Dream of working in advertising? Well it might be even more accessible as a career than you’d originally thought.

We spoke to Olivia Packshaw, an Account Executive there, who told us that VCCP are launching a new year-long entry program for recruits interested in Account Management and Planning. And you don’t need a degree!

Olivia explained: “With this new scheme there’s no need for a degree, all we want is someone over 18, who has A-C GCSE grades in Maths and English.” She explained:  “We’ve relaxed the entry requirements because we are a creative agency and are always making sure we have the most creative output. That doesn’t come from a sea of sameness, it comes from variety and curiosity. To get that, you need a varied amount of people year-on-year.”

Sounds good to us! We asked Olivia a bit more about her role below, and why you should apply for a spot on VCCP’s new scheme, known as The Table. Read on.

Hi Olivia! How did you get into your role?

“I went to Edinburgh and studied psychology, when I was in my last year of Uni I thought ‘oh god what am going to do?’ I didn’t want to work in a traditional office environment, I wanted to explore branding, so I then applied to advertising agencies with some entry level positions and got accepted by VCCP. I started in September 2012 and have been there ever since. Often in advertising you move regularly but I’ve stayed, which is a testament to VCCP and how they have looked after me and encouraged my career progression.”

So The Table is launching, which will make your office more inclusive. But why is it important to have a diverse range of people coming into advertising?

“So as well as making a diverse creative output with a diverse group of people, we are talking to a broad consumer range and advertising a larger range of products, from chocolate to car insurance to soap. We need to make sure we are hiring lots of different types of people to make lots of different types of advertising that talks to lots of different types of people. I wanted to help make that change so I fully support this entry level. The Table is something I’m proud of!”

It’s such a good idea! Graduate jobs aren’t for everyone after all…

“Yes! Normally you’d need to come in through a grad recruitment program… but we thought if you’re always getting grads who are getting 2:1s, and who are from similar universities, you won’t get the most creativity. And we need variety and curiosity.”

What’s the best thing about working at VCCP?

“It’s a really fun place to work; you don’t have two versions of yourself for home and work – you can bring your personality to work. VCCP encourage you to develop your authentic self in advertising and that’s been great for me. VCCP have a different outlook; they talk about being the challenge agency, they want to challenge brands. We believe in doing things differently, and challenging that status quo.”

And how can people apply?

“So as well  needing an A-C in Maths and English, we have an application form with video, or written if you’d prefer. And we run an assessment day, then we bring you into a live workshop, then set you challenges and see how you work for each other in teams, and look at your excitement for brands. We then ask a certain amount of candidates to stay, and have individual interviews with them. Then we pick our new candidates!

“We wanted to stop limiting ourselves when it came to picking candidates, and of course, University costs £9k now so it’s not a viable option for everyone. We wanted to be that first step towards change.”

Sounds exciting! For more info, or to apply for a spot on VCCP’s The Table, check out this page.


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