Life at Lexis: Look no further for agency experience
After millions of ‘help me, I’m a graduate’ emails that I shot out to every creative agency under the sun, I was overcome with relief when I secured a work experience placement at Lexis. I had been dying to gain some proper agency experience so that I could really get an understanding of how they work and how they run, and I can say that I got just that.
So I turned up at their amazing Bermondsey Street office (dangerously close to my favourite place in London, Borough Market), whose communal bottom floor boasted a fridge full of Coca Cola drinks to help yourself to, a table tennis table, a foosball table and shelves of pick and mix. Good start, I thought to myself. Rebecca, their HR Executive, gave me a quick tour around the place and then we headed to their office space.
Their main space sums up all of their core values; it is open, fresh and amazingly collaborative. No sense of hierarchy whatsoever; the higher-level directors sit with the account executives, creatives, the finance team etc., working together seamlessly. I sensed a high level of energy as I walked in, with music playing throughout the office and a great deal of communication going on. After a brief chat with Marieta, a Senior Account Executive, and then I got straight into it.
Right away was asked to do some research on a new client, put it in a PowerPoint, and then to attend a meeting later on in the day to go over it. This was perfect; being thrown straight into the mix on the first day is really beneficial. I liked that even though they had only just met me that day they trusted me enough to leave me to get on with something, and to then contribute my ideas in an actual meeting.
Every morning a few people will gather round and have a look through the day’s papers, flagging up any interesting PR stories or any news that relates to their clients. This is a great part of the day, not only to keep up with what’s what, but just a generally good way to start your day. It is just another example of many where Lexis really does foster an environment of collaboration and idea sharing from top to bottom.
This was the theme of my time at Lexis. I was given a great variety of stuff to do and work on, and not just from the same level of the business. Julian, the Creative Director, asked me to complete a questionnaire on a potential new campaign idea for another one of their clients. We then had mini brainstorm about some aspects of the idea following my answers, which I found incredibly interesting.
Now as with all companies in any industry, it is granted that there are some less-exciting jobs that simply need doing. But here, it is much better balanced with the other, more interesting tasks I was given, much more so when compared with previous placements I’ve done, where my closest friend was the printer.
Coming into an agency of any sort for the first time, I did have this image of a creative agency that the office would be full of egotistical, O.T.T. creatives who try way too hard to separate themselves from the norm and out-do each other on niche-ness. But I got absolutely none of that from Lexis; everyone is incredibly genuine, down to earth, and really, really nice. They take their work seriously, as they should, but they also acknowledge the good times in between.
One thing that I really do have a look of gratitude for is the fact that they actually gave me the time of day. It’s nice to know that there are agencies out there that are willing to help people like myself who crave a step into a creative agency, and don’t just slam the door in your face as soon as you mention ‘graduate’.
My advice would be this: if you’re thinking about having a taste of an agency pie, just like trying anything for the first time, come in with an open mind and enthusiasm to learn as much as you can. The work that they will give you does actually have a purpose, so make sure you put your all into it. Finally, ask questions, talk to people and get stuck in.
So if you want to get into PR, or just want to have a crack at life in an agency, I wouldn’t look further than Lexis. Thank you guys!