As a relative newbie to the advertising industry I couldn’t pass up the chance to attend the Future Heads Big Grill – getting the ‘do’s and don’ts’ from seasoned experts and the chance to glean some insider tips.

The success of the event last year meant that the evening was a sell out with the Powerscourt Theatre providing the perfect intimate backdrop to put everyone at ease.  On the panel this year were Rachel Carey (Copywriter at Publicis Dublin), Mikey Fleming (Art Director at Boys & Girls), Shireen McDonagh (Senior Account Manager, Cawley Nea\TBWA), Finian Murphy (Planner, Irish International), Maeve O’Gorman (Digital Strategy Director at Mindshare) and Dave O’Kane (Senior Client Manager at Mediaworks). Kieran O’Donovan from Boys and Girls MC’d the event.

The mix of disciplines meant that there really was something for everyone.

There was a great turnout from the IAPI/DIT Postgraduate course in Advertising and Digital Communications and the panel had some invaluable advice for them and anyone else trying to get into the industry – here are the top three tips I took home with me:

Research the agency – if you are lucky enough to get an interview, be prepared! Know the agency, what they do and who they work with. Most importantly, show that you are passionate about the industry!
Ask questions when you start – you can’t come into a job and know what you are doing straight off the bat. Understand that it is better to ask for help rather than to keep going blindly. It is also easier for your new colleagues to answer a question now rather than fix a problem at a later stage!
Make yourself invaluable – if you are taken on as an intern, find something within the agency that you can take ownership of and do well. Then knock it out of the park!
For everyone who has already managed to get their feet firmly through that industry door the panel also provided a gentle reminder of why we do what we do:

Every day is different – the diversity of the industry means that regardless of the type of agency you’re in, no two days are ever the same.
 You actually get to see your work come to life!
 We work hard but we get to play hard too – the culture of the industry and the social side take the edge off those (sometimes) long nights in the office.
What was apparent from everyone speaking was that they loved their jobs and loved coming into work. The culture of an agency can be exactly what keeps you there or makes you leave and the importance of finding where you fit in cannot be underestimated!

After the grilling had finished there was an opportunity to network and mingle with refreshments kindly provided by Tiger Beer.

The next IAPI Future Heads event is one definitely not to be missed as we see the return of the inter-agency Ping Pong Tournament on the 3rd July at Moxi Studies….let the battle commence!!