Jiaan Koch is currently completing the Clemenger Exception to the Rule Program, after impressing the team with his video interview. Once selected, he was enrolled into our Graduate Program for access to professional training, grassroots events and networking.

What prompted you to apply to this year’s Grad Program?
At the end of my advertising degree I knew that getting my foot in the door of the ad world would be the hardest part. So when I found Clemenger BBDO’s Exception to the Rule program, I knew I wanted to throw my hat in the ring. The program enables successful applicants to go through six departments rotating fortnightly – eventually being placed in a permanent position for the remainder of the year. The Exceptions program has given me a unique experience within the multiple different departments of a creative agency, and has fast tracked my understanding of Clemenger BBDO.

How do you feel about the agency you were placed with?
Clemenger’s Exception program meant that I would be at Clemenger BBDO for the year. Yet, the programs rotations meant that I could be selected into any of the departments within the agency. At the completion of the rotations I was placed in an Account Service role on the Mars Chocolate and Petcare account. I always had my fingers crossed, for a position in an account service role, constantly talking about chocolate and puppies is just a bonus.

What campaign are you working on right now (or just wrapped up?)
Recently I have been involved in many of the numerous channel rollouts of the new brand platform for Mars – “Enough Chocolate to Deal with Anything”. As well as upcoming campaigns establishing this brand platform for the future.

What do you enjoy about your current role?
As an account executive you get to have your fingers in all the pies from start to finish of a campaign. You’re there to witness the first creative presentation of a beautiful and amazing idea plus all the roadblocks and speed bumps that come with actually getting this idea out into the world.

Any advice for new grads?
I asked for, and was given, plenty of advice in my first few months in this grad program.

The three pieces that stood out to me were:

  • Be a Sponge – Soak everything up. There’s far too much information, knowledge, tips, tricks and hints thrown at you to actually take in at the start of your career. Just remember that you’re there to learn and you’re not going to ace this from the get-go.
  • Say Yes and Speak Up – Just as you must be willing to soak everything up. You’ve also got to make sure that you speak up when you’re interested in a project you may come across. Say Yes to anything that comes your way for the first little bit, throw yourself into projects and really immerse yourself so you get the best out of yourself and the project.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Screw Things Up – Simple. You only make a mistake once, don’t be afraid of them but most importantly, remember to learn from all of them.

What have been the highlights from the program for you?
Meeting all of the wonderful other grads in the Comms Council program. Getting to work and learn from some of the best advertising brains in Australia. Being provided with insights and key learnings from leaders within the industry through the Comms Council program.