Industry Talks – Reflection

Over the past few weeks, the industry talks we’ve had have really given me an insight into the many different creative paths there are. We have acquired so much knowledge and advice from all of the guests in such a short space of time.

Our first guest, Global Creative Director, Stephan Roux, gave us a plethora of tips and information about his career and the industry. He explained that his role is more about organising the crew for a project rather than being the main creative input. His story about how he worked in Hong Kong got me thinking about and considering working abroad to gain similar experience. I had never really thought about working in a different cultural environment before. I like to believe that I could leave my comfort zone if the opportunity came along as it would be a great challenge.

In week two, Cris Mascort introduced us to working life as a Brand Designer and Service Designer. Her development from her degree in Advertising and Public Relations to work for DEC BBDO as Junior Art Director was greatly interesting as she too had to learn about the cultural differences in advertising, after her move from Spain to the UK. The main message she gave us was to do work we love- don’t take a job just for the money because you will be miserable. She explained the importance of finding balance between your career and personal life. This is very important to me as I do find I work a lot better when I’m more chilled out, stress and worry keep me from working how I want to.

Between Cris and the next guest, Brian gave us an insight into his career, and spoke about ‘Influencing without Power’. Some of his knowledge on being an account manager was: you must be rational in order to make decisions based on what works best for a business, everything you do and don’t do costs a lot of money. Account management is about diversity, strategy, and in particular, problem solving- bringing new solutions that are on brand, building relationships. This was very useful information for all of us and could help a great deal for potential account management roles.

Our next speaker was Ticketmaster’s Alex Towers. His role is to maintain client relationships, but in the time he is working there he hopes to make the company seem more human. From journalism to product management, it was good to hear how pretty much trial and error led him to a job he enjoys doing. It demonstrated the many different experiences you will come across in your career before you settle into a role you’re passionate about, and it’s ok not to find a perfect job straight away- but you have to have the bad experiences in order to find the good.

Dave Birss was next, with his many stories of the roles he has had over his career. His presentation was a great example of diversity- you don’t have to stick to just one role throughout your career. It is ok to take risks to find a better job for yourself and great experience for future employers. He also gave some fantastic advise about how to get your foot in the door early for jobs and how to wow employers, valuable information I will definitely take with me through the years.

In our final week, we had a quick visit from Tom and Kostie, previous Ravensbourne students who have had a decent amount of success in their post-uni lives. They have a YouTube channel, Rangatang, that they have been creating content on as a side project. In fact, one of their videos has ended up going viral, earning them a larger following as well as many more clients. Of all the guests we have had over the weeks, it was good to see graduates closer to our age doing so well from themselves- people who have gone through everything we are now. From their experiences, I hope to develop and become a graduate who is proactive once they leave, and then be successful myself.

A reoccurring theme within each guests’ experiences was that they had a period of time in their careers where they weren’t satisfied with their job or the work they were producing. The advice that came from most guests was to do something you truly enjoy, don’t waste time on things you think you should do just for the money.

As someone who is always stuck in the safe zone, each guests’ words were really encouraging to break boundaries. I hadn’t seen many creatives first hand, or heard of their roles in the industry before now so I was naive to all of the many opportunities there are out in the world of advertising. However, from these few hour-or-so long sessions I have really made me consider what I’d like to do with my degree once I graduate- there are so many possibilities out there that I don’t know about.

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