It’s not all Mad Men, suits and scotch. Lexi Mounsey shares her career story (as she was recognised as one of J. Walter Thompson’s Rising Stars) just two years after graduating, we thought we better listen…
Who are you?
I am an Account Manager at J. Walter Thomson in London having been employed by the company’s Sydney firm since completing my studies. I’ve completed an internship at Sydney PR firm One Green Bean as part of my studies at Macleay College (Diploma in Advertising and an Advanced Diploma in Communications) and worked as the Marketing Assistant for the Cockatoo Island Film Festival in 2012.
Hi Lexi! So, what is advertising?
Ultimately, advertising helps drive behaviour change. That’s pretty powerful. Before I got into the advertising world I was studying a degree in physiotherapy and working at a little homewares store in Berry. I used to flog cushions and bamboo ladders to customers all day. I enjoyed interacting with people and observing the way they’d make an intuitive decision, then rationalise it post-purchase, and what do you know, it turns out there’s a career for that!
Advertising is the business of people, or emotions. A great ad has a great human truth behind it. Leave the brand or product truth out of it and there will always be an emotional element that resonates with people. It’s always important to be curious, a trait I honed while studying.
So, try new things, read everything and watch everything, watch people, and watch their processes. If you constantly observe the world around you, you are better equipped to trigger inspiration for a great, unique idea that resonates with others.
Advertising is the business of people, or emotions.
I interned learning a lot of lessons along the way, including that you don’t have to love every role in an industry. Once you graduate you’ll have a sound understanding of how the industry works, the different departments and what they do. So, between my studies and interning I landed a role as an account executive in a creative agency. If you’re not sure what department you want to wind up in, this is a fantastic role to pursue as you get full sight of projects from beginning to end.
Perseverance is the key to getting a foot in the door. I have a stack of cover letters to basically every shop in town, most of which I received no response from. Don’t let it get you down – research the role, the clients that agency holds, the history of the agency so you’re ready if an interview comes up at short notice.
If you don’t get it, drop them a note, let them know you’re passionate and curious – these two qualities are hard to teach, so let both be known.
Access to data, tech, and artificial intelligence means big things for advertising in the future. It’s fragmenting the ideas and making brands work harder for attention. It also opens up incredible opportunities, so it’s a pretty exciting ride ahead.
I experience things all the time that change my direction and I’m sure my big break as a CEO is yet to come!
If this sounds like it could be for you, why not land yourself the dream internship?