A new brand identity that underscores our approach to B2B marketing — always customized, never templated
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As college seniors transition into their second semester, the job hunt is in full force – and so is the debate about whether young professionals should start their careers in-house or at an agency. If you’re about to graduate and can feel your anxiety kicking in as you read this post, take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay. While there are positives and negatives for either option, starting at an agency is most beneficial for young professionals who want a diverse (and fun) first job.
Here are the four reasons why agencies are the best first job for young professionals:
Work on a variety of clients doing different types of work
At an agency, each day brings unique challenges. The exciting part of an agency is switching between doing tasks such as writing a white paper about big data to conducting media outreach about a client’s new app. As a young professional, you’ll get a broad range of experience and discover what type of work you’re best at – and what you enjoy the most.
Experience a fast-paced environment and work under tight deadlines
In the fast-paced agency world, there’s never room (or time) for you to be bored. With a variety of clients, there’s always something new to work on and you’ll never be sitting at your desk waiting for an assignment. You’ll also operate under short deadlines, which makes you a better and more efficient worker. Clients are billed for a certain number of hours each month, so you’ll also have to track your time. Every PR professional will tell you that tracking hours is their least favorite activity, but monitoring the time you spend on a task does encourage you to work more productively – a skill that will help you throughout your career.
Access to senior-level leaders
At an agency – especially a smaller agency – you will work directly with account directors, vice presidents and the president. At previous internships, I was always intimidated by senior leaders and didn’t feel comfortable speaking up. But at an agency, I work directly with the president on a day-to-day basis. You’ll also interact with clients who are CEOs or C-level executives. The ability to communicate directly and confidently with executives will be helpful as you progress in your career, whether you stay at an agency or move in-house.
Work with creative, talented professionals
Remember how I said you’d never be bored? While that’s partly because of the workload, it’s also because you’re working with quick thinkers who are extremely creative – and fun. With the open, collaborative environment at an agency, you work across teams and get to know your co-workers well. Agencies typically employ a large number of 20-somethings, which is an excellent way to meet new people after graduation, especially if you move to a new city. The “work hard, play hard” attitude is the norm at an agency, so you get to know your coworkers on a personal level very quickly.
Still nervous to intern at an agency? Just keep in mind that it’s not permanent; it’s just one summer. And I guarantee you’ll have a lot more fun and learn more than you did lifeguarding at the pool or waiting tables.