An agency is a great setting for an entry-level professional or an intern to learn a lot about the business of advertising. Agencies thrive on creative work and oftentimes can provide a more informal working environment. Agency professionals have the opportunity to manage a variety of accounts with multiple clients, brands or services. Be prepared to multitask as agencies often work on many projects simultaneously to meet client deadlines. It is not uncommon for creatives at agencies to work 40-70 hours per week. It is important to note that the agency-side experience is more focused on creativity than ad marketing and can be unpredictable in terms of job security.
The client-side (sometimes called ‘In-house’) is just as busy, yet manageable with respect to work-life balance. Teams are much more collaborative and, oftentimes, are specialized in a particular area or function of a single industry. The environment is more corporate than agency life with greater opportunities for mentorship and professional development because job activity and schedules are predictable. However, there is added pressure to exceed stakeholder expectations and produce outcomes. It is important to note that the client-side experience is more focused on marketing and branding (business) than advertising.
Get an Internship
Agency employers often use internship programs to recruit and select permanent hires. As a student, interning gives you the opportunity to develop firsthand knowledge of the business and is the most valued career experience by hiring managers. Check industry resources for internship programs in the summer or throughout the year.
Advertising is considered a business that is built on personal and professional connections. Make it a priority to attend on-campus information sessions, Career Services' career events, and informational interviewing with Colgate alumni to learn about the industry and agency life. Intentional networking with friends, family members, alumni, and faculty can lead to securing an opportunity. Lastly, consider looking for non-paid opportunities that can offer direct experiences and create a profile on LinkedIn.
Think about what makes you interesting as a candidate and demonstrate your value on a résumé, cover letter, social media pages, and in an interview. Agencies are looking to hire unique candidates that can sell themselves and their skills.
The recruitment cycle of a typical hiring process for advertising jobs and internships begins in January and terminates in June. It is important to note that some agencies may hire interns earlier within the academic year, particularly from November to February.
Below are some opportunities that may interest you from naviGATE
, Colgate's internship and job database.
The Liberal Arts Career NetWORK (LACN) is a database of internships and entry-level jobs posted by employers interested in hiring liberal arts students.