Johanna Kiely is Commerce graduate from NUIG and tells Zelda Cunningham how to get ahead in advertising.

What are you studying?
I’m doing an MSc in Advertising (Executive stream) in Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). I chose it because I wanted to do a specific masters, as I found general marketing a bit too broad and there would be a lot of repetition from my undergraduate degree. Advertising offered different subjects, and combined my interest in marketing and advertising.

Was your undergraduate degree helpful?
Well, there is a lot of executive work involved in the course, but the course does begin by going over the basics of business. All the students in my class have varied backgrounds, such as design, photography, film studies, arts and psychology, so it isn’t exclusively for commerce students, but a lot of people had some background in business as well.

What work does your course consist of?
I am in the executive stream, which focuses more on the client-side of advertising and developing advertising strategy for clients and brands, but we also do work in the ‘creative stream’. The creative stream is more idea generation and production, for example, we would be given a brief, as we would work in an agency. It includes artistic direction and copy writing. We have to create an ad in print, radio or TV that fulfils the brief. We had around six of these throughout the first semester. The executive side was much more theory orientated. We study the theory and practice behind product branding and advertising.

What is your workload like?
It isn’t difficult, it is just so intensive. In the first semester, I had 22 taught hours of lectures, but this is the very minimum amount of work that is expected from students. The course guideline states that for the year, students should be doing 600 hours taught and research work, but it goes over this. You have a lot of team project work, as well as your individual continuous assessment.

Would you recommend this degree?
I would recommend this course to anyone who doesn’t mind working hard for a good qualification. I would recommend it to creative people who want to know that the majority of the project work is executive. There is a high calibre of lecturers, who are both academics and practitioners in the agency. It is a highly thought of masters by those in the advertising industry, and there is usually almost a 100 per cent employment rate for graduates, though that could change this year.

What is next?
After this, I would like to go into either media buying or client services.