First Break In Advertising

Rahul Mathew : My First Break In Advertising

I didn’t land my first job in advertising, I wandered into it.

Out of a graduate level B-school, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do.

And my confusion translated into panic for my parents who convinced a family friend to get me an internship with the production department at Timex.

I thought why not.
But a few months into making sales forecasts and production schedules, I knew this wasn’t for me.
It was then that some other interns who had been interacting with me, suggested advertising.

Again I thought, why not.
Media planning was a subject at college. And I thought media planner is what I should be. But Anthem (now TBWA) only had opening for a servicing intern.

The same thought, why not.
But many of my bosses in servicing could tell me why exactly “not”. I was politely asked to leave six months into my internship. A writer who had been interacting with me thought I should try my hand at copywriting.

You can guess what I thought.

And 3 copy tests later, I was in front of my first brochure brief at JWT, delhi.

Ranjit Sasidharan : My First Break In Advertising

I landed my first job despite my portfolio, actually. That portfolio was a joke, a confused bunch of A4 papers that jumped wildly from jejune poetry to wild ruminations to weak advertising ideas, put together over endless cigarettes and late-night television. I assume they gave me the job because I spoke, sounded and muttered like someone who could write English. My convent school education got me that damn job, I think.

Manish Bhatt : My First Break In Advertising

Job hunt was way more complicated back in the late 90’s. Mobile phones were still a rare luxury. Personal landline numbers of Ad People were hard to come by. One had to camp in a STD booth and chase the ad-people through a labyrinth of receptionists and secretaries.
I got my first brush with the ad-world as a summer trainee in Mudra Communications back in 1996. For this, I had to chase down Atulit Saxena, an alumnus of my MBA college. He was a senior ad-exec in Mudra, at a time when Mudra had Santosh Desai still in the process of revolutionising the Planning Function and the creative team of Freddie and Naved were at the height of their powers.
I think it was my sheer desperation more than anything else, that finally made him cave in. 3 years later, I was looking for a job in Delhi, and had made some friends in ad-world, who were way more with-it than I could ever be. One of them, Sandipan Bhattacharya, better known as Sandy and currently ECD at BBDO, landed me an interview with Debasish Paul at Saatchi & Saatchi. Mr. Paul was heading the Delhi branch. I don’t remember much of that interview. I think my passion for internet got through to him and he decided to give me a chance as a Management Trainee. And as Atulit, my first mentor, used to say, Advertising is like a spinning Mary-go-Round, hard to get on. But once you’re on it, it’s impossible to get down.

Nima Namchu : My First Break In Advertising

In the second half of 1992, I was working as an illustrator for The First City magazine in Delhi. Sometimes, when some of the sub-editors were unable to come up with adequate copy, I was called in to help fill the pages with some fiction or interviews. Definitely not a very cool job at all – I was making only 1600 bucks a month.

Akshat Verma (of the Delhi Belly fame), who happened to be one of those sub-editors, harbored the ambition of moving to advertising. And it was he who planted the idea of writing ads in my head. I knocked on quite a few doors and waited many hours in the reception area of many agencies in town until Sanjay Josse, a friend who was working as a junior account executive at Sista’s Pvt. Ltd. (now Saatchi and Saatchi), convinced his creative director, Rajan Rao, to see me.

Rajan called me over for a copy test. Of course, I had no clue of what that was because when he handed me the sheet of paper with the tests, I told him I would take a week to complete that test. I think I heard him laugh loudly as I left his cabin with the sheet of questions.

A week later I was back at Sista’s with a huge paper bag full of hand-drawn and hand-painted ads, direct mailer ideas in 3D, script ideas in finished storyboard form, 3D billboard designs, etc. I think Rajan was overwhelmed by the volume of work because he didn’t offer me a job.

I went back to the illustrator’s desk.

Fortunately, three months later, Rajan called me and asked me if I still wanted to become a copywriter. I grabbed the offer, no questions asked. And I became a trainee copywriter, making 50 bucks more than I was at The First City Magazine.

Rayomand Patell : My First Break In Advertising

I finished my B.Com examination, the very next day i went by to Everest and Chaitra (Now Leo Burnett) asked for a copy test as i’d been at both agencies as a summer trainee.

Both agencies said yes, i chose Everest as i felt i’d have more people to teach me there. My mentor at Everest was a wonderful Sr. Writer called Hanoz Mogrelia (now a big daddy at DDB) and
i owe him a lot. He really took a chance on me. I cannot tell you the sense of deep gratitude i have towards him. Plus i had wonderful creative directors in the
form of Jaikrit Rawat, Vinayak Ponkshe and Iqbal Raj, each of whom taught me so much in those first five years there. The agency was very welcoming and nurturing towards a newbie.
In turn, i’ve tried to keep that going with people i hire. The same sense of absolute responsibility, absolute freedom and having to run with the ball independently.

Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari : My First Job In Advertising

How did you land your first job in advertising?
My first job in advertising was as a summer trainee in network advertising. I remember Rajan giving me my first assignment on Jet Airways. It was a bunting and dangler. And when it got printed i could not believe that this is my work. I had flaunted it to everyone i met.
Later I joined Leo Burnett as a trainee. And that was a very funny interview. I had gone with my huge portfolio and was called into Aggie’s room. I desperately wanted to join LB. He looked at my work and as he was about to say something there was a cockroach running on the carpet. It was the very old LB office. (but still my favorite one. we could hide or runaway from office and servicing would not know 🙂 He asked me ‘ Are you scared of cockroaches? I was quiet smiling.. and then he said ” if you are scared I wont hire you” I took it very seriously and said “No i am not”. He laughed and said “There will too many here to hound you, including me” So when do you want to join… I smiled and said “tomorrow”.