MMANAKEDI BOKABA relates how an Internship at Saatchi & Saatchi Brandsrock in South Africa has remoulded her from a lacklustre journalist to a confident copywriter
IF someone had whispered to me a few years back, that they had looked into a Crystal ball and discovered that I’d be working in advertising as a copywriter in the very near future, I would’ve convulsed with laughter.
Just a little over a year ago I didn’t know anything about copywriting, let alone what the job entails.
Having studied journalism at university and set my mind on developing my skill and becoming a renowned scribe, I could never have envisaged doing anything else with my life.
However, just a few months of working as a journalist, it suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t have the qualities to rise to the top of the profession, nor for that matter, did I have the passion or dog eat dog mentality that successful journalists seem to share.
So I started researching for other jobs that closely fitted my journalism qualification. When I chanced upon an advert for an Internship position in copywriting at Saatchi’s Johannesburg branch, I decided to go for it.
Although I had no advertising background whatsoever, I took a chance and applied for the position. A few weeks after the initial interview, I was called in to start my Internship as a copywriter.
To prepare myself for the job, I scoured the Internet and read as much as I could about the art of copywriting. I still had no idea what kind of copy I’d be required to produce at Saatchi, but my head was buzzing with the excitement of taking up this new challenge.
Six months down the line, I’m happy with the path that I have chosen. I am writing with growing confidence and getting more attuned to the idea of thinking outside the box, on a daily basis.
Thankfully, being an Intern at Saatchi doesn’t mean one is confined to doing the boring stuff – quite the opposite. I’ve had the opportunity to work on Idols SA 2016 and the Momentum/UNISA financial wellness campaign to name a few projects.
I see myself growing with the company that has taught me the tricks of the advertising trade. I am still learning something new everyday from great mentors that support and teach me what I need to know.
I’m learning from the best in the business!
My Internship stint at Saatchi has been an invaluable training ground which will undoubtedly stand me in good stead for copywriting roles, right into the twilight years of my career.
Of greater significance still, is the fact that the world of advertising has turned out to be a good fit for my personality because I’m naturally drawn to an environment that deals with people, their dreams, their hopes and aspirations.
Unlike journalism which informs on a variety of topics and issues, copywriting is about marrying a concept to an image that will ultimately give wings to a product and make it desirable to consumers.
I am enjoying the experience so much that I am not in a hurry to leave the company anytime soon!