heart, and I’m looking for a role in the creative department at an agency that does good."

Amber McLindin:

“I want the opportunity to work in the industry, where I can work in a creative team on real client briefs. I am excited to have the opportunity to learn and develop from the senior creatives around me. I want to be able to make real change and have a positive impact on the world around me through the work I do, whether it’s for a client or for a non-for-profit project.  

"I want the chance to come up with solutions for worldwide problems and have the chance to tell the stories of all different people I come across. Overall, I am so excited by what lies ahead and cannot wait to have my foot in the door and begin my own career journey. ”  

Charlie Boracci:

"Through my career, my goal is to actively pursue opportunities that have a meaningful impact, fostering positive change on a local and global scale. I'm excited about the prospect of collaborating with fellow creatives to devise empowering and inspiring solutions. I strive to bring joy into people's lives, and I look forward to the path advertising will lead me on around the world." 

Minh Tran:

"I am eager to immerse myself in the hustle culture of the industry and experience the rapid pace that has been widely discussed. However, as a Gen Z individual, I also anticipate a degree of work-life balance, which means avoiding weekend phone calls, meetings, or emails. I also wish to see greater diversity in the industry, with more opportunities for women, queer individuals, and people of colour. 

"As an aspiring strategist, another of my long-term goals is to master the art of using meaningful insights to create impactful campaigns. These campaigns should not only drive sales but also influence consumer behaviour in a positive manner."

Max Mathieson:

"I want my career to allow for lots of creativity, and I want to make ads that have an impact. Whether that be real social change or raising awareness. I want to make funny, memorable and classic ads, like what I saw on TV growing up. Ads that have stuck with me to this day. 

"I would really appreciate a great work culture. I am eager to work with diverse, like-minded people and foster real relationships, as I think that teamwork and collaboration are essential in bringing out the best in people. I am excited for continuous learning, and to better my skills to push my work to the best of my ability. In short, lots of laughs, purpose-driven campaigns, and a career that never lets me lose that creative spark."

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