Im writing an essay for an internship at an advertising company and I need some ideas. Please let me know if you work for an advertising company and what you look for in interns and employees.
I work for an advertising agency and I've hired interns. Although different shops have different priorities, here's what I would look for.
Top marks goes to passion for the business. This is not a 9 to 5 industry and it takes a special kind of crazy to keep up with the pace. On a light day you can be pulled in eight different directions so you need to be loving what you do. If you don't, you ain't gonna last.
After that, it kind of splinters depending on what department you are shooting for.
If you are looking to get into Creative, there was a very good answer posted earlier by a Copywriter. I'll defer to his answer.
If you are looking to get into Account Services, you need organizational skills. A lot of Account Services Interns make the mistake of relying on strategic or "big thinking" skills. The harsh reality is that an intern or a new hire is not going to get anywhere near a strategy document unless it involves making photocopies. You'll be relied on to set up meetings, open billing dockets, manage invoicing, put things through studio, juggle workback schedules .. and that's just Monday. If you aren't orgranized, you will get crushed.
If you are going into Media, you need to be detailed. Later on in a Media career, you'd be writing media plans and negotiating big dollar buys … but as with Account Services the first few years will be cutting your teeth and making your bones. This means data entry, contract checking and budget maintenance. It's very detailed work so the Media Director will be looking for someone who can manage the minutae.
Finally, a sense of humour helps too. Despite everything I've just said, it's only advertising. We're not out to save the cheerleader or the world, we're here to make ads. It's a fun industry filled with all kinds of characters. Being able to laugh at the absurdity of it all is worth it's weight in gold.
I hope this helps.