The Diary of an Intern

Nicole Blake

After graduating from the University of Nottingham with a degree in Sociology, I was still unsure about what career I wanted to pursue. The adult world seems like a scary place, with an infinite number of possibilities.

My brother suggested that I looked at marketing roles. As I read job description after job description, it seemed like the ideal fit. After all, at university I fell in love with cultural theory and spent most of my time analysing discourses found in visual culture. Why shouldn’t I pursue this passion as a career?

Now time to road test the theory…

Manning Gottlieb OMD is a media agency, specialising in data analytics; digital and social strategy and media planning and buying.

Ranked the number one media agency in Europe by WARC 100 in both 2017 and 2018, I knew that MG OMD would be a great place to start learning about the industry and what it takes to make it in this business.

Welcome to Manning Gottlieb OMD

The first days at a new office can feel a lot like the first day of school. Excitement tangled in a web of nerves. It seemed that on that morning my nerves were winning. My head was absolutely spinning with doubts: was I wearing the right thing? Will I say the right thing? What if I make a mistake? Will they like me?

Walking into the office Beyoncé was softly playing in the background (already a good sign). After brief introductions with my team, I was given an MG OMD ‘goodie bag’ – containing a notebook, pen, USB and a water bottle – and a box of chocolates from the People team as a welcome gift.

After my introduction and the office tour, I was quickly put on my first project: to write a blog post about my time here. Having always loved writing, I was ready to sink my teeth into this challenge. I had the full two weeks to write and get it approved by my managers (in between loads of other tasks so the pressure was on).

You better werk!

Over the course of the two weeks, I had the opportunity of working on lots of different projects across Marketing and New Business, including but not limited to:

Social Media

Social media is a great form of external comms. I was introduced to how the team utilise to promote Manning Gottlieb OMD’s work. I also created a briefing pack based on social media profiles which involved gathering information and collating into an easy-to-read document.

PR Coverage Clipping and Reporting

Capturing press coverage relating to Manning Gottlieb OMD and its clients is crucial. I was responsible for finding the coverage online.  This is then clipped and filed for later use by the Marketing & PR Team.

Proofreading external documents

I utilised my English language skills to proofread various documents from award entries to blog posts. It’s tiring work but good grammar shows attention to detail which is really important for any business.

Hanging with the Board

I also had the opportunity to sit in on a senior meeting with Executive Directors Clare Peters, Head of Planning, and David Paul (a.k.a. DP), Head of Creative Development. They were discussing which categories to enter for the 2018 Cannes Lions (a.k.a. the ‘Oscars’ of the advertising world). This was an extraordinary opportunity as I got to see first-hand senior level decisions being made. They were both lovely and Clare even complimented my top!

Manning Gottlieb OMD’s unofficial motto is ‘work hard, play hard!’

But I wasn’t just sat at my desk for the whole two weeks. I got to do and see lots of fun things too. Here are some of the highlights:

Friday Beer Bike

At the end of the week, I joined another new starter from Social Insights on the very important job of riding the beer bike around the office.

The purpose of the beer bike is to reward the staff for their hard work throughout the week. It’s also a great way for new starters to meet staff from across the agency. People are genuinely excited to see you (and not just because you have the drinks) they are interested in getting to know you.

I was surprised by the sense of community you feel here, considering the size of the company, Manning Gottlieb OMD feels like one big family.

Tech Talk 

At the beginning of my second week, I had the opportunity to attend an agency wide presentation by David Shing (a.k.a. Shingy) who, in his own words is ‘AOL’s self-proclaimed digital prophet’.

Shingy looks more like a Rockstar than your typical tech guy… 

It was a really interesting session focusing on recent tech developments. Something that stood out to me was how innovation in technology creates new sub-categories in the market. For example, fitness watches created a subcategory of wearable technology. It revolutionised the way people relate to fitness and technology and in turn created a new market and demographic.

Advertising Week Europe 2018

I attended AdWeek Europe 2018 at the Picturehouse Central. MG OMD’s Tim Pritchard was on stage alongside Simon Low from Tastemade, discussing ‘Inspiring the Next Generation Through Content’.

(picture here)

As soon as we walked into AdWeek, the building was brimming with journalists, industry experts and representatives from media agencies. The atmosphere was electric! Our job for the morning was to live tweet from the talk. It was a really interesting session and I now have a better understanding of us millennials, the content we consume and how marketers are reacting to this.

Rowing for Sports Relief

My idea of exercising is walking to the fridge.

I am not exaggerating when I say I am probably the most fitness-phobic person you’ll ever meet. So, I surprised myself this week by signing up for OMG UK’s Sport Relief fundraiser (I’m not sure I had much of a choice anyway…)

It was an all-day rowing relay race between Annalect, Hearts & Science UK, Omnicom Media Group UK and MG OMD in the Bankside offices; with each team member rowing for 10 minutes at a time (yikes).

By a very small margin, MG OMD actually won! And in the process, everyone raised money for a great cause.

Despite my aching arms and burning lungs after rowing, I actually had a great time – everyone was really supportive and MG OMD’s CEO Tim Pearson brought us to victory in the last leg. Despite how fun it was, I don’t think I’ll be rowing again anytime soon.


To put it simply: I love it here!

The atmosphere and people are super friendly, quickly settling any concerns I may have had. They made me feel like a valued and welcomed member of the team.

This is unlike any other work experience; they don’t expect you to make teas and coffees. From day one I hit the ground running – working on different projects every day, attending industry events and internal talks with leading industry experts. I really got a feel of what it’s like to work in the fast-paced and exhilarating world of media.

Not only did I learn more about the industry, but I gained a lot of practical skills, all of which are transferable skills which I will be able to take into any job.

After my time at MG OMD, I have a much clearer vision of what I want to do and what it takes to make it in this industry.  Right. Time to start applying…