As leading Brisbane agency BCM welcomed a new crop of interns into their annual ‘Baptism’ internship program this week, BCM staff were told interns were banned from making coffee.
BCM managing director, Paul Cornwell said that many intern programs resembled slave labour for agencies who were desperate for extra resource because downward revenue pressure prevented the hiring of new staff.
“Interns can get a really raw deal. Our Baptism internship is all about getting real, hands-on experience on real projects where students are immersed in real agency life. So, they’re not here to do the dirty jobs or make coffee. For the six weeks they’re here, they’re to get a realistic taste of working in a busy, full service agency. So, we told our guys that they’re not to ask the interns to make coffee for them,” Cornwell said.
BCM’s Baptism internship program is run in collaboration with the Queensland University of Technology and is now in its fourth year.
A formal recruitment and selection process challenged potential intern applicants from QUT’s Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations courses, Master of Advertising, and Interactive Visual Design Degrees from the Creative Industries Faculty to demonstrate and prove why they have what it takes to make it in the world of advertising.
The seven successful ‘Baptees’ are now interning across BCM’s Creative, Digital, Account Service, Strategic Planning and Social Media teams. They’ll spend six weeks across Summer 2015/16 with BCM, each partnered with a senior BCM mentor, to give them one-on-one guidance.
The program is a win-win situation for both the agency and the interns. Two ‘Baptees’ who successfully graduated from BCM’s 2013/14 Baptism program were appointed to the agency’s Social Media and Strategic Planning teams in full-time roles, and a graduate from BCM’s inaugural 2012/13 Baptism program went on to secure a role with Saatchi & Saatchi, New York as a Copywriter.
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