By: Eirinn Spekter
Dear Program 35ers of the future,
Congratulations! You’re the freshest batch of devoted creatives and you’re in for the experience of a lifetime. As recent grads and driven young creatives, you should be proud of where you’ve landed. Before you know it, you’ll be fully woven into the Hill Holliday fabric, loaded with challenging projects and free food. We are Program 35 veterans and we want to offer our advice to you as you embark on this adventure.
Do More. Whatever you’re working on, whenever you think you can be done, don’t be. You’re here to come up with ideas, but chances are, you aren’t as good at that as the people who have been working in advertising since you were in Hebrew School, or even the people who have been doing it since your last semester. So never stop generating ideas, because if you come up with enough, one might have a tiny nugget that can turn into something better. Embrace failure – it means you’re taking risks and tiny steps closer to a good idea.
Love your fellow interns. You’re all cut from the same cloth. That cloth is probably pretty hilarious and quirky and wild. Grow to love each other and the days will fly by. Your work will be better, too. Love each other, but don’t stifle the desire to be better than them. Don’t stifle the desire to be better than anyone. Because that’s how you become better.
Take every project seriously, without getting too serious. Every assignment is a chance to prove yourself as the creative genius you think you are. “But how can I prove myself writing tweets?” you ask? Embrace it and make it the best tweet ever. Don’t forget to have fun with it. That’s the best part of the job.
Open your ears. That means listen. Listen well. Listen often. Listen to the whole spiel your creative director is giving you. Even if they’re drunk. Even if you’re drunk. Because there’s a lot that you don’t know, and there’s a lot that they do. And you learn by paying attention and taking notes, even if it is weird to have your notebook in the bathroom.
Advocate for yourself. This industry is fast-paced and no two days are the same. That’s why you’ll love it. It’s also why you need to have a voice. Take on new projects. Exceed people’s expectations. Make your goals known and, most importantly, sell your work with pride.
Take care of yourself. We all love the creative lifestyle, but it can quickly consume you if you let it. You will get assignments as you walk out the door. You will work late. You will wake up to a gorgeous Boston sunrise in a beanbag wedged in the corner of a conference room. Believe me, this hard work will pay off, but you need to take care of yourself. Eat healthy. Plan weekend trips. Hydrate. And don’t forget that hard work is as fun as you make it. And it can be very, very fun.
Say thank you. A lot of people here are going to go out of their way to help you. With work. With life. With food. They don’t have to. They just do. Why? Because everyone here is nice. Be nice back. Say thanks.
You’re ready now. Absorb everything around you (especially our sage advice) and dive right in. Leave your mark on this agency, because it’s no doubt going to leave its mark on you.
Program 35, 2015.