A Year In Review

The 2010 Grads

We cannot believe it, but our Graduate Programme has come to an end and we have now all graduated to Account Executives and Planners.  The year has absolutely flown by, and what a year it has been. So, we thought it only appropriate to pay tribute to the wonderful training and experience we have had here by writing a Year in Review post.

The dedicated followers amongst you will recall our descriptions of ourselves when we first arrived at Leo Burnett – fresh faced, back-pack clad, only found in the comfort of our group (yes that’s right, you couldn’t see one of us without seeing the other five!).  Well this was basically how we spent our first three months. We stood out like a sore thumb in our pack of six, asked a myriad of inquisitive (bordering on irritating) questions, undertook an intensive training programme where we learned about the industry and Leo Burnett as a company, met lots of important people within the agency, and bonded as a group.  It was also within these first three months that we had the opportunity to present to our ExCo and meet the Global CEO Tom Bernadin.  I think we would all say that these were both the highlights and the biggest learning curves for us within this first three months.

We then had to flee the safety of our now close-knit group and move onto our first secondments.  Jonny and Elsie began the rotation scheme on their 6 month placements within Leo Burnett – with Jonny working across the Kellogg business and Elise working on McDonalds.  With Kellogg and McDonalds being the largest two pieces of business within the agency, this was no small challenge for both of them, but Jonny and Elise did the Grad Group proud and shone in their respective roles.  Rachel meanwhile headed to the glamorous and hard working world of Atelier, where she impressed with her knowledge of digital advertising.  For me, it was to Arc and the fast-paced world of BlackBerry.  Meanwhile our planners Richard and Charlie blew the Planning Department away with their impressive work for Dewars and Arc.

Before we knew it we had been at Leo Burnett for six months and it was time for us to change roles.  Rachel and I swapped positions between Arc and Atelier, and Richard and Charlie continued to WOW the planning department in new positions on the BlackBerry business.  By this six month mark we all felt completely settled and a real part of the Leo Burnett community.  We were all members of The Core and enjoyed organising ‘Feel Good’ events for the agency – our favourite being our Mad Med Drinks Night in the bar downstairs.

Then another 3 months passed in the blink of an eye, and you guessed it, it was time for us to change accounts again!  This time Rachel and I embarked on our six month placements within Leo Burnett.  Rachel moved onto the Homebase account and I faced the task of filling Elise’s big shoes on the McDonalds account, where we both still remain.  Jonny and Elise moved into Arc and Atelier, and Charlie and Richard moved onto their now permanent accounts, BlackBerry for Richard, and P & G Femcare for Charlie. We were now truly part of the company!

Suddenly the weather was cooling, it was nearing Christmas and the recruitment process of the New Grads had begun!  We all enjoyed being a part of this, writing our blog to provide helpful hints on surviving adland’s Grad Recruitment process, and helping to coordinate the Assessment Days.

It’s now January, we are no longer grads and we have three new brilliant grads to take our place – Lorna, Angus and Bethany.  Looking back over the year, we have had a truly privileged experience at Leo Burnett.  The training scheme has been thorough and engaging and our mentors and line managers have been pillars of support. Additionally our ‘extra-curricular’ activities with The Core, Leo Love, and agency sporting teams have meant that we’ve met a range of really interesting people from across the agency. However most importantly for me, I have made 5 new friends who I know will continue to be good friends and colleagues for a long time to come!

Jess x


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