We recently opened the forum for emerging designers to tweet their burning questions to Ram Castillo, career expert, senior designer and author of
How to Get a Job as a Designer, Guaranteed
. Tweet your questions about scoring a great design job @thegiantthinker and check back here to read
“How do you get your foot in the door at an ad agency?”
I got my start at renowned agency Ogilvy & Mather and went on to work for agencies like DDB and McCann World Group, so speaking from personal
experience, there are three doors: the first is the front door, the second is the side door and the third is the back door.
Entering through the front door is incredibly rare when starting out in the industry. The chances of scoring a job this way are about the same as ringing
the door bell to a private party hosted by Katy Perry and walking right in. You need a certain level of experience, talent and established contacts.
The side door is a more likely way in, which is what worked for me. It's taking an entry-level position that isn't directly related to design. In short,
working in the mailroom, in reception or as an office assistant for about 12 months is a common way to get your foot in the door at an ad agency. It's a
small sacrifice with big returns. You’re exposed to agency process and many talented creative thinkers and doers. On top of that, you get to network with
some highly influential people in the industry.
This leads me to the third door: your connections. The ad agency world is small, so it's important to grow your network. People are opportunities. If you
know someone that can get you straight in, you're potentially skipping the queue altogether as they escort you through the back (think of it like the VIP
entrance) and give you a solid recommendation.
Whichever door you end up going through, make sure you demonstrate your initiative, a hunger for learning, and gratitude for making it across the
For more, pick up a copy of Castillo's internationally and industry-acclaimed book How to Get a Job as a Designer, Guaranteed
If you'd like to be a designer, read Ram's internationally industry acclaimed book here:
Ram is an award winning Design Director, Blogger, top ranking Podcaster, Speaker, CreativeLive.com Instructor and Author of the internationally acclaimed book 'How to get a job as a designer, guaranteed'.
He's based in Sydney, Australia and in 2012, started the blog
GiantThinkers.com which helps thousands of design students and graduates be employed. Ram has since been featured in Communication Arts, HOW magazine, Herman Miller, deFrost*, AIGA.org and Apple.
As fellow professionals, we want you to know that we welcome and encourage our membership to be involved with how AIGA Baltimore is run just as much as any board member. As with many professional groups, we are regulated by our chapter bylaws, a formal document that dictates how we govern ourselves. It is a common practice for non-profits to revise their bylaws to be able to reflect the changing landscape and realities of our expanding and dynamic organization. Review our chapter's updated bylaws.
If you try to do all web development yourself to save money, you will find yourself stretched thin and limited by what you can do. You will discover, just like I did, that if you want to focus on growing your business and getting higher-end clients, you
will need to grow your team.
Turner Duckworth Holiday Card 2009
The 2015 AIGA Awards Gala
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Harry Potter + #graphicdesign fans—new exhibit displays movie designs @minalima https://t.co/uip9TKApLC @Design_Week https://t.co/7O9ONFG88e
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