What if you could get some sort of insight into the key qualities and skills an ad agency looks for from a Macleay College grad. What if you could understand in advance just how valuable an internship is within an ad agency – even if you’re not at first getting paid? What if these answers were available ahead of time from the very people who make the decisions that help guide the future career opportunities for Macleay College grads? Wouldn’t knowing just these answers be very powerful career information?
Well, these and a handful of other questions were one’s I was able to ask of the Ad Industry at the recent Media Federation Australia ( MFA) “Lecture The Lecturer” conference in Sydney. Along with my fellow Macleay College lecturer Cameron Horn the MFA took us on a journey of presentations and workshops that helped the educators understand what the ad industry requires for their grads of the future. For the tertiary providers, we were encouraged to provide feedback on how we work closely with our students to equip them with the skills, knowledge and industry experience to meet the challenges of the advertising world beyond 2018.
The value of an internship
“Anyone who has actual working knowledge of the industry when being interviewed for a job at UM has a considerable advantage and grabs our attention. As the industry grows there’s an increase in the needs for requirements of basic levels of foundation skills and knowledge of the ad agency industry.”
Gemma Beeley – Universal Media Digital Lead ; MFA Interactive Board member
Agencies take internships very seriously and encourage grads / students to be part of internships. As an intern you may not initially be paid a full time equivalent wage, but the BIG ground shaker is this: Around 8 in 10 internships lead to a full time position. Internships lead to great workplace opportunities via exposure to the agency operations and eco systems.
The key qualities and skills required
What are those unique skills or qualities an ad agency requires as a minimum that sets you apart from another grad applying for a position in their company?
- Passion – a degree of some sort combined with a knowledge of the industry beyond just the basics
- Ambition – to do and go that extra beyond the degree. Get your own Google Certification; working pro bono on a campaign for a charity are just a start
- Curiosity and initiative – At Macleay College we can train skill but curiosity and initiative goes beyond the trainable skills. Seek, look, follow, question.
The advertising eco system is changing
What did I learn from the MFA’s industry insights? Media agency roles have changed and continue to evolve with agencies now becoming consultants and advisors as well as solving specific client issues. Understanding the nuances of agencies, the fluidity of their roles and client requirements, then giving these understandings to our grads is vital across all areas of our Macleay College curriculum is vital. It’s something we strive to equip you with throughout each and every one of your learning experiences with us.
By David Rogerson
Lecturer in Advertising, Digital Media and Business Entrepreneurship