Here’s what our 2011 Project Management Grads have to say six months in…
Six months into the JWT Project Management grad scheme and I’m asked to sum up my time here in a paragraph… a very tricky task; something you soon get used to as a PM. My first encounter with life as a PM was with art buying which saw me sifting through photographers, sitting in on treatments (less spa related, more photographers pitching their ideas), negotiating costs as well as having to tell someone they haven’t made the cut. This introduced me nicely to working on the new wave of HSBC creative – from attending shoots with lovely lunches, to finding out if we really could paint a world map on a cow, running my first PPM meeting, wrapping someone up in bubble wrap for a shoot, searching for mushrooms that had a specific size and colour (which seemingly were only available from France in the summer and I was in London and it was December). What was I saying about tricky tasks? But life at JWT isn’t always photo shoots and French restaurants. When (what seemed like) the biggest digital banner campaign this side of the sun landed on my desk I was in a state of melt down, this soon turned to shock when I found out we had one week to turn it around. But with a bit of guidance from some of the best in the industry we managed to extend the deadline and after a lot of hard work, some long days and on-the-job learning we got it out the door.
This really does only touch the surface of my time here and I haven’t even mentioned BBQ’s on the rooftop terrace on a sunny Friday afternoon, picnics in Hyde Park or some of the most memorable nights with some of the best people I’ve met in a very long time.
Summarising six months into one paragraph is certainly a challenge – each day is certainly different. However, one thing I try and start off every day with is a slightly earlier start. It’s good to have this moment of peace in the day because 9.30 comes and that’s when all the action begins, before you know it the day is gone and you are scribbling down your ‘to do’ list for the next day. After six weeks’ training with all the grads I began my first placement in Digital Production. It’s a fast and busy team and I was thrown in at the deep end; handling my own projects from the off. Daunting as this was, what an experience! Delivering my first project that I had managed from start to end was a great feeling and it’s one that I still relish. In March I was given the opportunity to go on a unique three month training course, based at Google and run by Hyper Island. Eighty grads from across the industry were invited to Google’s office, to not only eat them out of house and home (the free food was amazing) but to understand and learn how we can work in an industry where ‘digital’ is having a massive impact. Over this time I have been fortunate enough to meet ad legends such as Jeremy Bullmore, John Hegarty, Rory Sutherland, and that’s to name only a few! As well as working on briefs and presenting back to a panel of industry experts.
In short, working for JWT has given me a whole range of experiences and opportunities in the most exciting industry in England!
To summarize my first 6 months on the PM Grad Scheme in one word, I would have to settle upon unpredictable. Are there many jobs out there where you can expect to end up being the star in a Kit Kat Viral? And, I ask you, what Grad Scheme have you come across where you can work with the likes of Stephen Fry and Billie Piper? I certainly wasn’t predicting the approach of a Creative Director to cast me in a highly innuendo-based comedy test shoot which bordered on a Carry On movie. It’s not all fun and games though – I wasn’t expecting the videoconference link in the most important client meeting of the year to fail on me. I did, however, expect to see the look of death on the senior producers face. And there it was. Above all though, I never predicted my first job could make me feel so included and begin so many new friendships.