W+K's President Dave Luhr and Global ECD Colleen De Courcey were in the agency yesterday and so we forced them to say a few words to the agency then had our people interrogate them about the network's future plans. It all seemed to go OK.
My name is Mark Burrell and I was lucky enough to be awarded a six-month internship at W+K through a scheme called Hackney 100. This project, set up by Hackney Council, aims to “bring the Saturday job into the 21st century”. Hackney 100 required a personal statement and numerous interviews in order to be part of the “100” whom get interviews with companies/institutions. At this stage I was awarded an interview with W+K and thankfully a week later I received an email giving me the thumbs up for the internship. The interview wasn’t your standard “what makes you qualified for this role” structure, I was actually surprised to find how personal yet professional the interview was. The question, which stood out for me the most, was “What’s your favourite dish to cook” – I still think my answer shocked my interviewer.
As soon as I walked into W+K for my interview, I knew that I would love it here. The office is so full of life and personality – the complete opposite to a standard, white-washed office. The office seems alive with its own identity: when you walk in, a suited mannequin greets you with a blender as a head. I was shocked to see that a global company like W+K can be so diverse in itself and also allow the people who make it up to express themselves so freely; more companies should take on this approach. The moment I first ever walked into the office I saw people with vibrant hair colours, tattoos and piercings, which my school and many other people consider inappropriate in the world of work. They couldn’t be more wrong. Everyone I’ve seen and met around the office takes their work very seriously so the client receives the best work. The people here are very passionate about the work they produce and they’re not afraid to stand up for it.
I joined W+K when I was 17 and at this age thought people here would consider me as immature or not give me much work to do. I couldn’t have been more wrong: on my very first day I was helping making Vines for a client campaign. Not once have I been treated like a “child” which I thought would happen as I’m just an intern, and I’ve been given advice and had the opportunity to meet and talk to many different people from a range of different departments, which has made my time here even more valuable.
I’ve had an amazing time working for W+K London and I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t miss it. The people but also the work have made this an amazing experience for me, one that I won’t forget in a hurry. My 6 months here have taught me so much about advertising as a whole but have also helped me grow in confidence and the ability to express myself more freely. I’ve been given so much advice and have even changed my university choice from geography to fine art. I honestly think that my time here gave me the confidence boost to do so. I have even considered advertisement as a career path and would love to come back to W+K in the future. Thank you for giving me this experience. My advice for anyone considering doing an internship or work placement here is DO IT! I’ve learnt so much in such a short period of time and have developed skills, which I am now able to take on with me at university and hopefully return with.
Summer means school holidays. School holidays mean work experience. And work experience means an extra-enthusiastic, extra-curious extra pair of hands around the office. We had the pleasure of welcoming one such young man last week, Ché, and giving him a week long peek into agency life. He wrote us an account of his time at W+K, and we think we didn't embarrass ourselves too much, so here it is:
[photo courtesy of Paul Barbera]
Strange and unfamiliar are words which cannot describe enough the extent to which W+K was a new environment to me. Prints on ceilings. Statues made of awards. Rooms made to look like old libraries, mental hospital facilities and diners. Irreverent is one word that perhaps best sums up the overall vibe as I walked in on Monday morning, with a feeling of acute unknowing as to what the week would bring. Who are these people walking around purposefully with a dazzling array of Nike trainers on, carrying MacBook Airs everywhere? And are they really ‘walking in stupid everyday’ as the man with a blender for a head in reception implores them to?
I can safely now answer these questions and more, because my week was better than these first impressions could have ever suggested. W+K London holds the Nike advertising account, hence the trainers, and the reasons behind the purposeful MacBook walking became clearer each day. Dynamism is one main one, as I understood when I got my own laptop, and myself became a purposeful-MacBook-walking Wiedener (life goal reached). Everything felt like it was always moving, whether it was other people whom I had displaced from their seats (sorry Tom and Indiana :/) or the work itself, which the Finish team truly included me in. I really have to thank everyone on the Finish team, especially my supervisors Frankie and Holly, whose enthusiasm for their work made me delighted to find out more about dishwashers – something I never thought I’d say – and who were more than forthcoming with information on W+K and the advertising industry as a whole.
My encounters with everyone left me with a much greater understanding of the unique space W+K inhabits; as an independent company extremely appreciative of the efforts of its staff, all of whom say they love working there. By the end of the week, I believed them, because my work experience was helpful in making me understand how work can be done differently, yet still to the highest standard and with a level of attention to detail that continually astounded me.
Even though it flew by like a lightning bolt, the week taught me about the basic rules of work, as W+K is a place that doesn’t seem too fixated on rules, and so just lets the work just get done. But also, I learned that work can be fun. Busy, stressful and tiring, but still fun. And if there is one tip I can offer the next lucky hopefuls who are at Wieden+Kennedy for a week or longer, it is this: don’t wear Adidas. But seriously, that not what matters most – just remember to ‘walk in stupid’ every day.
For once, the weatherman was right. It's a scorcher today and London is officially hotter than the surface of the sun.
We're all melting here in the office and our laptops are on the brink of exploding. So imagine our joy when we discovered that our very own Culture Club had called the heatwave hotline and summoned an ice cream van to rescue us with some icy treats.
Now that we've all cooled down, we've perked up a bit. All hail Culture Club! Rock stars.
Oh and don't tell IT, but our laptops are a still just as hot, but *little* bit stickier.
We’ll be doing a 12km walk again in a couple of weeks and we’re once again raising money to help St Joseph’s Hospice continue doing the fantastic work they do.
If you wish to chip in, you can do so here:
The dedication and care St Joseph’s provides costs. A fan, to keep a patient comfortable in hot weather costs £1.84 a day, a box of syringes costs £15.29, a physio to help a patient manage their breathing and pain is £31.57 a session. Which means each day, it costs £41,000 to keep St Joseph’s going. Which means a whopping £15 million a year, half of which needs to be funded through donations. An awful lot of money for a charity to raise to keep such vital work going. All donations are welcome and no amount is too small!
Lots of people at W+K were wondering why a woman was taking lots of photos of them last week. Check out today's Time Out and you'll understand why. W+K has been included in an article based on London offices that serve up 'a healthy dose of fun.'
Yep. This is always how we work in the green Padded Cell, Instanapzzz glasses and all.