My Student Job | Interviewing for Adobe at D&AD New Blood Festival 2017

For most of history, Anonymous was a woman – Virginia Woolf

I have a part time job whilst at uni; I’m a Student Brand Manager (SBM) for Adobe. Last term, I was promoting Creative Cloud around my campus, and one of my friends happened to win a free trip to NYC as part of the campaign!

In April of this year, Adobe – along with Seed Marketing* – took us SBMs to the D&AD festival for a day. To see some of the best advertising and design in the world was both impressive and inspiring! I’ve been having a little look at what’s to come in 2018, and there is a video from this year and lots more cool stuff here: (I got a free Instagram mug.. it’s honestly worth a visit!)

(*Seed Marketing are a student marketing company that work on lots of different campaigns; Adobe being their latest. They are also my bosses, and they are amazing!)

Anyway, so flash forward to a few days ago (flash back..? idk), Adobe & Seed invited me and 1 other SBM to interview the speakers at the D&AD New Blood Festival, which provides inspiration, education and opportunities for new creatives.

(Before I say anything else, just know that I am really interested in and appreciative of design, business and creativity, however I don’t have a lot of experience with any of those things. But I found the whole festival so incredibly inspiring and eye-opening! I didn’t need to have extensive knowledge about the industry. SO, if you’re even a tiny bit interested in design and the creative industry, 1. Go next year! And 2. Keep reading).

Each of the people I interviewed were super successful, had an awesome job/their own company and basically just had their ish together from a pretty young age. I was listening very intently. They gave a talk to a bunch of young aspiring creatives before coming for an interview, so I got to learn about them and their journey, and then ask my questions.

Interviewing was such a great experience – but I was fairly nervous for the first one, as they were treating this like I was a seasoned pro or something, and ‘just hook your mic up and do a test run for us please’ was a language that I spoke (?!). But I really got into it, and forgot the camera was there after a while.

(The only thing I was worrying about by the end of the day was my hayfever. With a delightfully high pollen count over those few days I was really trying my best not to snot all over everything during the interviews. Lovely, right?).

The first successful human I graced my questions with was Craig Oldham. He wasn’t allowed to swear in our interview, however usually f*ck is his every other word – he’s hilarious! He knows what he wants and he had the motivation to go after it. The little gem of advice I took from him is that to get to where you want to be, you must find that motivation and then just go for it. As Craig said in his talk ‘It’s not who will let you, it’s who will stop you’; so, it shouldn’t be a ‘can I do it?’ attitude, it’s more of a ‘try and stop me, b*tch’ attitude that will get you places.

Full interview:

One common theme among these creatives was that they were so incredibly down-to-earth! It didn’t matter how many millions their business was worth, or whether they lived on a beautiful boat (see interview with Pip Jamieson – what a laugh!), they were just so lovely! It was a good reminder to throw kindness around like confetti.

So, Pip. She is the definition of the girl boss, and someone I seriously admire after learning who she is and what she stands for. Pip is the founder of the company The Dots, which is often described as the LinkedIn for creatives.  She talked about empowering women in the predominantly male industry, and how people should just ‘smile more’😊

Full interview:

I also interviewed Jim Sutherland on the second day of D&AD New Blood. His story was very relatable; he described being fiercely nervous at his first job interview, and throughout the first few months of his first job. But despite that he kept going, and knew what his strengths and weaknesses were.  He learnt to play to the strengths, and gradually get better at the weaknesses. He’s also just a really genuine guy!

Full interview:

One of my other highlights was speaking to Ajaz Ahmed, the CEO of AKQA. He started his business at 21, and has basically bossed it ever since. Very inspirational and incredibly friendly; I have his two books I’m looking forward to reading! Find out more about him here –

All in all, it was an incredible experience, and I am so grateful to have had that opportunity! The cherry on the cake was that I got to stay in a rather posh hotel (The Courthouse Hotel, Shoreditch. Would highly recommend the cocktail bar).

HUGE thank you to Adobe and Seed! (pls invite me back next year?)

EM xx