Life as an Ogilvy Grad – the good, the bad…and the caffeine.

The year is drawing to a close, but before we go off on our much-needed vacation, we thought we’d check in with our Ogilvy Graduates one last time to see how 2015 has been for these new(ish) Ogilvillians.

Last time we spoke to Glenn and Kara, Glenn was creating content for PR and Kara was moving out of PR and into Strategy for Ogilvy & Mather.

We sat down with them to find out how 2015 was and what they make of #agencylife.


Q: The programme provides graduates with the opportunity to move throughout the various departments to discover which one they feel best suits them: After a year of exposure to the different disciplines, where do you think your best fit is and why? 

A: “One of the things I have found myself saying quite a lot recently is “Just because you like cooking, doesn’t mean that you are going to be a good chef” and think this is relevant to where I am now. Moving around the agency leaves you in a little bit of an uncertain place because just when you think you are getting a grasp of something, you have to move on. With that being said, I would like to stay in strategy, but at this point – the power isn’t in my hands so we will have to wait and see.”

Q: What have you learned about yourself since you’ve been here?

A: “That I am quite malleable – in terms of adapting to work, in terms of adapting to people, in terms of managing my own expectations etc. This year has been super rewarding, but it’s also been a bumpy ride, there have been so many high highs, but also a few lows sprinkled in-between. I think it’s important to be adaptable and to ensure that you are able to stay at a sort of constant in terms of work life.”

Q: What has been one of your highlights during your time in the agency?

A: “I have to name a few – the dress ups (I think these were my favourite), quiz night, the nights/days out after work, going up table mountain with the Do Good team, most importantly though, but my main highlights have all definitely accumulated from being in all the different departments and having developed both personal and work relationships with so many people the building because I have moved around so much, which I think is quite a rare privilege.”

Halloween dress up. Martin Magner (left), Kara Levy (right)

Q: Was there a time where you questioned if this industry was for you?

A: “I think it’s only natural to question your line of work from time to time, but on a whole, no.”

Q: Where do you see yourself five years from now?

A: “I’ve always wanted to live overseas for a bit, so I probably won’t be in South Africa – but you never know. I’d definitely like to be doing advertising still, but I would like to be involved with recycling in some way or another, because it is something that I am really passionate about.”

The Friday tequila ritual. Every Friday, 3pm, Shelley’s office – a Kara fav.


Q: You made the decision to stay in PR during the programme. Looking back, what attracted you to the department and the role?

A: “I first picked it because I thought it would be a pleasant balance between what I had learnt at varsity & what I would learn in the real world. It turned out that I actually knew absolutely nothing which was okay because there were people willing to be patient & teach me. Becoming a creative felt like a natural role to go into for so many reasons. Having so many ideas spinning in my head at any given moment and now my job requires me to shape those into something coherent and useful? Sign me up.”

Q: What have you learned about yourself since you’ve been here?

A: “It’s hard to really answer this question just because we would be here for ages. What I will say is that I’ve grown a tremendous amount as a person & managed to find a bit more of myself without having to travel to Thailand for a year or read ‘Eat. Pray. Love.'”

Q: What is the best part of your job?

A: “The unpredictability of it all. I might be putting together a campaign concept one day and shooting celebrities in a music video the next. There are always different challenges and that keeps things interesting and forces me to learn quickly.”

Q: What advice would you give to someone wanting to apply to the Ogilvy Graduate Programme?

A: Just be yourself. In this industry, we’re storytellers and there’s no better story than your own. That sounds super corny but I’m sticking to it. Until 2016.

Q: Any tips for other newbies?

A: I feel like a year into this job, no one should be taking advice from me. But, I would say that you shouldn’t be afraid to screw up. Because you will. The most important thing is to bounce back and learn from your mistakes. And also not to beat yourself up about it, we’re only human.

Glenn 2
One of Glenn’s 2015 highlights was rocking this teeny tiny (also bedazzled) ladies underwear. When we asked for his comment he said “Totally worth it. I got to go to the Loeries which was the best time.”

Glenn and Kara are the last official ‘Ogilvy Graduates’ before the new O25 Graduate Programme kicks off next year. It has been a treat having them and we can’t wait to see what they do next!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *