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‘Practical training has given me professional edge’

The faculty at Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication trained us for a month for campus placement, says the alumnus of this institute



He completed his graduation in Mass Communications from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, formerly Indraprastha University. A big question looming large in front of Devash Sethi, who is working as an Account Executive at ABM Communication Pvt Ltd in Gurugram, was where to pursue his post-graduation. Luck was on his side and when he was in the third semester, a visiting faculty from Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication (AIMC) helped him in many ways.

“Even when I was studying mass communication at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, I knew that I would end up doing a PG course as well. But in the beginning, I had no idea where I would end up studying. But as luck would have it, a visiting faculty from AIMC came to our college for a lecture and told us about the institute as well. I was intrigued and did a lot of research. Once I completed my graduation I visited the campus and what I saw impressed me and I enrolled,” Sethi said.

Excerpts from an interview.

Where are you working at present? What does your job entail?

I am working with ABM Communication Pvt Ltd; the company office is in Gurugram. It is a hardcore advertising, print, and electronic media agency. I am in the client service department working as an account executive. My job is to handle clients; at present, I am handling accounts for two organisations.

Was working in the advertising sector always on the cards?

Yes. But this is my first job and I need to gain experience and learn the ropes. The good part about working with an Indian company is that they take pains to teach recruits, and they also have the patience to teach. Unlike MNCs which have several organisational roles, several Indian companies don’t have a set hierarchy and you get to learn so many things since you have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.

What role has AIMC played in your professional journey to date?

I would say that they have had a big role in my journey in the eight-nine months I spent pursuing my PG diploma. The institute exposed me to how real agency works through projects that we did. It was because of my training at AIMC that I got the job with ABM. Even though this is my first job, I know how things work because that is how we were taught; everything was practical.

I have an advantage over other recruits in my office. They have theoretical knowledge and I have practical knowledge; this gives me an edge over them.

I would say that they have had a big role in my journey in the eight-nine months I spent pursuing my PG diploma. The institute exposed me to how the real agency works through projects that we did

Devash Sethi, Account Executive at ABM Communication Pvt Ltd in Gurugram

Can you share some of your memories from AIMC?

The one thing that stands out was the project that we did for Sadrag, an NGO with the Noida Authority on Pink Toilets (for women). We worked on this project right from the beginning where I was in-charge in charge of the client servicing space. We made a campaign for them. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 that was the only project that came our way. But the good thing was that we learnt everything there was to learn about working in the advertising space.

What were the skillsets you learnt that you are using in your present job?

First, one has to understand that PGDM was totally practical and nothing was taught to us from a book. Industry people come and teach us and tell us how a client will give a brief and how that has to be converted into a constructive outcome. The entire process that we were asked to follow is exactly what I am doing right now.

Did you get this job through campus placement?

Yes, and the faculty at AIMC helped us with the interview. They spent an entire month training us on how to behave at the interview, dress, and answer the questions. They even helped us prepare our portfolio and resume. They even helped us prepare for a set of questions that we may be asked and how to answer the same.

Can you share some interview tips for present AIMC students?

If the students are interested in making advertising their profession there are a few things to know and prepare for. The employer is looking for answers to two-three questions and 90 per cent weightage is given to the answer given. First, what is your favourite ad and why? As long as there is a rationale behind your answer you are good. Do not cram an answer. Ensure that you can justify the follow-up questions on it.  It is always good to have a different perspective. One can even end up with a much bigger salary package.

Second, what are your strengths and weaknesses? This is one question that needs to be prepared properly. Third, make a list of eight to 10 campaigns that you like and dislike with a reason.

What are the things to keep in mind for an ad campaign?

First, ensure that you understand the client brief thoroughly. Second, check out the target audience and understand who the decision-maker is and find a personal connection. Ensure that each person who sees the campaign thinks that the ad is for him/her. Third, know what your competitor is doing.

What attracted you to AIMC?

There were a few things. As I said, I was intrigued when the faculty came to our college when I was graduating. I looked at the faculty, the teaching methodology, and the campus placement record. When I connected with the counselor Ms Ritika Manchanda, she helped me a lot and gave me all the details that I needed. What she said amazed me and I knew that I had to study there.

Shalini is an Executive Editor with Apeejay Newsroom. With a PG Diploma in Business Management and Industrial Administration and an MA in Mass Communication, she was a former Associate Editor with News9live. She has worked on varied topics - from news-based to feature articles.

Poetic गुफ्तगू – With हुमेरा खान @poetsofDelhi