In the beginning, it was advertising
My story is pretty cliché because I’ve wanted to go into advertising since I was a freshman in college. I finished Communication and Public Relations, at SNSPA, where I knew I wanted to study since I was 13, a suspicious desire given that the adults around me didn’t understand what communication was and why you need college for something we all do every day. I didn’t understand much of it either, but I certainly knew that I loved what pertained to all this “people stuff”, the organizing and the passing on of ideas. Later, I was proud that I opposed the tide of conventionalism and chose a major that seemed like science fiction in the eyes of my high school teachers because I went through college with a lot of passion. And passion goes a long way when you have to put in the effort.
But let’s get back to advertising. In my freshman year of college, I participated in the Weeks of Work program run by Centrade and decided that when I grew up, I wanted to be an advertiser. I had some contact, from the outside admittedly, with the industry, because I was #humanofPRIME and automatically had a pretty good idea of what the job was. To be honest, I realize now that I had a pretty romanticized view of the industry and fell in love with a Mad Men-ist vibe, which although it hasn’t left me even now, I realize as a personal bias. In any case, from the time of Centrade until I ended up in advertising, an internship at McCann, volunteering, some freelancing, and a master in the UK all passed me by, and although my peers took on jobs fairly early on, I chose to enjoy other student experiences. What I mean by this is that there is no universally valid recipe for getting into this industry. You can choose any path, and the more it’s sprinkled with people and experiences that develop you, the better.
What you need. Passion for the field, endurance of stress, the ability to understand that people are very different in terms of the background that got them where they are now, but most of all the ability to understand that advertising is not art, but a creative tool to meet business goals. I say that because, although we like to hear that the sky is the limit when it comes to brands, there are limitations, whether they come from the people who run the brand, the industry it’s part of or the characteristics of the target audience. It’s very important to understand this because otherwise you can feel constrained, especially when you’re just starting. The important thing is to take the reality of the brand as it is and understand that change comes with patience, hard work, and effective creativity. And yes, that effectiveness may sound cliché, but it’s essentially the cornerstone of the industry because people won’t understand why it’s important to invest in communications if you don’t explain to them that the money invested isn’t for the sake of it, but translates into results for their business.
Specifically, about what it’s like to work in advertising. My opinion is a subjective one because I’m still very new and because I love what I do, hence the personal bias I mentioned earlier. If I were to start again, I would do things the same way and I would still like to end up in advertising, where I see myself at least for the next few years. As an account, you come across a variety of people and projects almost daily, which you have to approach in a customized way, depending on each person’s ability and potential. But I’m a kid in a fun house and a big part of why I love this job is the people in the agency I work with. Plus, I think advertising in Romania is still a young industry and has a lot of room to grow, which makes it a challenge. It’s up to us to guide it the way we want it to be, but of course, as I said before, it’s important to realize that it’s a long-term project that requires a lot of work.
If I were to offer one piece of advice to any young person wanting to get into advertising, it would be to always be realistic and down to earth. I’m not sure whether or not it’s an industry for everyone, but what I do know is that it’s extremely dynamic and you need to constantly learn if you want to stay relevant, both as a brand and as an advertiser. Also, from my own experience, I can say that it’s a good idea to start your career in a small agency because it’s a much warmer environment where people are patient with you and you can try things outside of your position.
Advice for employers? Be honest with the people you recruit and invest in their development because at the end of the day a frustrated person at work will invest less than they can in their work.
Andrada took her first steps in advertising in January 2019, when she became part of the Minio team, where she is a Junior Account Executive. Andrada graduated in Communication and Public Relations at SNSPA and a Master in Marketing at Lancaster University, UK. During her studies, she was a PRIME Romania volunteer, where she worked as a PR&Ad Fair organizer for the 2015 and 2016 editions and is currently Vice President of Communication in the League of Romanian Students Abroad.
Source: PR Romania