How time flies! Almost a year has passed since we welcomed Claire Brayshay (23) and Zsa Perry (recently turned 25) to the Ogilvy Graduate Programme (OGP) and we decided to have a little catch up session with them to find out what their year has been like.
Claire Brayshay (left), Zsa Perry (right) // Ogilvy Graduates
Q: So you’ve been here for just about a year, if there is one thing you have taken away from this experience what would you say it is?
Claire: There is no time to be bored in a world as beautiful and unpredictable as this.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about your time here?
Zsa: Well I love advertising. I love the way this industry works, despite the problems, the outdated systems, the occasional negative person and those days that just suck, I love what this business could be and getting the chance to see it from all sides, to really understand how the whole machine works, was something immensely special.
Q: Which department are you currently in?
Zsa: I’m finished rotating and a month into my permanent position as a copywriter in the main studio.
Q: How many departments have you worked in at Ogilvy? Which has been your favorite?
Claire: Account Management, Strategy, PR, OgilvyOne, Creative…so 5. I have enjoyed and learnt different things in each of them so perhaps instead of choosing a favourite, I’ll say my favourite thing about each. In Account Management, I loved the brand I worked on and being on the sixth floor of one of the best offices in Cape Town. In Strategy, I loved having the space to think and take initiative. In PR, I especially loved the people. In OgilvyOne, I loved the pace and dedication to producing good work. In Creative, I loved, well…being creative.
Q: What would you say is the best thing you have learned about this industry?
Claire: As annoying and unhelpful as advertising can be, it has enormous potential to do amazing things that matter. I hope to be a part of the latter.
Q:What would be your advice to the new Grads starting the programme?
Zsa: It’s going to be the best year of your life but most of it will be really, really hard. Get ready to tread water in the deep end for at least 10 months. Be mature, be nice and above all, be positive.
Claire: Ooh dear. I’m going to have to do a list.
Starting out: You realise very quickly when arriving at Ogilvy that all the hard work and effort you put into getting here is now in the past. It’s done, you got here. Congrats. Tap tap. Now do something more amazing.
Mid-way through: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable (haha, that’s actually a quote from a yoga class I did once). Your first year of work is always going to be a bit challenging, but when you’re moving through different departments (should you choose to), consistently having to prove yourself to a new set of people without them being able to put a “label” as to what you do (people like this kind of security)…it gets a bit uncomfortable. As long as you go in knowing that, you’ll be fine.
Towards the end: Don’t rush into one department. You’ve got your whole life to sit at one desk. Take the time to move around – it’s a humbling privilege that many other people in the agency would love to have and allows you to learn things that you might not put down on paper, but that will give you a better perspective for the future.