Exactly two months to the day of writing this, it was -20 and I was on a cold mountain in the Swiss Alps teaching visiting tourists how to ski.
My name is Killian O’Brien. Today, I am typing at you from the sleek, stylish, air-conditioned offices of Dream Random in London Fields. I am a Marketing Intern at the creative agency which provides 360-degree marketing solutions for SME. Whether that is constructing email newsletters for a local flower shop business or designing a website for Skepta’s new clothing line, MAINS©. After all, variety is the spice of life.
As previously mentioned, not long ago I was working in a starkly different setting. I am an internationally qualified skiing instructor. For the past three years, my job has allowed me to travel to and experience a variety of alpine landscapes. Over the course of the winter season, I worked 2,000m above sea level every day. It is a physically and mentally draining job. A typical day would start at 9am with a group of energetic kids between the age of 5-8. Next, a nervous wife who might have had a bad experience of the sport and finishing the day with a high-powered lawyer.
Having written blog posts to market these ski schools, I have begun this internship with the intention of building on my copywriting skills and gaining a deeper understanding of successful marketing strategies.
Internships can be a tough gig. The misconception is that you, as the intern, handle all the menial tasks – ‘answer this call’ ‘find that folder’. I think it happens less in this day and age. Companies can’t afford to NOT give their young ‘up and comers’ a role – it costs them if they’re not contributing effectively.
The diversity I experienced as a skiing instructor has prepared me well for my work with Dream Random. In my first week at DR, I have worked on projects for a local pizza restaurant, a mobile app for a London based influencer and an international close protection service. All work that I can see my imprint on. The wonderful nature of working in a creative agency is that no two days are the same.
Location, location, location
While some of the skills might have been transferable, the locations couldn’t have been more different. Previously, I was based in a small village in Southern Switzerland called Saas Fee. Fifty years ago, the dominating industry was farming. Now, tourists from around the globe come to ski in the beautiful setting of the Swiss Alps. During peak holiday season, the local population swells from a couple of hundred people to a couple of thousand! It is a strange place in that way. Dead one week, packed the next. Also, as one of the most expensive countries in the world to live in, some of the simple pleasures in life like coffee are hard to come by at a decent price.
In London Fields, I can walk 30 seconds in any direction to find great coffee, locally sourced food from a range of cuisine, all for a reasonable price. East London has gone through a process of regeneration after an influx of professionals with deep pockets moved into the area. It is a hub of creativity and culture with endless places to eat, shop and visit.
I’m happy to be here.