December 1, 2022

So, you want to work at an ad agency?

Julia Snider

HR Specialist

It’s no secret that landing a gig in ad industry is one of the most dynamic and thrilling opportunities you could ever sign up for. Maybe it’s the chance to work with some of the most creative people in the world, or maybe it’s the chance to tackle new challenges and clients on a daily basis. Whatever your reason, plunging headfirst into a new industry is the definition of intimidating. The good news: There are plenty of internships, entry-level roles, and career paths with transferable skills that make getting your foot in the door a little less daunting.

Try before you buy.

Experience is life’s best teacher, right? Right! Many agencies offer internships (like us), so take advantage of them. It’s a great way to not only try out the job but also the company. You know – kind of like a free trial of HBO Max. (Expect you get paid!) At Curiosity, our interns are treated like full-time employees. Talk about a portfolio builder. If you’re a student, or just want to try something new, coming in through an internship is a great way to get our attention. Plus, we offer opportunities in design, strategy, account management, copywriting, media, and more. Take your pick.

Do your homework.

When it comes to agencies, there’s no limit to what they can specialize in. Whether it be creative, media, strategy, or all three, research is extremely helpful in providing context to the agency’s role in the ecosystem. Doing a little stalking will also be helpful to see what skills you can start building if you are looking to cross over from another industry. So go ahead, creep away. Find out what you like and what you don’t like. This saves everyone time in the end.

Find a good mentor.

Trust us, every creative director you look up to didn’t get there on their own. Find someone with the job you want and start a conversation. We all remember the person who took a risk on us, and chances are, your advertising idol will pay it forward. Remember, be teachable and open to new experiences. Having a mentor in your life who’s willing to share their professional and personal journey is helpful at any stage of your career.

You CAN learn new tricks.

Afraid of a career switch up after years in another industry? Take. The. Leap. Even without experience, you can still start building the skills you need to make the jump. Start a portfolio and show off that expertise. Keep in mind that most agencies have positions within various departments of the company. You don’t have to be a creative wizard to work at an ad agency. Take it from me – I recently made a career change from healthcare to … you guessed it, advertising! Our HR department is trained to look for skills beyond agency experience. In my opinion, that’s one of the coolest parts about working at Curiosity.

Confidence is king (or queen!)

Be confident. Know what you want. And, above all, be curious! Imposter syndrome can be tough to overcome – remind yourself of the unique qualities that you bring to the table and make them shine.

There are plenty of ways to kickstart your career at an agency – and it doesn’t have to involve having 10+ year’s experience. If you are just starting out, building connections or a portfolio can help jumpstart the process. Don’t forget to be yourself, and NEVER be afraid to ask questions. At Curiosity, asking questions is kind of our thing.

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