Does anyone have any advice for graduates looking to break into the creative advertising sector as an account manager?

As I approach the end of my university career at the University of Leeds, I am hoping to hear from people within the creative industries who are happy to give me some advice as I enter this next chapter of my life. I spent my industry year abroad in Paris working for a Marketing and PR firm as an account manager, working with a range of luxury interior design and homeware clients. As someone who has always been very captivated and passionate about culture and human behaviour, advertising is a field that I have always hoped to enter. With my extremely creative mind and great communication skills, I believe that continuing down the account management path is right for me. I would greatly appreciate any advice from anyone within the creative industries who might have any tips for my next steps. I am new to this wonderful platform so please feel free to connect and we can build our work tribe!

All the best,

Soph x


  • Hi Sophie, have a think about your favourite campaigns and approach those agencies & brands for summer internships or graduate trainee schemes. If applications have closed, it's still worth expressing an interest in a week or two as any experience is invaluable.

    Collating & gaining permission to show examples of campaigns that you've been involved in at your recent placement or university projects, is great to form a portfolio. Connecting with talent managers and advertising specialist recruiters is also key.

    Best of luck,


  • Hi Sophie,
    I graduated from Bristol about 6years ago now and went into account management. I started with work experience while at Uni, then got internships, then an account executive role - first in Sydney at Leo Burnett and then back to London at BBH. Happy to chat about how I navigated the different stages if that would be helpful! Simple but important - have a really clear, quick read CV, keep cover letters short, bespoke to where you're applying, and in the body of your email, and apply actively to advertised entry level programmes, or send emails to internal or external recruiters in the right fields, Alexandra x
  • Also, if it’s advertising you are interested in, check out the WPP fellowship scheme. It’s tough and selective but a great way to get a future career in the industry.
  • As an Arts graduate who went into Account Management in the creative industries over 10 years ago, I would advise you to do your research. Research the company and the brands they look after to get a good understanding of what they are about. The culture of advertising can be ruthless and competitive and somewhat soulless when you consider that you are there to sell product and line the pockets of others so make sure you are passionate about it and the clients you are going to have. Ask around for recommendations on companies to work for and what they are like day to day. You will need to be prepared to work long hours and be fast and efficient. Advertising can be demanding and a lot of it can be facilitating relationships with people under pressure to deliver so good customer service, a can do attitude and being organised are key. Be able to structure your workload and prioritise so you can juggle multiple things at the same time and be prepared to do things at the drop of a hat. Good luck.
  • Hi Soph, I wish we had known you a couple of months ago! :-) We have been searching for an account manager to join the team and I'm also alumni of the University of Leeds.

    Throughout our recruitment process, we've been keen to find someone with understanding of design. Not all account managers have a creative mindset! So, find ways to communicate your understanding of the industry.

    I'd also suggest networking — as an account manager, you will be naturally people-orientated, so it should be fairly straight-forward for you! However, keep consistently doing it. It's a bit difficult at the moment with COVID, but hopefully we'll be back to events and meetings soon.

    Also, it's good to know an account manager with initiative and forward-thinking. You know what the client needs before they do! These are all great things to promote about yourself.

    I hope this helps? It'd be lovely to chat further and stay connected, if you are interested? Please feel free to pop me a message.
  • Start building a portfolio of your own projects and write about your management style / the things that inspire you to think differently in the sector.

    More than ever people crave edge thinking in the business landscape at the moment. Putting your creative ideas to action. If even just in a deck to explain the idea goes a long way in your portfolio.

    Start building solutions to brands existing issues and research thoroughly.

    Network intentionally.

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