Breaking In

Over 100 Advertising Insiders Reveal How to Build a Portfolio that Will Get You Hired

Interviews by William Burks Spencer

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Interview Excerpt: Neil D’Souza, Creative Director, The Partnership, Dubai

If you missed it, check out some great work from Neil D’Souza.

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WS: What do you think of showing work that is not advertising?

ND: Everything that makes you creative is relevant. And a good creative director will recognize your “multifaceted-ness” for what it is: the ability to see creative ideas everywhere. It’s a prized gift. You just have to look at the non-advertising interests of the best creative people and you’ll realize that they all have this gift for seeing creativity in everything. And it shows in their work.

WS: Do you have any other advice for a student or junior trying to get into the business, either in putting together a book or how to actually start looking for jobs?

ND: Besides having the qualifications, I do believe one of the best ways to break into advertising is through networking. And I don’t mean just professional networking. The “six-degrees theory” really does work. Just tell everyone you know that you are very interested in landing a job as a copywriter with an agency. It helps if you’re not terribly picky about which agency when you’re starting out. Tell your parents, your uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, just tell anyone and everyone you know to keep an ear and an eye out for you. Your family and loved ones are your best networkers. I kid you not, but while I was working in New Delhi, I once landed a job with an agency in New York, totally out of the blue. All because my mum happened to mention me to a friend of hers who was visiting from New York who happened to have a friend in the New York agency. Call it coincidence, luck, whatever, but the fact is connections happen all the time. But, while waiting for these connections to happen, do your bit by doing the rounds and sticking your foot into doors. Any door. You never know where it will lead.

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