It’s a hard hard life for us… stagiaires

09 May

So after quitting my job as an English assistant 6 weeks early (I got a better offer), here I am, sitting in the office of an advertising agency, perusing over which boulangerie to achete a baguette at for my lunch break in 2 minutes.

That makes my current internship sound a bit dull. Well, I’ll be honest, it can be a little dull. I feel a bit like I’ve reverted to my pre-school days where responsibility is delegated to the elders and the young’uns are told to firmly shut their mouths until they are in a position to tell others to firmly shut their equally opinionated mouths.

Being a stagiaire I sadly don’t have as much power as I’d perhaps like. A few days ago there was a dilemma in the Neutrogena world – in short, they needed a back-up line to record for a new shoot, and the given suggestion was in a language that, though apparently ‘English’, was only recognisable to my five-year-old, grammatically incoherent and intellectually oblivious, self.  Contrary to what you’d naturally believe, it was actually written by pure.native.English-speaking.professionals.  But fact is, it was downright poor.

So I thought, here’s my chance to shine. Saw my name in all the papers. Saw my name in neon lights. Better, saw my name on the lips of my boss…

Five minutes later, I’d come up with what I thought was a cracking solution – my supervisor suggested it to some folks working in LA and, hey presto, they agreed it could be one of the back-up lines. Cue me jumping up and down like that intellectually oblivious five-year-old self. In my head, obvs…

Four days later and, just for the sake of keeping up that annoyingly true stereotype of the French and their disorganisedness, they’d decided to get rid of my masterpiece and replace it with something that I’m reasonably sure my 85 year-old (utterly scenile) grandma could have written.

And there I was, plunged back into the depths of despair, desolation, desperation… or, as I’d more realistically name it, dog-shit.  And then, all of a sudden, my supervisor whisked me away to the sound studio up in the heavens of the building, and within 5 minutes I was chatting away to the eclectically-dressed voice-over of France’s Neutrogena adverts. I was conversing with the voice that converses with the nation; the voice I’d heard approximately 3.5 million times over the past 8 weeks of my internship, and the voice that replaced ‘ma peau’ with ‘ma chatte’ (look it up), in a joke recording following the direction of the slightly pervy studio guys. Two minutes later and we were watching her record the voice-over that would be broadcast to the entirety of the Swiss nation – not bad for what started off as a relatively rubbish day.

The next day, boredom struck once again, however. Some of my team were going on a shoot for a new print, and I was sat twiddling my thumbs, crossing my fingers and praying to the heavens, in the hope there’d be enough space. And, tout d’un coup, I was told I could attend. Cue a repetition of the above excitement.

So I rocked up to the studio to watch the famed photographer get snappy (in a slightly different sense to the bossy creative directing him), and, three hours and two billion takes later, they’d finally achieved the look they were after (bar a few further minor tweaks, of course).  The print was complete.  And with it my life…

Or not – but, it was a fascinating experience, and when I see that ad up (in both England and France, no less), I know I’ll feel just a little bit proud that I was there to witness it.

So all in all, though my internship might not involve mingling with Her Majesty or ruling the entirety of the world, it has given me an amazing insight a whole new world (and yes I’m aware of the awful allusion) – the world of advertising.  Just as for every cloud there’s a silver lining, for every dull photocopying job (and  take my word for it, there’s a fair few of them), there’s an exciting experience that I’m grateful to have had. It might not be a dream job just yet, but it’s a constantly unpredictable one and for the moment I’m quite content to stay a little longer.

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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Uncategorized


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