My name is Ben Schloss—I am a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati studying marketing and finance and am now interning as an assistant account executive for the summer. Account executives focus more on the business side of the advertising world and ensure that all people involved are up to date and on the same page—especially the creative team (designers, copywriters, etc.) and the client. This is my first time working with a creative team, and as a self-proclaimed non-creative, I’ve found it somewhat intimidating. Here are some situations that I approached for the very first time and what I learned from them.
Brainstorming: I was in a meeting to brainstorm ideas with some of the creative and art directors, all of whom had ideas that seemed stronger than mine, which led me to not share any of my thoughts. I learned that this is exactly what you shouldn’t do, because there are no wrong ideas, and anything you think might be helpful definitely will be in some way.
Concept Development: During a meeting to develop ideas for a commercial, I anticipated that everyone on the team would come up with basic ideas beforehand and develop them during the meeting, but many of them presented very deep and specific ideas. This showed me that it is always best to have an idea as polished as you can make it before having others review it.
Peer Review: A copywriting intern asked me to look over a script he had been working on, which surprised me since he could have tapped many other writers for review, but he ended up taking some of my advice. This showed me that I should avoid the mindset that I’m not creative just because I don’t work in the creative department.
From these situations, I have learned that having a mindset that I am not creative because I’m not in the creative department is a major obstacle in becoming better at what I do. I’ve found that creatives are just as interested in ideas from non-creative team members as they are from those within their own department. The best piece of advice that I could give to anyone else who feels intimidated working with a creative team for the first time is that you do not need the word “creative” in your job description to have those abilities.