How To: Get Graduate Game Ready

Lindsay Smart, one of our 2018 OMD Sydney Interns, worked across clients such as Qantas and Estée Lauder.

For me, walking into OMD was kind of like joining a social sporting team – for a game that you’ve never played before. It consists of a lot of smiling, a lot of generous encouragement, and a lot of patience from everyone who does know what’s going on. But on my end, mostly just frantic calls of ‘what’s the rule?’, ‘what do I do?!’ and occasionally a baffled ‘wait, what just happened?’.

As the only non-Media/Marketing intern, I was anxious to see how quickly I would drown in agency-lingo, and day one did little to encourage me;

“Everyone’s read through a media brief before?”  Silence.

“You’re all good with Excel right?”  Tentative nod.

“Programmatics.”  Blank stare.

But like all sport – it’s about the team around you. Lucky for me, Team Qestée (Qantas & Estée Lauder) made my internship a win, prior Excel skills or not. So here are two training tips my managers, Coach Amy and Captain Nick taught me over my 4 weeks in OMD’s internship program:

1. Live to practice

Work is 9-5 but the after-hours investment make all the difference. In media specifically, watching the adverts, observing the trends and listening to people’s words and actions are all methods of research that can be created into an insight you can take confidently to your clients. Electing to read the trade press about what’s circulating in the industry is what will keep you relevant and shows initiative, important traits in a sales-driven market.

2. Play to win

Doing your job is a good thing, but doing the job you haven’t been asked to do is a great thing. Always strive to go above and beyond the expectation set in front of you. If you’ve been asked to evaluate a campaign, evaluate the competitors too. If you’ve been asked to explain a string of data, go one step further and advise how it can be used in the future. People and teams who go the extra mile are never asked to do so, they self-prescribe that extra work on the basis that it’s an investment that reaps dividends. The return is in trust and loyalty – and in OMD’s case, over 10 industry awards this past year alone.

Ultimately, work in a way that drives you forward.

The stumbling blocks of week one are only fatal if you forfeit the game. This month I campaign-reported, pitch-presented, Google-explored and learnt how to make a pivot table in Excel. In everything I did, my team had their sights on growth and that’s how I’ve learnt to play this game. Always practicing, always out for the win, but most importantly – always on the field.

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