It’s been a fantastic two weeks at d.fferent. I’ve met some lovely people, learnt a ton about advertising, and drank enough free coffee to fuel an addiction.
Perhaps the best way to describe my time at d.fferent is to go back a few months, back to a moment I’ll not be forgetting anytime soon. I’d just sat my first finals exam, and it was awful. Not the ‘oh dear that wasn’t great’ awful, but the ‘oh god, the girl next to me is crying in the exam, I want to cry too’ awful*. On my way home from this particular horror I bumped into my personal tutor, whose words are branded into me, probably for life.
After hearing my sorry tale he cheerily said “Oh well! It’s all downhill from here!”
Well. Thanks pal.
However! It turns out he wasn’t being the world’s most insensitive tutor, but imparting words of wisdom. He went on to explain that ‘downhill from here’ is a commonly misconceived phrase. Its true meaning is this: you’ve pushed your way up the hill, now it can only get better. Ready, get set, go down the hill.
And that’s what it’s like at d.fferent. You’ve pushed your way up the hill and d.fferent are there at the top, ready to give you that extra nudge you need to propel yourself into the world of advertising. Advertising is a hard sector to get into, but if you make it here then you are one step closer to success.
I was lucky enough to get a place on the account handling programme, and from day one I’ve been involved in live briefs for national brands, learnt how to use Synergist (job costing and project management software) and shadowed my mentor (Joe) during key moments of an up and coming campaign for one d.fferent’s newest clients. I’ve been shown the work of some amazing creatives (I was baffled) and even as I write this I’m helping one of the designers work on a live brief. Today is my last day and I’ve just presented my project to a boardroom of account handlers, and I was touched that so many people would take time out of their day to support me and listen to my research.
Because it’s not just the skills you pick up during your time here. It’s the experience as a whole. d.fferent as an agency is an incredibly welcoming and thriving environment. I’ve had the privilege to work alongside some truly talented people, and it’s been fantastic for me to get a feel for what a real advertising agency is like, especially one with such high profile clients. From the moment you arrive till the moment you leave, the team at d.fferent make an effort to ensure you feel at home, and offer you endless opportunities to learn (and laugh).
If you’ve applied to d.fferent summer school then you are one step closer to kicking down the door of advertising, and I hope to see you on my journey, down that hill.
Special shout-outs to Claire [Ed: Stevo] and Gail for putting up with my incessant nattering, Mell for her endless streams of support, Mike for taking time out to help me, James for opening my eyes to d.fferento/ogy (who knew data was so important!?) and Joe for showing me the ropes these past two weeks. You’ve all helped to make my experience here invaluable.
*It turned out the exam wasn’t as awful as I thought; I got my results whilst at d.fferent and received a glass of champagne to say congrats. The champs wasn’t technically there for me, it was actually because Ellie was leaving… but I was appreciative all the same. It’s the thought that counts.
by Megan Hill