In-scope: Creating a career when you’re not sure what it is yet

Naej Blanchard-Dunn is an intern for OMD Create, supporting the team across social, content and creative campaigns.

Nervous.
Excited.
Open-minded.

These were the three most distinguishable feelings as I walked through the doors of OMD on my first day as an intern. These feelings weren’t unfamiliar to me, in fact, they reminded me of my first day of University. Thinking back, ever since I began my first semester, I’ve always experienced these feelings as I ventured on a new experience. However, time and time again, I have proved to myself that stepping into the unknown is always beneficial, rewarding and memorable.

Like everyone else, I’ve had those moments which, at the time, I thought was certainty about who I am and where I want to be career-wise. At age 4, I wanted to be a doctor (even though I almost pass out at the sight of my own blood), age 7 – an actor (even though I am the most awkward person on camera), age 15 – a hairdresser (because I discovered how to braid before anyone else in my friendship group) and most realistically, I decided at age 17 that I wanted to be a journalist. You might be wondering “If your goal is journalism, why are you interning within a media agency?”. Well that goal very quickly changed after my first semester of journalism subjects, and proved the importance of trial and error as well as persistence.

I decided from that point forward that I should take on any opportunity that would give me experience, whether it was tailored to my current career path or not. I was extremely conflicted about where I wanted my degree to lead, so I applied for varied work experience ranging from a Camera/Sound Assistant position at Channel 10, to writing for a local newspaper, to a larger opportunity working interstate for the ABC as part of their foreign affairs team.

Was I interested in foreign affairs? Not necessarily.
But was I willing to try anything? Absolutely.

I eventually found my current internship program – Career Trackers. Career Trackers’ was created to scout Aboriginal university students and help them integrate into the work force by providing internship opportunities during the winter and summer breaks of their degrees.

It was to my absolute delight to see that OMD were a part of the Career Trackers program, and an even greater delight to be hired and placed within their creative, content and sponsorship arm, OMD Create. This team amazed me from day one. From researching the remarkable and original work they have done for clients such as Qantas, Estee Lauder Group and McDonald’s (to name a few), I was so privileged to have this opportunity. Being led and educated by the entire team, specifically Lauren Gibb (Social Executive), Aleksia Dobrich (Social Manager) and Lisa Leicester (Senior Social Manager), will forever remain an experience I will not forget. The passion and drive they have for their work is nothing less than inspiring.

Over the last 12 weeks, OMD has taught me routine, time management skills and at least 10+ new things each day. Thanks to OMD I have found a greater passion, motivation and confidence through being given more responsibility than the classic intern tasks of coffee runs and filing.

My highlight was having the opportunity to monitor and report on major campaigns across two of OMD’s clients. For NSW Government I was introduced to the world of Facebook ads manager, sentiment reporting, community management and excel pivot tables. I also collated competition entries and drafted Instagram posts for Qantas, amongst a lot of other interesting tasks!

Monitoring both these campaigns showed me the reality of a day in the life of a social media manager, and I’ve loved every second of it. As an added bonus, I also now consider myself pretty savvy at Excel!

Gaining this experience helped me understand the importance of keeping an open-mind through any new endeavour. Had anyone asked me prior to this internship if I’d be able to see myself working for a media agency, I would have said no. But after being here full time for the past seven weeks, I am still loving every second of it, and it will be a definite top three career choice when graduating.

The one learning I would like to share to future interns or students, it is that being unsure of who you are, or where you are heading, is not always a negative. With the right attitude you will be able to welcome any opportunity with open arms, and also learn that sometimes the opportunities that you might think aren’t the best fit, may actually turn out to be the greatest choices you make in life.

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