RMIT University Vietnam Professional Communication lecturer Landon Carnie recently job-shadowed at a Ho Chi Minh City-based advertising agency to gain more insights into the world of advertising.
Who said academics were out of touch with industry? RMIT University Vietnam Professional Communication lecturer Landon Carnie recently blew that stereotype out of the water when he job-shadowed at Ho Chi Minh City-based advertising agency Dinosaur from September 30 until October 3.
"I wanted to gain greater insight into how companies in the advertising industry accomplish their goals and how they manage clients in a real context, rather than just from textbooks and articles," Landon said. "I also wanted to further understand the issues faced by our interns and graduates and the companies they intern and work for."
In addition to shoring up examples and case studies for the classroom, Landon undertook an array of tasks such as working on two project bids. He generated ideas for project themes and worked with a former Professional Communication graduate on PowerPoint slides to pitch to a client. "What I learned from this experience was that what we teach in our classes is very similar to the information they present to clients," Landon said.
He also observed an interview with a potential employee and a recording for a television commercial. "The creative director did not ask typical questions – for example 'what are your strengths?' – but immediately requested to see work and asked specific questions about certain examples. He also asked the interviewee to do 'on-the-spot' work," Landon said. "It also amazed me how much they cared about detail and precision when we did the recording - we spent more than four hours rehearsing and recording the song for a 15 second commercial. They also had to manage the client, who wanted a different version, by actually recording the client's version to demonstrate the original one was preferable."
RMIT University Vietnam students apply the knowledge gained in class to the workplace in an internship with an organisation in a field aligned with their degree. Students take on an internship towards the end of their studies, allowing them to easily transition into full-time employment. They are expected to tackle a range of projects provided by employers while RMIT University Vietnam provides close academic supervision.
Students are available for internships at the beginning of each semester, with most lasting 12 weeks.
Landon said interns and graduates needed to be "hungry for work" to excel in the workplace. He recommended interns request a weekly meeting with their supervisor and prioritise tasks. "It is very important interns know what is expected of them every week, what the tasks are, and that they get some direction on how to do it and in what order."