Written by kdanceydowns
BA (Hons) Advertising student Polly shares her inspiring placement story. She’s taken her placement half way across the world, to work as an Account Coordinator at Wunderman.
Good things don’t come easy… well that’s what I kept telling myself. As 75% of my peers had secured a placement, I was determined to do something that excited me, rather than just confirming something so that I could stop thinking and stressing about getting a placement in time.
I booked my flights 10 days before the day I left the UK. I knew no one in Singapore. I didn’t have anywhere permanent to live. I’d never flown on my own. I’d never been to Asia. I’d never properly worked in an agency other than the odd “work experience” for 2 weeks.
However, I am currently part of the Microsoft team at the digital agency Wunderman, in Singapore. I live with two girls from the U.S in an apartment in central Singapore, and I’ve learnt an incredible amount. I have also just begun the role of Content Manager for the department store Robinsons (SG equivalent of Selfridges/Harrods), and have signed on to stay another 3 months.
It was a huge challenge for me when I first begun. In my first week I was writing a creative brief for designers, whilst simultaneously googling a list of abbreviations that were being chucked at me thinking how on earth am I going to cope if this is what they’re starting me off with. Truth is, they were just throwing me in the deep end to see how fast I could swim! I now have a list pinned up by my desk of 25+ acronyms – agency life is fast paced – god FORBID they would have time to spell things out properly. It doesn’t baffle me anymore when I see an email saying something like:
“OOO today, WFH. Please KIV the status of the PO for the TH, MY and PH translations”
Which I have now learnt, reads:
“Out of office today, working from home. Please keep in the view the status of the purchase order for the Thailand, Malaysian and Filipino translations.”
I hope you can understand my initial confusions!
Other than learning the agency terminology and reading up on the brand guidelines for what is considered the 4th largest brand in the world (their brand guidelines are 635 pages long, and that’s just the general “Microsoft Style Guide”). Taking a leap of faith, to seek something that would test me a little further rather than moving back home and doing the daily commute to London, has been beyond worth it. I’ve made friends, travelled to other parts of Asia in the few spare moments that I have, eaten amazing food (some of which I can’t tell you what it is…), and most importantly gained an international perspective on the industry I chose to study at university. I wouldn’t change this experience for the world, and I would recommend it to everyone – don’t just accept the easy options, choose something that you can learn and grow from, and that most importantly, excites you.
By Polly Harris-Saunders