The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising is a professional body that acts as an information resource, support service and networking tool for professionals in the advertising industry. Because of this, the IPA contains a pool of useful people for anyone interested in following this career path.
The IPA runs annual insight events that last for several weeks, known collectively as Ad School. These give students and recent graduates the opportunity to not only work on live advertising projects, but to also network and connect with advertising professionals from the very beginning of their career. There are three main strands of this scheme:
- Search – you will be involved with Search Marketing, which enables companies to increase their presence on search engines such as Google
- Creative – you will be placed in two-person partnerships (1 Art Director and 1 Copywriter) to work on pitches, briefs and projects.
- Client Services/Planning – you will be getting to grips with liaising with clients, problem solving and creative solutions
Each scheme runs for varying lengths of time, but all take place between July and August, meaning that you don’t have to juggle it with term time studies. Your travel expenses are reimbursed and you will receive a cash prize on completion of the scheme.
Before applying, it might be an idea to research where in the advertising world your ambitions, pre-existing skills and personality might fit into. The IPA provide an overview of the strands in advertising that you might find yourself in.
If you’re still wondering whether Ad School is the right next step for you, reading blog posts from Ad School alumni is a useful tool to gain an insight into how the programme worked for others.