It’s been a while since I last posted something, but I’m finding that the process of writing a dissertation drains the desire to write anything else. So this post might be a bit rusty, for which I apologise. Anyway, I’ve had a little ‘break’ this past week from the dissertation as I attended the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM) Summer School. So there I was, exactly a week ago, entering the same building after almost 2 months from the assessment day (read here if you wish) not knowing what to expect apart from what’s written on their website.
It was nice to recognise people from the assessment, classmates from uni, but little did I know…The first day was really exciting – we met Simon Hall who talked to us about Big Ideas and Little London – a live and alive football-pitch-size model of London aspiring to be one of the top 5 attractions of the British capital. I’ll definitely be there to see it! Then we had a live brief from Havas EHS on a marketing campaign for First Great Western which was loads of fun to work on during the week and then pitch on Friday. The day ended with a lovely dinner with new students and past graduates mingling, sharing impressions on the summer school and the career ahead.
The week continued with learning about customer experience from Reynolds Busby Lee and an agency visit to Rapp which was very insightful and cool to see that they make work fun. We also learned about Big Data with Matthew Bayfield from Ogilvy and SEO with Susan Hallam, an enthusiastic, straightforward and very approachable presenter. I personally think universities should take higher interest in these aspects as they are the hottest topics right now, and crucial things to understand if you’re pursuing a career in marketing.
And perhaps the highlight of the week was the networking event at The Goring Hotel with the sponsors, practitioners and none other than THE Rory Sutherland. Now, we’ve all heard how important networking is, but no one does it like the IDM Summer School! Us students have recently been told to improve our networking skills, but what they don’t tell you is that it isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s difficult to walk to a recognised professional and say: Hi, I’m Anca, a recent graduate and I want to know more about what you do. I don’t have that much to offer you at the moment but I’d love for you to give me chance. That’s tough! But what I found fantastic at the Summer School is that no one really cared about your professional status, everyone was relaxed to chat, willing to help and genuinely interested in you as a person. Because if you make it to the Summer School, you’ve already reached a peak that says something about your knowledge.
I’d love to tell you more, but readers can only dedicate so much attention to one thing online. Drop me a line if you want to hear more of my adventures.
p.s. the food was amazing: delicious lasagna, mild chicken curry, rich chili con carne, creamy melt-in-your mouth meringues and crumbly but moist brownies are just a few. Just saying…