Interning at Huskies: Zümi Spill the Beans

Creative interns Zoë Higgins and Naomi Warren (aka the legendary Zümi) have spent the last six months in Huskies’ Creative department, working on key accounts, contributing to pitches and generally doing an amazing job. Here, they reflect on the dizzy heights of #internlife, share their favourite Husky moments, and give future interns some invaluable advice...

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Have you enjoyed your time here at Huskies? What’s been your favourite aspect?

N: Yeah, it's been great. We were thrown in at the deep end and started on a pitch when we got here, even working that weekend, but that was actually a huge benefit. I think if you aren't thrown in at the get-go, you get lazy and don't experience much. Other than that, it’s been great getting to know everyone, cooking for Come Lunch With Me, seeing my recipe go into the book and acting the fool with Kieran and Brian. RIP Desk Clump Buddies. 

Z: Being thrown in at the deep end is kind of the dream when you’re starting out. The last thing you want is to be trying desperately to make yourself useful. It was great for us to be going straight in and helping on a pitch, feeling like we were useful and needed. I think that level of pressure takes away your insecurities in yourself, because you don’t have the time or opportunity to stop and say, “Wait, can I actually do this?”. You just get stuck in, and before you know it you’re doing a better job than you ever thought you would. It just comes naturally.  

What did you learn?

N: I learned to not show 20 scripts to the Creative Director. That was a serious problem of mine, I'd just spit out 20 scripts in an hour and not all of them were good. So, the best thing I learned was to know when to stop, and know how to spot the gems in my own writing. It’s better to show three to five really good scripts than 20 mixed-bag ones. I also learned to have more confidence in my work and that it's totally normal to dress the exact same as the men in the office. Hi Dan. Hi Ciarán. 

Z: We both know we’re a million times better now than when we started. Having a support structure like Huskies to lean on and learn from has been great. There’s a huge amount of practical things that we’ve learned, but I think mainly and most importantly it’s when to speak up; if you think it’s a good idea, go for it. If it’s not, or if there’s some reason it won’t work that’s fine, no-one will think you’re shit, no-one will ever judge a bad idea. 

Coolest project you got to work on?

N: Nissan LEAF. It’s our baby and I'm never going to stop trying to convince people to buy electric. I mean it was our first full campaign and we are super proud of it. I'm really excited about shooting the activation in April, which we have kindly been invited back to oversee / we threatened [fellow graduate and Senior Account Executive] Amar that if he made a hames of it we would not be friends anymore. But also, eFlow, ALIV and Frank and Honest. Oh, also making Nissan money and trying to bribe everyone in the office with it. 

Z: The LEAF was certainly the most fun and interesting project to work on. Having something like that as your first campaign is so rewarding. Putting in the time and effort and having it pay off, then seeing it in papers, on TV and popping up on your newsfeed is great. Special mention to Frank and Honest and eFlow. 

Favourite Husky?! <3

N: Amar (but we have to say that). Realistically it's [Project Manager] Brian Daly; he will always be Husky of the Year to us.

Z: Obviously, Amar… but Brian Daly really makes Huskies what it is.

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Most surprising thing / What didn’t you expect from agency life?

N: I don't think we had any surprises really. We’ve done a few internships before this, so we kinda knew what to expect. No actually, it's that people here don't care if we sing all day. It's not quiet, there’s always at least one or two people laughing. Thank god, because I can't do silence. 

Z: The Huskies culture is probably the best part of the agency. Having interned for a while in other places, it’s refreshing to be in a place where everyone is genuinely working together for a common goal. Everyone here wants to be excellent, it’s not just a job. Each and every person wants to do their best work, they want to exceed expectation. It’s inspiring to be around. 

What will you take from Huskies into your career going forward?

N: Confidence and drive. We built a serious book while here. Working on the Nissan and eFlow pitches, then Frank and Honest, Ireland’s Ancient East and LEAF! I'm not sure I mentioned that before. Really since we got here, our work output has got a million times better. We are actually juniors now, and to have a nice few campaigns under our belt feels pretty good.

Z: Probably that same drive and culture for achieving. Doesn’t matter what project you’re doing, but always trying to make it the best it can be. 

What tips would you give other graduates eager to get agency experience?

N: Hound agencies. I mean hound them. I am awful for that but hey, it worked! When we finished our time in TBWA I emailed every agency around for the two of us, they didn't reply after a week? Oh, believe me, they got another email. Thankfully our book was in good shape, so over the space of two weeks we had something like 10 interviews. The thing is, all the CDs told us they had no jobs, but they wanted to meet us anyway. Don't be put off by them saying we have no jobs, meet them, they will watch out for you. Also, don't assume you are the best when you walk out of college, it's all about hard work and really pushing yourself to do better. Also, don't be a dick. Just don't. That’s not going to get you anywhere. Be nice, get involved with the agency, make yourself indispensable. 

Z: Remember that at the end of the day, being a creative is fun. Yes, sometimes you might feel a bit lost and don’t know what to do, but try to look at it from a different perspective. In any project, think of what you would like to do – even if it’s insane, pitch it and see what happens. Don’t dismiss the fun idea. I suppose the best way to put that into a ‘tip’ is to say, always give it a go! 

Anything else??

N: Damian [Hanley, CD] has been our shining star here and we couldn't have done it without him. Also, we are available for freelance gigs at an affordable rate. 

Z: Leaving is sad, but I think we’ve learned so much that we are excited to see what we’ll do in the future. Who knows, maybe we’ll start our own agency… In the Company of Zümi. (Good name, right? Thought of that ourselves...)

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