A commonly asked question throughout University is whether you want to work Agency or Client side. From my experience, Agency side has always been the big, shiny Holy Grail, what university has been preparing us for. To help you figure out where you want to start your career, I’ll share with you my experience on both Agency and Client side.

My first internship was at ZOO Advertising Agency, as a digital intern. I worked alongside Angelo Paonne the digital director, as well as John Ruman the Creative Partner. At my time at ZOO I worked on various Google AdWord campaigns and Social and digital media strategies. My favourite thing I worked on at ZOO was on the creative activation for ZOO held at Fashfest 2015. Furthermore I spent some time working with the Media Strategist and the Account Managers, helping them with briefs and strategic plans. My agency experience was everything I expected and more, though I only spent 2 days a week for 5 weeks there. I learnt a great deal during this time, as well as got a feel for Agency life such as long hours, coffee addicts, a very creative office and working environment and of course office dogs.

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My second internship was undertaken at The National Australia Bank in their Social Media Command Centre in Melbourne. During my time I learned a variety of different social media data analytics programs such as Radian6 and Social Studio. I was also given the opportunity to spend a bit of time in their in-house marketing department, writing content for their current AFL campaign and sitting in on meetings with Mindshare and Clemenger BBDO. This gave me insight into the operations of client side advertising for a large corporation. I worked full time at NAB for 4 weeks, and in this time I learnt a lot, especially about myself, living in a different city. I also got the opportunity to sit down with some NAB employees who studied communications, marketing and advertising degrees, offering me insight into their experience and gave me some advice. Having both previously working in agencies before, and now working client side, they said the best way to learn is to start at a small full service agency, where they can offer you as much training as possible, and then later on move to client side.

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Reflecting on both my experiences, I found I learnt more at ZOO Advertising Agency than at NAB, and found that the work was more closely related to my degree. Although I did prefer the shorter days at NAB, but was still prepared to work long days at ZOO as the working environment is easy to enjoy, and everyone else will probably stay back with you.

In all, focus on where you want to be, and work out what you need to do to get there.