I have been meaning to update this blog with entries about how I've been getting on with my job search. Meaning to... To be honest it's the last thing I want to write about, things haven't gone the way I hoped they would have. On the one hand I don't feel any shame in that, it's not like I want to hide what's been going on. It's just that whenever I think about sitting down and writing about it...well it's just easier not to.
In about six weeks I am going back to Minneapolis for my very good friend's wedding. At that point it will be just over one year since I graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I still don't have a job and I have been seriously thinking about what direction my life is going to take.
To be fair, after graduating in May I came back to London and continued working as a nanny until Matthew and I got married in August. There was the time from the wedding (August 30th) until I returned to London (October 14th) when I was in Minneapolis and I wasn't working. I didn't know how long I was going to be there and at first it was just good to see friends and be back home.
I had the "I want to go to work itch" so bad. I wanted more than anything to start the first "real" job after college. I ended applying to work at Target in case something went wrong with my visa and it was going to be a while. In the end I didn't have enough time to start work there, my visa came and then it was time to go back.
When I got back to London I was energized and super excited to be looking for my first job in such an amazing vibrant city. There were so many cool agencies and companies, I felt spoiled for choice. I had wanted to work in advertising and London is an advertising mecca. It's like the Hollywood of advertising.
While researching jobs within advertising I discovered that many of the agencies out here offer graduate schemes to recent grads. They are a paid training program and I was super excited to find out about them.
The first one I applied to was for Ogilvy and it was a paid three year program that offered the graduates a chance to work across the different departments, giving them the chance to learn how the business as a whole works.
I thought that I would get it for sure, my only worry at the time was that I was applying for it in November and it didn't start until September of the next year. I then found a Facebook group and discovered that there were more to apply for and I became part of this online community around advertising graduate programs. I applied for almost all of them, I think there were only two that I didn't.
My thinking at the time was that I was going to get all of them and then how I was going to choose? I was just so confident that this was meant for me, I had the education and some great internships under my belt. What I didn't know was that thousands of people apply for only 3-5 places. I had no idea and maybe if I did know, I still would have thought that I would still get one.
Only one letter showed up and it was for a first round interview at M&C Saatchi. From 1,7000 applicants they selected 100 to come in for a first round interview and from that they narrow it down to 25 and then to 5. I didn't make it past the first round and was disappointed, I thought my interview was great.
After that I got caught up in this swirl of trying to find a job in advertising. I worked all the contacts I had, perhaps over worked them. I am still trying to work out the fine line between persistence and annoyance. They say to be tenacious and the squeaky wheel gets the grease. I contacted people from the advertising graduate related blogs and met up with them at Starbucks. I felt like now it was a matter of principle that I was going to get a job in advertising! I just couldn't accept that I wouldn't. I wanted to work in account management. I had been told that I was well suited for the job and that's what I wanted to do.
I spent a few months spinning my wheels, although I didn't see it that way at the time. I went to lectures, joined groups and read campaign and media week. Although what I was soon discovering was that you had to have a super high level of passion for the industry. You need to know about the history of advertising, important campaigns and legendary art directors. You should be able to name the agencies who are representing Honda, Sainsburys and Cadbury.