Interviewing an Assistant Account Executive at Saatchi & Saatchi
What is your current role?
I currently work as an Assistant Account Executive at Saatchi & Saatchi, a global advertising agency based in New York City. As an Account Executive I act as the liaison between our creative team and our clients. This means I am in constant communication with our internal team and the brand team, working to ensure deadlines are met and the creative work is top quality. I enjoy this role because it allows me to see projects from start to finish, meaning I am hands on from when a project is briefed to when the TV commercial is live. This allows me to see all parts of the business and is a great starting role to grow my skill-set in the industry. Saatchi & Saatchi is a tight-knit and collaborative company in which everyone works together to provide the best possible product to our clients.
What is something people may not know about advertising?
The advertising industry tends to have a later recruiting timeline. Whereas the finance track is structured with summer analyst programs typically leading to full-time offers, recruiting for advertising happens on a much shorter timeline. Once a role opens, the hiring process happens quickly and slots often get filled in just a few weeks. The nature of the recruiting cycle makes it important to build up a network of contacts in the industry so when a position opens up, you have connections established that can help you get your foot in the door. Establishing connections while at Hamilton, through alums and friends and family you may know in the industry, is crucial to getting interviews and opportunities once roles open – especially since the recruiting timeline is so short.
Another interesting point about the industry is that many people come from big schools with Advertising or Marketing majors. Although this feels like a disadvantage when applying with minimal experience, be sure to play up your liberal arts education. The ability to read, write, and think critically is super important in the industry, and will give you a leg up on your peers once in the workplace. With that being said, speaking with alums and trying to gain as much industry knowledge as you can while at Hamilton will set you up for success in interviews. Connections can really help when you need to ask dumb questions and get advice when applying to internships/jobs.
Additionally, since Hamilton doesn’t have many industry-specific advertising courses, finding ways to keep up with the industry is important. There are great resources to help you learn the language and keep you up to date with the industry, such as AdWeek and/or AdAge. Anything you can do while at Hamilton will help in the interview process and give you a leg up when applying!
How would you describe your first year so far?
The first year is all about learning the industry and figuring out your day-to-day responsibilities. At Hamilton, you learn all kinds of valuable skills for your career but many aren’t necessarily industry-specific. Thus, the first year includes lots of learning the industry-specific skills, while also applying the valuable liberal arts skills you learn at Hamilton.
TJ Daigler '18 currently works as an Assistant Account Executive at Saatchi & Saatchi. TJ majored in economics and minored in computer science and communications at Hamilton.