The time of year has arrived to compete in the search for the Holy Grail.

The time of year has arrived to compete in the search for the Holy


The Holy Grail is not a lion at Cannes, or a gold in the Campaign

awards, or even Arsenal regaining the Premiership - but being lucky

enough to gain a place on an advertising graduate training scheme.

With the job market fluctuating and increasingly competitive, the number

of us graduates vying for a place can, at times, seem like mission


The knowledge that almost 2,000 other applicants are applying for the

six or so coveted positions can lead one to think that it would probably

be easier to land a job as an astronaut than one in advertising.

However, this is not to say that I, as a hopeful graduate, will be

deterred from entering into this process. Quite the contrary, but all

that I ask is that organisations give a little more thought as to what

they are asking final-year graduates to undertake.

The current situation of trying to co-ordinate filling in what are

commonly regarded in university circles as the hardest of application

forms, with meeting essay deadlines and course work targets, is quite a

daunting task.

And interviews, for successful candidates, are inevitably held during

January and February - the very time when students are sitting half of

their final exams.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, we then have to find the money for the

costs of travelling and, in many cases, staying over, for


In the majority of cases (admittedly only the first interview stage),

these costs are not reimbursed and can make another hefty contribution

to a student’s overdraft.

All I ask is that when interviewing a prospective candidate, agency

chiefs pause for a moment and consider what the hopeful students have

already gone through just to reach this early stage.


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