The week before the half-term break not only saw the restoration of BlackBerry service but also the arrival of two work experience students keen to sample a life in marketing.
Green and Greener have made a good impression. They have enjoyed a classic marketing week taking in a sales team meeting, doing a few select store visits, a tour of one of our factories and indeed a trip to the bright lights of Soho to mingle with similar aged creative types.
I got to spend an hour with them at the start and end of their week to welcome them on board and to listen to their own presentation as to what they had learned from their experience. Their debrief presentation was remarkably good (I suspect they had been up all night preparing it) though they did insist on using their own MacBooks rather than being seen with our standard issue uncool laptops.
It was rather like being at an agency meeting as two bright young things in jeans and hoodies told me how my brands might connect with their tribes. I felt both old and out of my depth in places. Social media was, of course, top of their agenda of relevant connectivity, though I was pleasantly reassured by their confirmation that classic advertising can still rock their boat when the creative is relevant, of course.
At the debrief, Green and Greener declared that they both wanted a career in marketing. That was good to hear and in no small part due to the excellent work of one of my brand team, who put in a lot of time and effort to set up a quite superb week of activity for them.
They were genuinely grateful and excited by some of the things they had been exposed to, which reminded me of how lucky we are to work in marketing. We sometimes take it for granted, but it is a genuine privilege to spend your working life in such an exciting field.
However, there is no doubt that as you become more senior in marketing, the less fun it gets. You end up managing internal stakeholders and a team and spend an ever decreasing portion of your time playing brand manager, which remains the best job in town.
Listening to the youth academy talk so excitedly about some of the things they had experienced was incredibly motivating. Memo to self: Make sure you don’t give up all the fun bits of marketing.