17/12/2015, by CLAS
From Intern to Account Executive: An MA Student’s Experience in the Creative Industries
Jessica Gilby was one of the students on our MA in Film, Television and Screen Industries. The course is specifically designed to provide students with in-depth understanding of the screen industries and how they operate. As part of the course, we offer highly competitive industry internships in the UK and the US. One of these is with TEA in London and Jessica was one of two students who interned there in the Summer. TEA (www.teaentertain.com) is an award-winning London-based creative agency. At the end of 2015, Jessica was offered a permanent position as an Account Executive at the agency.
What can I say about my internship as an Account Executive at TEA? Well firstly, what is TEA? TEA stands for The Entertainment Agency, and that is essentially your role: to entertain; to inspire; to engage – not only your clients through innovative creative campaigns but also the in-house studio designers who need the inspiration from your brief in the first place! My time at TEA has allowed me to begin to comprehend the complicated notion of ‘entertainment’ and how a company like TEA can begin to even break the surface of advertising within this fast moving and multi-platform media landscape.
My first day at TEA seems like a world away now, but I distinctly remember: shadowing an account manager; asking a million questions; and nervously sipping at a cup of tea (because that is what you are meant to do at TEA right? Drink tea?). But soon everything changed when another account manager was due to go on holiday and suddenly I was speedily trained to help with her accounts and swiftly thrown into the deep end. This was fantastic for me as (however cliché this sounds) I learn and thrive more under pressure! So soon I was sending emails directly to clients, answering phones, calling publications, checking work and giving briefs to studio designers (while still drinking lots of tea of course!). The one thing that I will emphasise is my appreciation at being treated as much more than an intern at TEA. They treated me as one of their own and more importantly they trusted me – this allowed me to grow within the company and learn more than I ever anticipated.
Breakout room at TEA
Also, everyone is nice at TEA – and no I am not just saying that. When I first joined TEA, I was worried by how close knit everyone seemed and anxious due to being the youngest in the office, but soon my worries were put to rest. Yes, being the youngest is off-putting when you have to brief studio designers who are both older and more experienced than you – but actually this is a blessing because they ask you questions you wouldn’t think to ask and this further speeds up the learning process. Meanwhile, the other account managers – despite being immensely busy – are always willing to answer your questions. So, if you are a polite, hard-working and confident person, have no fear! You will fit in perfectly within the account team.
What’s the best advice I can give you? An internship is most valuable if you make it your own. Learn as much as you can, as fast as you can. If you want to learn something in particular, just ask. In fact, if you have any questions at all, ask them straight away and learn for next time (it is better to ask a quick question and get on with your work than sit there wasting time!). Be organised and work hard! (HINT: Ask about ‘FRADMIN’ when you get here). Lastly, get to know everyone in the office because they are all great people – and you never know, you might be here a little longer than you thought you would be….
Account Executive @ TEA
Jess graduated from the MA in Film, Television and Screen Industries in 2015