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Getting Experience With a Creative Agency

Discussion in 'Design Jobs & Employment Forum:' started by pealo86, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. pealo86

    pealo86 New Member

    I've been working as a freelance web & graphic designer for nearly 4 years now, and also worked part time with a couple of agencies before that. Which gave me some valuable industry experience, however these were more internet marketing agencies, not creative ones as such.

    I really want to get some experience with a really cool creative agency however. I would happily do any of the following:
    • full time employment
    • part time employment
    • unpaid temporary placement (part-time, as I'd need time to freelance outside of work in order to pay my bills!)

    In terms of part-time employment, I would even happily work for a low wage, if the agency was cool enough. This should hopefully give me enough time to freelance outside of the job in order to pay my rent etc.

    Also, I don't even really mind which city I was to work from. I'm currently based in Liverpool however I'd happily travel to another city, e.g. Leeds, Sheffield, Bristol, London etc but would it be likely that any agencies might pay my travel / accommodation fees?

    I've mentioned that to a couple of people who've done placements and they said I've have a very hard time finding an agency that would be willing to pay my travel or accommodation expenses with an unpaid placement.

    But what does everyone on here think?

    Please avoid posting any replies that ask me if I *really* need the experience, as it's a pretty long story why I want to.
  2. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Hi, I think you'll have a better chance of getting experience in a studio if you approach agencies you actually want to work for directly. I'm not there are many people on here who are in a position to accept placements, since many of use are self-employed ourselves. Also, agencies, particularly creative ones, don't need to scour forums for placements since they're often inundated with requests anyway. You need to get their attention directly.

    Why would you expect them to pay when they have no idea who you are or what your skill level is? You should be prepared to take the financial hit of having to travel to and from your dream studio each day, in exchange for a valuable chance to make a good impression on someone who could potentially offer you a job, or put you in touch with someone who can.

    If they ask you to stay a bit longer when you're week or two is up, then I would mention travel expenses, but I wouldn't expect them to pay until you prove you're a valuable asset. I believe agencies should pay travel expenses, especially if you're working on actual client projects for them, but only after you've proved yourself, and only if it's within reason.
  3. pealo86

    pealo86 New Member

    Thanks for the tips.

    I've just realised however that I wasn't very clear in my original post! I was in fact planning on contacting agencies directly, but was just wondering what peoples' thoughts were on the likelihood of finding a placement that was perhaps part time, or even finding part time employment with a creative agency.

    As for travel expenses etc, I was under the impression that a lot of placements normally last for a couple of months rather than a week or two? I imagine it would vary between agencies though.

    I imagine you're right with regards to needing to prove that I was a valuable asset in order to even have a slight chance of having any expenses reimbursed. They would have a fairly good idea of my skill level and who I am from my showing them my website and portfolio however. I know they would still need to see me actually working from within their studio first however before they knew just how valuable I was to them.

    I think I'll pretty much bank on *not* having any expenses reimbursed then anyway! It all comes down to what I can afford really. Do you think many agencies would let people onto placements if they only had time for 2 - 3 days per week?


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