Carolines Stanley's Diary

Caroline Stanley  

Agency: Clemenger BBDO
Age: 22
Degree/education: Bachelor of Arts/Laws

Diary Entry 3 (April 2016)

As our first three months as grads come to a close, it’s time for some of us to start a new rotation. It’s been a very busy and productive few months, and I’ve become so much more effective and efficient in my role in the agency. Working on Tourism Australia has meant that I’ve had a lot of exposure to global markets, which has involved communicating with offices all over the world and producing different versions of our ads based on what would suit those different markets and audiences. This is a great learning opportunity, to figure out what appeals to different markets and learn more about other cultures and what they are looking for in their ads. I’ve also been working more closely with Studio to produce some in-house documents, which is a great opportunity because it’s very different from what we do in account management. It’s great to see what they can do on InDesign and Photoshop and how we can change images and presentations to theme them and adapt them to a higher level of professionalism.

Our whole Communications Council grad group has spent quite a bit of time together over the last few months. This has been so much fun and we are really getting close as a group. It makes a big difference to have a support group of people that you are comfortable with asking questions to and seeking advice from within your agency, but also the social support from the grads outside is so lovely.

My next rotation is in Public Relations, so very different from account management. I look forward to doing some new tasks in a new team – though it will be strange being the new kid on the black again.

Diary Entry 2 (March 2016)

Agency life is starting to feel much less foreign to me. I am much more familiar with our processes and tasks, and am starting to be able to take ownership of some jobs by myself.  Each day is still very different, depending on what ongoing tasks I have, and what my mentor is doing. At times, I am briefed to contribute in some way to an intra-agency document, whether that be a presentation, a work in progress (WIP), a report or something else. These kind of tasks are great, because often it means that I have the opportunity to look at the different work that the agency has produced and really get my head around the work that we do. At other times, I am more involved in the work that my mentor is doing. This is definitely where I learn the most, because I will either ‘shadow’ my mentor and get familiar with the way that she approaches tasks and takes briefs from start to finish, or she will give me ownership of parts of the process for a particular brief.

The agency itself makes life as a Grad so much easier. Everybody is interested in contributing to our experience as Grads and ensuring that we have the help that we need and are enjoying the work that we are doing. There’s always someone to chat to by the coffee machine and there’s always somebody down in studio that you can ask a question to if you’re not sure what you’re doing. Most Friday afternoons, many people in the agency will enjoy a few drinks together out on the balcony and being able to socialise with everybody like this, no matter what department or account they work in, makes everyone very accessible.  

My key learning so far is definitely that the devil is in the detail. As I become more familiar with the content of the work that we do, and am completing many tasks by myself, I’m quickly becoming aware of how important the detail of the information that you provide is. The more information that you can give studio when you are briefing a job, the better, and the same goes when you are reporting back to your client or your team. This is something that I can constantly improve on and definitely something that I will actively apply attention to as I move forward.

One of the best parts about the Grad program so far has been the extra training and functions that we have been exposed to. A few weeks ago, we had a two-day training session with the Communications Council and we heard from some of the most inspiring and successful people in the industry in Australia. I found these sessions exceptionally motivating, and they completely changed my concept of what ‘creative thinking’ was, as well as what it means to be creative in this industry. I’ve since approached my job with a lot more energy and curiosity.


Diary Entry 1 (February 2016)


When I finished uni, I knew that I wanted to work in an industry where personality was valued, and where the environment was fast-paced, engaging, and dynamic. I wasn’t entirely sure though what specific skill-set would be required from me in what different jobs, or what I was best suited for. Applying to a Grad Program was the most appealing option for me, as it would provide me with exposure to many different facets of the advertising and marketing industries, and give me the opportunity to learn a lot in a short amount of time. I also found the application process very appealing, as it required more from me than just the provision of a resume, academic transcript and cover letter, like so many other jobs for uni-leavers did.

I found that the application process engaged different intellectual and creative aspects of my brain and personality from any other work that I’d done previously. I definitely put a lot of character into my application, and I really appreciated the departure from the usual focus on question-answer and academic transcripts. My recommendations to anyone applying would be that it’s unlikely that your ideas are too weird, out-there, or creative for your application. Produce work that reflects your individuality, and work that nobody else could produce. It’s certainly not something to get stressed about. If you have an idea that feels good to you and that makes you excited, then you’re on the right track.

Agency Life so far

If the application process hadn’t tipped me off enough - agency life so far has certainly emphasised that whilst it is important that you are intelligent and hard-working, the importance of personality, thinking creatively, being proactive and being a fast learner definitely outstrip that. I’ve spent a lot of time shadowing people on my team – taking notes in emails and updating documents, as well as trying to wrap my head around the structure of the documents on the server and the process of executing a brief from start to finish. However, I’ve also spent some time sitting at my desk with nothing to do (I can highly recommend that you spend some time on The Inspiration Room if this ever happens to you), and eating free food (M&Ms, chips, Starburst, and Hungry Jacks to name a few). It’s a really mixed experience, particularly initially, and I’m still finding each day pretty exciting and challenging.

It’s fantastic that the IPA Foundation Certificate is part of the Grad Program. I think we are at the stage where we are trying to learn as much as we can, and the ability to have such targeted learning and teaching from leaders in the industry is such a great opportunity. I’m thrilled that it provides us with the opportunity to get another qualification, particularly as I wasn’t strictly degree-relevant for this industry in the first place.