Interested in advertising? Wondering how to get into the business? We spoke to Ivan Eustace, Account Director at Vizeum Ireland about his career.
Q.1. Tell us a bit about your background.
I started in advertising as an intern in Starcom, 7 years ago. Starcom are a media agency based in Dublin docklands. I stayed with them for a number of years planning ad campaigns on some of the biggest accounts in Ireland before heading off to see the world for a year. Upon my return, I joined Vizeum as an Account Director where I work on accounts such as RTÉ, STX and Dairygold.
Q.2. What made you want to get into the business?
In truth, I had no knowledge of the ad world. As an English student, I was all set to become a teacher but my time in college put me off the idea. I had a love of literature though and thought it might be a nice idea to get into publishing, which took me to Galway. Publishing is the other side of advertising in many respects and as soon as I experienced advertising, I was hooked. Advertising is all about people and that is the bit I love.
Q.3. What’s the first mistake you made when you started working – and how can people avoid doing the same?
Like a lot of people, trying to do everything myself. There was a lot of talented people around me when I started and my way of matching up to them was to try do everything myself without looking for advice. I could have asked for simple teaching moments from those very talented people and saved myself hours.
Q.4. What do you think the most important thing is for a successful career? E.g. education, experience, initiative?
For me, initiative is the most important. Candidates who are dynamic and look for opportunities instead of waiting.
Q.5. What advice would you give to people who want to break into the industry?
Very practically, get onto HR in the different agencies, talk to IAPI (the representative organisation for the advertising industry) and enrol in digital marketing courses, if you aren’t in a business stream (though a marketing background is far from a requirement).
I would also suggest reaching out to people in the different agencies. My experience of ad land people is their generosity with time. If you asked to meet someone to learn more about what we do, I bet they would take the time to meet. I know I would.
Q.6. What’s your dream role? How do you hope to achieve it?
Anyone who would know me would know my ambition and belief. To get to the top you need to have a business head, not just an advertising one. My educational background isn’t in business so I see myself doing further education in management so I can talk competently about finance and strategy.
Q.7. What surprised you, if anything, about working in the advertising industry?
How exciting it can be. You get to work with big brands on important campaigns. The pressure and pay off can be amazing.
Q.8. In such a competitive industry, what is one skill could you not do without/is necessary for success?
Always be hungry to learn more. The world is changing all the time and you need to be on top of what is happening now but also what will happen in the future.
Q.9. What’s your number one tip for people on the job hunt?
If you are equally matched to other candidates you need to think of how you can get an edge. Look at the companies that you are applying to and try to mirror their values in your cover letter and CV. This only works if you do it genuinely – what do you like about what they do and more importantly, how they do it.
I also believe in following up with an email after the interview. It is always good to get back on the interviewer’s radar as you may be the 10th person they have met.
Q.10. Finally, what is your favourite thing about working in the business?
The people. There are so many different dynamics – your colleagues, your clients, your peers, media owners, differing disciplines – like creative and PR – and the consumer. We have a very creative and talented industry in Ireland and it is defined by its people.
Sound like something you’d like? Find out more about working in the advertising industry in Ireland at IAPI’s AdExpo this Tuesday, March 6. Read more about it here, and you can register for the event here.
Still here? Check this out: Interested In Working In Advertising? Then This Event Is For You!