by Employability | , | July 20, 2016 Each year, the IDM Summer School invites 30 students who are interested in a career within advertising, digital or direct marketing to explore different career paths available within the industry. During the week, students are given work experience on a real-life client brief and get to visit two different advertising agencies as well as being granted the opportunity to network with senior marketing professionals. This year, the Summer School was sponsored by The Economist, RAPP UK, Greenlight Digital and DMS. Also taking part were speakers from Deloitte, OgilvyChange, McCann Healthcare and Karmarama. Rachel Pitman, BSc Consumer Behaviour and Marketing student from University of Reading, has compiled her top 5 highlights of the week: 1. Real-life work experience On the first day of the Summer School, Iain Noakes from The Economist set us our case-study brief which was to ‘increase the female readership’ of The Economist. We were given time during the week’s busy schedule and armed with a batch of data to work on the exciting brief. We decided to make it even more real by creating our own agency called ‘Passionfruit’! We each took on a different role from account management, to creative, to planning. At the end of the week, we pitched our ideas to a panel who were acting as the client. Faced with questions about our idea, it gave us real world experience of what we might be doing in a couple of years! It has also given us a really great experience to talk about in upcoming interviews. 2. Agency visits I began the week having never set foot in an agency, and without any prior knowledge of the type of career an agency could offer. By the end of the week, I was pretty certain that a career in planning was in my future! We visited two agencies, RAPP and Greenlight. Both agencies gave us a tour around their departments and insights into what their work involved. This was extremely useful, we were able to ask questions, get an idea of what skills fitted which roles and work out where we might fit. 3. Networking On the Thursday evening we had an amazing networking event in Central London with industry leaders and amongst them were past IDM Summer School students. I spoke to people and found out about their career paths. By this point, we all had more of an idea of what area we were interested in so were able to seek out people that had experience in those specific areas. We all left with a few business cards too! 4. Industry Insights One of the highlights of the week for me was a talk by Dan Bennett from OgilvyChange. Not only was it fascinating, but it opened my eyes to the scope of career opportunities that are really out there! We also had talks by McCann Healthcare, DMS and a personal development session from Deloitte – all of which gave us industry insights that have helped us map out our future career paths. 5. Friends for the future As well as learning from all the events throughout the week, I also learnt a lot from the other 29 students on the programme - from presenting techniques to how to approach certain tasks. It felt like we had known each other for much longer than just a week! We were inspired by past IDM Summer School alumni and started a group chat so that we could meet up and keep in contact. We are already chatting all the time as well as sharing job opportunities with one another. I am excited to see where we will all be in the future and hope that our paths cross once again! Want to find out more about the IDM Summer School? Then find out how you can apply.