|Some more information about my apprenticeship
with Ogilvy, as this system is not so well-known in the UK :
An apprenticeship is the practical hands-on way to learn a job. Traditionally a blue collar job education system, more and more young people in Germany start their career with learning a solid trade. Afterwards they go to University for higher qualifications, their trade helping them to finance their studies. An apprenticeship in advertising business has A-Levels has entry requirements and very competitive assessment procedures, including tests and eight hour long interviews with several tasks. Often there is only a 1% chance to get a place for two to three years learning on the job and part-time studies at a vocational school.
Ogilvy is one of the best training providers, ensuring their apprentices can offer the relevant skills profile for starting to work in any department of an advertising agency. I worked for several months in accountancy, traffic, production, creation, client services and even got send to Frankfurt for proper training in media buying and planning. On top of it, we had weekend seminars in marketing, B2B, below-the-line, presentation skills, copy strategies, brainstorming etc.
The College of FE in Duesseldorf is one of the toughest in Germany. There were no nation-wide standards of examination in advertising business. So in Cologne, just half an hour away, they would have multiple choice questions, whereas we in Duesseldorf had less than ten minutes to answer each open question with a mini essay and graphs and diagrams… Followed by an oral examination after we received the results from our written exams.
As a result of my excellent grades, I got several jobs offered from different advertising professionals, who functioned as examiners in the oral exams. The job offers varied from production to media and traffic. I however had already an offer as copywriter trainee from Wunderman, Young & Rubicam, which led me to become a creative.