As a former intern and now account manager with Vizeum South Africa, Delicia Arjunan shares some advice for anyone considering a career in advertising (and those already in the game!)
I embarked on my journey with DAN as a 21-year-old intern and have been learning ever since – even now (maybe now more than ever!) in my role as an account manager, I am constantly pushing myself to grow and learn more. The opportunities within the group really are endless, but you have to go out and grab them.
That intern life
As an intern within the DAN group, it is expected that you will be entrenched in assisting anyone and everyone with their daily tasks. This includes coming into contact with client briefs, internal data and analytics tools, planning and implementation teams as well as reporting. All these facets of strategy are what each intern will be mildly exposed to as a form of equipping them with the knowledge and know-how of the media and advertising space.
The DAN group, and particularly Vizeum, has a young and energetic culture and there is definitely a “work hard, play hard” mentality that everyone subscribes to. If you want to keep up as a team member working in this environment, you are required to be agile and ambitious. This often means thinking on the spot and being exceptionally good with managing expectations, as well as relationships across the board, from colleagues to clients.
Showing initiative will take you far
Taking charge of your own growth and tapping into the human and academic resources available within Vizeum and DAN (or wherever you might find yourself) is the best advice I can give anyone starting out in the advertising business – or any business, for that matter.
Since being at DAN I’ve had the opportunity to complete my honours degree in marketing management and have successfully completed many digital courses, including the likes of NextGen, which allowed me to interact with teams across the globe within the business, as well as share concepts and thinking around various topics.
While working in the data and insights central services team, I had the privilege of traveling to Nigeria and Kenya to train employees on CCS, our data tool – an experience which has been invaluable to me. Sharing a conference stage with our regional CEO in a live panel discussion was another incredible moment in my career, along with being invited to be part of a panel for the selection of AMASA (Advertising Media Association of South Africa) candidates.
Become a hybrid
There is never such a thing as knowing enough or knowing too much or not needing to know at all! I pride myself on asking all the questions I can think of and keeping my curious brain alive. Furthermore, expanding your knowledge outside of the walls of your organisation is imperative and often under-practised. Tapping into psychology and behavioural economics is as important as putting a media plan together, for example. The marketing industry is extremely fascinating for this very reason. As a marketer, you are essentially doing the job of multiple faculties and it is up to you to verse yourself in these nuances in order to become the best marketing version of yourself.
This is the only way to grow holistically. Being a master of all trades is the new essential in marketing – developing yourself to become a hybrid is the only way to future-proof yourself and ensure that you have all the basics in place to turn your big ideas into reality.