While academic experience is an admirable and necessary pursuit, today’s job market requires time in the trenches so you can develop creative aptitude, industry smarts and applicable work experience. The combination ensures applicants really stand out as a job candidate.
At Trevelino/Keller, we not only understand the need for these skills but fuel their development as part of our Account Coordinator (AC) program. At its core, the program boasts one or two 16-week paid “apprenticing” positions, depending on the semester, and offers recent graduates the opportunity to engage in real agency work. This means we actively focus on integrating these hires as functioning parts of our account teams with the goal of arming them for success beyond their time with us. I myself came through the T/K AC program years ago and can speak to its benefits.
Today, as the program’s manager, I’m often asked by interviewing candidates what qualities make a great AC and team member. Here are just a few of the most important things a candidate should bring to the table:
It is almost never a slow day at T/K, but if your work starts to lighten, ask around to see if anyone needs any assistance. This shows your drive to A) learn as much as possible, B) support your team. Assume even the smallest responsibilities have a lesson. It takes a village to run an agency, so no task is too small to help get the job done.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions.
Questions are a part of the learning process, and if you’re truly listening and have questions, please ask them. Asking questions can demonstrate you’re thinking critically and trying to get to the best result in the most direct way.
Manage Your Time.
Agency life is a balancing act of learning to juggle many clients, ongoing activities and deadlines. As such, good time management is critical. As is learning to prioritize what assignments are most important or are on deadline.
Be a Problem Solver.
If you’re given a task and it doesn’t come together on the first try, try again. Come at it from a different angle. Commit to finding the solution. Every account team has a long list of to-dos for our clients. Before you approach a higher-up with an issue or challenge, see if you can first figure out the solution. Even if your solution is not 100 person on-point, the extra effort will show initiative and problem-solving skills.
Remember, as you’re starting out, no one expects you to come in knowing everything. The point is to demonstrate an eagerness to develop your skills and interests. In the agency world, those who tend to excel are the ones focused on personal and professional growth. The T/K AC program checks an important box on your resume; but ultimately, it should elevate your confidence as you pursue the career that will offer you amazing opportunities. Ready to start your future?