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Big Orange Slide

Friday, November 28th, 2014

3 Grippers offer advice for those entering the entry level

Looking back on the last four months, we can say it’s been an important right of passage; humble beginnings in a not-so-humble industry. Along with the trials and tribulations of a first internship comes a realization that you’ve learned far more than you thought you would. In a relatively short window of time, you dip your toe into the industry, become familiar with office culture, and begin to see yourself as a functioning member of a little something called the economy. It’s can be a tough experience to navigate – but the lessons are enduring.

We asked other seasoned Grippers if they felt the same way, and what they took away as lessons.

Illustration by Julia Morra

Illustration by Julia Morra

Illustration by Julia Morra

14 Comments on "3 Grippers offer advice for those entering the entry level"

  • Anthony Kalamut
    September 5, 2012 @ 10:12 pm

    ALL wonderful sound advice.

    Excellent back to school reading.

    Patrick… I can never put a enough or greater emphasis on “Corporate Culture”… it’s the reason you want to wake up and go to the one thing you you’ll love to do.

    As the saying goes… “Love what you do. Do what you love”.

    If you love what you do at a place that love… you’ll never work at job every again.

  • advergirling
    September 6, 2012 @ 10:00 am

    I can’t stress enough how interpersonal skills make a MASSIVE difference in your internship. From the opportunities you get to part take in, to being considered for any openings.

  • Anonymous
    September 7, 2012 @ 1:05 am

    I have a beef with number 2.

    Truly creative people are shy, introverted, individualistic, and weird. Read the biographies of any creative genius. Newton, fucking weird. Tesla, fucking weird. Picasso, really fucking weird.

    Maybe the reason so much advertising is mediocre is because agencies look for people who are a “good fit”. I am sorry, but disruptive ideas don’t come from people who value making everyone smile over kicking some ass.

    Tension is good for ideas. Fights can be good because people who care fight. Enough with this obsession with “company culture”. Blow the culture up and do something interesting.

  • Patrick Tomasso
    September 10, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

    Anonymous, you make a valid point but the fact of the matter is most agencies work in a collaborating environment – you’ve named individuals who were known to work alone. In an agency it is important to work as a team – nobody gets anything done on their own and if you don’t know how to listen, lead and work as a team you will have a hard time finding success. That’s not to say there’s no place for an introvert in an agency but they tend to be in roles that are “behind the curtain”. Trust me, we’re all weird and there’s fights, egos clash and ideas get torn to pieces but at the end of the day your still a team no matter what and it’s culture that keeps it all together.

  • Jonny
    September 16, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

    I agree with Anonymous as far as truly creative people are weird. But, as far as hiring a person with a “good fit”, I know at least in my situation I was a good fit because I fit in with all those weirdos (thats just the agency culture where I work).

    Everyone I work with is weird, quirky, and creative in their own way. Some of them are introverts, some of them are extroverts but, at the end of the day everyone comes together as a unit because they are all allowed to be themselves without judgement and complete their individual tasks at hand.

    Everyone has respect for each other regardless of how much they communicate simply because we play for the same team. It’s like a giant symbiotic relationship amongst everyone at the agency.
    Everyone benefits because they use their individual skills to complete an objective, regardless of their personalities.

  • Anonymous
    September 18, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

    Newton worked at a University, Tesla worked under Edison, but I’ll give you Piscasso.

    There’s a difference between “team” and “culture” and “collaboration”. They aren’t interchangeable words. Culture is usually the enemy of creative people. Unless agencies preserve a culture that is distinct from the national/global culture (which most don’t), the agency culture becomes a handicapped and will not innovate.

    Patrick, if you’ve read Carl Jung, you’ll know extroverts direct their energy outwards. Introverts direct their energy inwards and are able to more frequently analyze their thought processes and others. Because of this, introverts are almost always better at generating more interesting ideas. Smart agencies should keep their extroverts behind the curtain, if they want to be in front of the curtain accepting awards.

    Even introverts can be better negotiators—see “The Power of Quiet” by Susan Cain. They are better at more subtle forms of communication where as extroverts are quiet overt.

  • Julia H
    September 18, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

    Lots of good ideas here. But I think what Patrick is getting at with the value of interpersonal skills is less about personality and more about the ability to work as a team, communicate, and understand how to relate to others. True, these may be inherently extroverted qualities – but having excellent “interpersonal skills” in no way devalues or excludes the introvert.

    Anonymous, if you dug further into Jung and Myers Briggs types, you’d know the fault in generalizing the introvert and extrovert like you did. Not all introverts are “almost always better at generating more interesting ideas”, and not all extroverts are less capable of analyzing their thoughts, introspecting, and understanding the motivations and needs of others. Sorry. As an extrovert myself, I find that slightly offensive. And if you want to talk about “culture” as an enemy of creativity, consider the generalization of that culture’s people as equally harmful. Smart agencies should not keep their extroverts behind the curtain while pushing their introverts into the limelight – how do you figure that works? Both types need to rely on and understand each other to succeed at all.

    Anyway, at the end of the day, great communities/teams/agencies do so well because each of their people is inspired. They’re working towards the same goal. Every person is valued – regardless of personality. Being part of an inspiring team is as much about understanding each other as it is your own self.

  • Terry
    September 18, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

    I agree with Anonymous. Almost all truly great creative work is the result of one person’s singular vision. There may be collaborators involved, but they are there to serve the vision of the artist not to change it.

    Ads go through so many rounds of feedback and are subjected to so people’s opinions that the end product is usually mediocre and often time just plain bad. Every now and then something great manages to make it through the net but not very often.

  • Destined Young Lion
    September 18, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

    I’m with Anonymous.

    Introverted people may be shy and weird, but they are:
    - more creative
    - better scientists and artists
    - kick more ass
    - like to fight because they have a monopoly on caring
    - denounce (national/global) culture as their common enemy
    - generate more interesting ideas
    - have a 50-50 chance of being better negotiators
    - are better communicators
    - and most of all, are way better at advertising and will win way more awards when extroverts are out of the picture

    I digress… Learning interpersonal skills – totally not important for interns. Your bosses appreciate the tension you create because it breeds good work.

    Any further arguments are null and will result in authors being cited.

  • Patrick Tomasso
    September 18, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

    Stop by Grip on a Thirsty Thursday and we’ll chat this out over a brew.

  • Advergirling
    September 19, 2012 @ 1:19 am

    Interns exist in other agency functions such as broadcast or accounts etc. and for those functions interpersonal skills are highly valueable. Even though other commenters believe that creative teams shouldn’t be expected to play nicely in the sandbox. At the very least interns can learn to respect their peers.

  • Julia
    September 19, 2012 @ 7:20 am

    Destined To Be Alone – I mean, Destined Young Lion…I applaud your no-way-at-all-generalized-and-humorously-misleading typecasting of the introvert.

    Interpersonal skills – however you define that – is important in and out of our industry. Healthy tension is great, but if you can’t play with others, get out of the sandbox.

  • Anonymous
    September 19, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

    Julia H, models by their very nature request generalizing. If you don’t generalize with them they have no value. As a principle (not a rule or an absolute), people who lean towards the extroverted side of the spectrum think less deeply. Think about anytime you’ve been in a group situation. Extroverts are very concerned about other people’s reaction and lean towards ideas that have popular approval. They also often dominate group discussion. This is bad for innovation.

    It may be fine to have people who lean towards extroversion in accounts or whatever, but on the whole, they tend to get in the way of creativity because they’re too dependent on what other’s think and how other’s react.

    Terry, articulated a thought our national culture doesn’t like to admit, but it’s true.

    Destined Young Lion, citing authours is a good thing. Watch any debate, they cite authours to prove a point. I feel silly having to explain this.

    Patrick, thanks, but I am afraid I bond with the people at my agency on Thursdays. Which is secondary to my work, but I’ll give you that it’s somewhat important. :)

  • Terry
    September 20, 2012 @ 12:48 am

    It’s not that developing interpersonal skills is harmful, on the contrary, like Patrick, Advergirling and Julia profess, these skill will absolutely help an individual succeed.

    However, in creative endeavours, the most creative people (not all of them but most of them) are often lacking in social skills and tend to get passed over in favour of less creative, more socially savvy people.

    Anyone who has spent time working in advertising has seen countless mediocre creatives enjoy way more success than they deserve because they are charismatic. And I’m sure you’ve also seen tremendously talented individuals who’s social ineptitude held them back from gaining any real career momentum.

    The problem is that so much of success in this business hinges on your ability to pitch your work (both internally and to client) and often times the mediocre creative who happens to be a great salesman will outshine the great creative who is inarticulate.

    In short, yes social skills will help an individual succeed but these skill ad nothing to and can often hinder doing great work. The end product usually ends up being something that was easy to sell to the non-creative account team and clients. So yes, you’re career will be successful but your work will probably be mediocre.

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