Nouvelles Future professionals: How to prepare for agency life
Citoyen is my first “real” job post-university. I feel like I’ve learned and grown so much professionally in this past year alone. Want to know how to prepare yourself for agency life? The real answer is that you’re never ready enough. When you land in an agency you’re drawn into a daily whirlwind that can seem a bit crazy, but is so stimulating. The best thing you can do is jump in feet first and embrace the wild, career-changing ride.
Your university years are the perfect time to pick up resumé-boosting experience. Added bonus: you’ll meet new people and make lasting memories. The opportunities to get involved at your college or university or with outside organizations are virtually endless, so try to look into them before you arrive on campus. You may be inspired to help organize a charity event or become a member of your student association. You could also contact organizations that speak to your interests or career goals to ask for an internship or observation day. As my mother always says: “The worst they can do is say no.” It’s worth a try! If nothing else, you’ll have made new contacts to add to your network.
What employers want
To work in an agency, you need to be versatile, committed, resourceful, and able to adapt to all kinds of situations. Agency life is unpredictable. A calm week can be turned upside down by a crisis that needs to be managed. You have to like working with people, be they colleagues, clients, or agency partners. An agency should run like a well-oiled machine, which means you need to respect the people you work with and help create a positive group dynamic. There are so many qualities that agency employers look for; it would be impossible to find them all in one person. So focus on your strengths and what makes you different.
Standing out from the crowd
As you’re no doubt aware, communications is an extremely competitive field. In any new job or internship, it’s important to make your mark. Do you have a special skill? Are you an avid learner? Do you see a need for something that you know how to do? Seize that opportunity to make yourself an essential member of the team. Keep your eyes open. You may discover that you’re exactly where you need to be.
The way I see it, being in an agency is the best education you’ll get. Everyone, especially when first starting out, works on multiple projects and handles multiple tasks—and that’s a great chance to tap into interests and abilities you didn’t know you had. At Citoyen, we accept unsolicited resumés for our internship program all year long. So if the prospect of gaining agency experience inspires you, make your move!