What to do? What to do? Job, Internship, Portfolio School?

Hello All!           

I hope you learned something from the previous posted answers. If you think you haven’t, then you may be overconfident and think you know it all, which is a bad bad thing in advertising. Just ask around.

Anyways, here’s your chance to learn more about what’s going on in professionals heads.

1-  Portfolio School vs Experience. 

ME, from Why Advertising Sucks? (http://adssuck.blogspot.com/) 

It’s kind of tricky. It all depends on what your agency is looking for. Sometimes experience WILL be a must. No experience is usually for interns. You MUST have experience even if you are at college. I don’t care what you do, get coffee, mop the floor. If you don’t have experience, it will be easier to get another job – which I strongly recommend anyways, advertising sucks – than getting into an ad agency. BTW: Portfolio school? What the f*** is that?


Joker, from Why Advertising Sucks? (http://adssuck.blogspot.com/) 

If those were my only two criteria, I’d choose experience every time. It’s not that I don’t value highly polished skills, but look at it like war. Would you rather be in combat with someone who was in the Gulf or someone who has the high score in Black Ops?


 Restrictions Apply, from Why Advertising Sucks? (http://adssuck.blogspot.com/) 

It depends. Experience doesn’t necessarily mean “experienced.” I’ve come across many people who’ve worked in the biz for 20 years, and still aren’t worth their mettle. Again, it all comes down to the attitude and confidence you project.


Creative Director, Hispanic Advertising Agency

Experience. Portfolio school helps you polish some of your skills, but in the real world, you don’t have the luxury to spend months in the same project. In the real world, you have to deal with the Account people, client’s feedback, Creative Director’s direction, the owner’s mood, the mediocrity of hundreds, etc. That experience helps you understand and work under pressure and makes you react effectively. That will show you the ropes.


Shane Strudwick, One awesome Creative Director

Experience is more valuable than portfolio school, in my opinion. Getting in and getting the day-to-day grinding of a real agency experience means you can come in and hit the ground running, probably are void of attitude, and you have proved that you’re willing to bust your ass to gain more experience. Don’t get me wrong portfolio school is great and the instructors are sharp and know the business. It’s like being a parent for the first time, you can take a lot of classes about being a parent but once that baby is in your arms the real experience meter starts ticking.


Daniel Charron, Atheist Creative Director who will only worship the Gods of Advertising 

There’s no cookie-cutter answer to this. I look for talent, ideas and passion. So if it’s someone who is out of school or off the street, I don’t mind, as long as the ideas and raw guts are there.



2- Unpaid internships? yes? no?

 ME, from Why Advertising Sucks? (http://adssuck.blogspot.com/) 

Sad to report, it happens. If you find somewhere where you can do your internship and they actually are willing to pay – just grab on to that office and never leave. Grab a ball or a boob if you must to never lose that job, because it is a miracle. I hated internships because they basically did not require a single item that was related to real life ad agency shit. You organize papers, you pick up the phone. Basically you will do an internship and you will not learn a decent thing until you start working full time. Then? Think of saturdays and sundays like unpaid internships. Yup. Trust me, there will be weekends where you will feel like a rookie. An unpaid rookie.


Joker, from Why Advertising Sucks? (http://adssuck.blogspot.com/) 

I did paid and unpaid… they both have their pros and cons. For unpaid internships, it shows guts and that you didn’t back down from crappy work even if they were not paying you. Whatever anyone says, that’s a statement. Paid internships have the bonus of some extra cash, but trust me, those $300 are going to cost you a hell of a lot more. What it all boils down to though is experience. I went to Ad competitions twice as a main presenter, did three internships (2 paid, one 3 months, the other 4 ½ months + 1 unpaid= six months and I set the time limit), and worked freelance for the crappiest jobs ever just to pay the bills. Each experience taught me what are my strengths, what things I should work on and what happens in different agencies.


Restrictions Apply, from Why Advertising Sucks?


If there’s enough budget, sure, but pay is usually doled out in the form of class credits. The important thing is to get your foot in the door.


Creative Director, Hispanic Advertising Agency

I believe that you should be always compensated for your work. If I was the owner of an Agency, I would definitely pay the interns. They would be more motivated and they will say nice things about the agency later on. That will lead to more people wanting to come work for you. Good PR, peeps! Good PR!

Now, there are Agencies that are so “hot” that they don’t pay their interns. You should consider them because they may be worth the experience. Anyways, you have to pay your dues at some point. Also, saying that you interned at “Flores and Flores Advertising” (and you’ve got paid) is not like saying that you interned at DDB or CP+B (paid or not).


Shane Strudwick, One awesome Creative Director

Whatever gets you to the end result – a full-time paid gig at a shop you respect. Too many small shops abuse interns. You should always be getting more out of the place then they get out of you. If you’re not. Find another shop that will take you.


Daniel Charron, Atheist Creative Director who will only worship the Gods of Advertising 

Unpaid internship seems to be the norm now. That’s what happens when the economy goes bad. If you can afford it and it’s, in the end a good investment, go for it.


Now that the pros gave their opinion about us, I will let them speak about themselves on the next posts. And man! you do not want to miss those. Some are HILARIOUS! Enjoy and keep coming back for more posts.

Remember, this is all about you; the Junior who’s crazy enough to pick advertising as a career. Don’t worry, I’m not judging. But before you jump all the way, there are some things you should know. And that’s when I come in.





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