Fresh grad career advice with Y&R

Our students of Ad391 (Advertising Campaign development) from Curtin University were brought for an outfield trip to Y&R, one of the world’s leading full service advertising agencies. Established in 1923, Y&R is also the first agency to be founded by a suit and a creative (John Orr Young and Raymond Rubicam).

On 10 Jan 2012 (Tue), the students were given the opportunity to meet some of the brightest minds of Y&R Asia, Camellia Tan (also known as Cammy), Senior Regional Account Director, and Hari Ramanathan, Regional Planning Director, and also the world’s only planner with a One Show Pencil.

I must say, it has been an intensive 3 hours Q&A session on career advice. Secrets to surviving the advertising industry, the do’s and don’ts, and several tips were revealed by our guest speakers. I bet the session has definitely enlightened some of our students on how to embark their journey in their advertising career.

I should also say it has been a really reflective session as well. Most of them were dumb folded by the questions being thrown back at the students during the Q&A session. Here’s one of the highlights during the Q&A session. At least for me.

Student: Do companies offer opportunities for relocation to another country?

Guest Speaker: should any company relocate you?

Student: Because it has always been a dream to see the world.

Guest Speak: You should join Chan Brothers Travel.

I’m sure most of you yearn to land yourself with a job in one of your dream companies. But how many of you are prepare to go the extra mile just to live your dream? Or at least, prepare enough to do well for your interview?

There’s no sweetness without sacrifice. There’s no victory without a fight. Many WANT to become a top earner in your industry. Many dream of becoming the young and successful of your trade. But when asked what have you done to achieve your goals. I bet you not, no more than 10% of you have done anything to get you closer to your goals.

Many failed to walk the talk. Or perhaps, have used the wrong strategies to achieve your goals. The secret to success is no secret. For instance, you will experience higher rate of success if you manage to make an impression during your interview session. Some of you might say “Hey, tell me something I don’t know.”

Now, what have you done to make an impression during your interview?

Did you do some research about the company? Do you know about the history and background, key milestone behind the organization? What do you know about the industry? Have you spoken to their customers to get an insight into why people value their products or services?

If you said you love advertising, do you know anything about the history of advertising? What are the brilliant ads and how ads have evolve since the 70s till 20s? Have you even look at the ads on the newspaper everyday? Do you even buy the newspaper?

Another secret to success is another no brainer. You will be more successful if you are good at what you do. For instance, you must be good at say selling before you can become a top sales man in your organization. Make sense?

Now, what have you done to polish up your salesmanship to prove your value to your organization? Have you done enough research and read enough books on the various sales techniques? Have you done any studies or observations to find out what makes people buy? Have you experiment on your sales techniques to see if it work? Have you actually sold anything in your life?

Many complain they felt lost about their career goals. And have no freaking idea on what to do to plan their career. But when ask, what have they done to resolve this? Can you guess their response?

I’ve conducted career development talks for FREE, but how many of them actually turn up? I’ve suggested numbers books on career development strategies, but how many of them actually read any of the titles? I’ve shared several real life techniques and tips on how to add value to your employers. But how many actually paid attention in class, and even make the effort to put them into practice?

Now, do you know why only 1 in 10 will be more successful in their life?

Here are some of the key take outs from the sessions:

– There is no short cut in this industry. In fact, for any industry that you will be embarking on. Hard work is inevitable for success to happen.

– Passion about your job is your key to success. Without it, you can never survive any ordeal. It is your secret weapon that will help you pull through the shit you will be facing in your career.

– Always leave your ego at the door. It helps you to connect and work better with the people around you. Because you need the support of your colleagues to bring you to the next level.

– Which means, relationship building is a MUST have skill in any career development journey.

– The best place to learn is the school of life, the earlier you start to learn, the closer you will get to your goals. Start early if you can. (Visit here to find out more)

– Your biggest asset is not your Degree or Master, but your ability to have a point of view.

– As a fresh grad, do not make turn your CV into a worthless piece of paper to prove that you are of legal age to work. Think about what you can do for them and not what you have done previously.

– Do not over complicate matters and over engineered your plots to your life journey. As Steve Jobs said, you can only join the dots backwards, and not forward.