Entry-level and graduate opportunities in UK brand consultancy
This is by no means a comprehensive “job listing page” as many brand consultancies don’t advertise entry-level opportunities. I’ve noted some of the companies recruiting at graduate level on a regular basis, as well as giving some advice about how to find opportunities by yourself. Please let me know if you come across other openings you think should be featured.
Regularly advertised opportunities
Agency group graduate “rotation” schemes
These agency group schemes usually are very competitive, have more formal assessment processes and take a small number of applicants each year. Each group owns at least one brand consultancy; so you may get a chance to try that out alongside placements in other agency disciplines. If your heart is set on brand consultancy then you may very well not want to spend time on other things — though personally I don’t think it would hurt. Have a look at the arrangements for each one to see if you think it’s worth a go.
Entry-level brand consultancy graduate jobs and internships
The Value Engineers has a Summer Intern scheme and an annual graduate intake of Marketing Analysts. It’s where I started out and received good “on the job” training. TVE is in Beaconsfield just off the M40, so you’ll need to be able to drive.
Design Bridge have an annual graduate entry scheme (for aspirant strategists as well as client servicing people) which may be worth a look, though I don’t know as much about this one.
Saffron, a brand consultancy, is currently looking for a brand strategy intern in its London office. Starting in September 2017 and lasting for about three months, it’s a freelance role so salary is somewhat flexible.
Sadly “informal” internships are increasingly the way into many brand consultancies these days. This makes me sad; unless internships offer a decent salary over a number of months then many people from normal backgrounds (especially those without friends and family in London) are effectively excluded. I also believe these roles should be publicised to some degree (at least on the company website) otherwise the pool of applicants can be very small and exclude the most talented.
I won’t be featuring any roles which are “unpublicised”, or do not pay the minimum wage. It is up to you (and your personal circumstances) as to whether you want to search such opportunities out. Proactive applications can sometimes be successful and you may be able to find an employer who will pay and train you properly, even if they do not promote their opportunities.
Finding other ways in
Use LinkedIn: keep your profile as accurate as possible to help the adverts find you. Follow consultancies that interest you to see if they post opportunities on their LinkedIn feed. Twitter and Medium may also be helpful.
Use your university careers service: they may have the occasional opportunity which comes on their books! Some universities hold events around “advertising/marketing/communications” which may help you spot something relevant. They may also have their own “Grad Link” scheme where you can talk to people like me who are working in brand consultancy.
Go lateral: if you’re struggling to find a way in you may want to consider a related discipline. Account Planning (in advertising), Design and Market Research are both adjunct to brand consultancy and share much of the same skill set. You could also look at one of the many Innovation agencies which have sprung up in recent years. It’s worth keeping an eye on what big management consultancies and accountancy firms are up to — for example Accenture is expanding its competence in marketing services all the time.
Go client-side: many large companies have graduate schemes which include a stint in Marketing or Brand Management. These will give you a good client perspective if you do ever then decide to take the leap back to brand consultancy.