Ellie Evans is a copywriter at Sharp Agency. She graduated from BA (Hons) Creative Advertising in 2019.
We asked Ellie to tell us about her role and how her studies have prepared her for a career in advertising:
Leeds Arts University opened my eyes to a different kind of creativity. The course is unique, breaking down the layers of the creative process and how to form big ideas that make an impact. I left as a well-rounded creative with a wealth of knowledge of the creative process - from writing our own strategies and propositions to pitching and bringing our ideas to life. This gave me a leg-up in my competition as I understood briefs more comprehensively.
What did you do straight after leaving University?
I had no job leads straight after leaving - not even a placement. I moved home and became extremely vigilant on LinkedIn and used the networks I had created during my time on the course to lead me to my next opportunity. However, I was keen to breakdown the stereotype of “to make it you have to go to London”. I loved the North and wanted to stay here. I saw a posting on LinkedIn by Sharp, looking for a Junior Copywriter. In the last few weeks of our degree we had put together a portfolio so I had one ready to go. Later that day I sent over my portfolio and a full list of reasons as to why I was right for the job. Two interviews later I found out that I had secured my first job as a copywriter. After few tears and a bottle of Prosecco it was time to move back to Leeds.
What does a typical day look like?
A typical day… well every day in Ad Land is different which is what I love about my job. There’s a similar structure to my day however. My mornings are usually briefings or creative reviews which gives me the rest of the day to get cracking or refine my concepts. When creative reviews are in the morning that’s typically quite stressful, as you’ve usually had a ‘brainwave’ in the night and get yourself and your CD to make sense of it at 9am. My afternoons are usually spent collaborating with either our animator or junior graphic designer. Or, I’m sitting in our sofa room trying to get rid of writer’s block and come up with a good idea!
Do you have any tips or advice for current students or recent graduates wanting to work in your field?
My advice is, have fun. Advertising can surprisingly be fun. When people are looking at your portfolio they want to see work that would make their clients scream in fear. Use your time at University or when job-hunting to create a portfolio that shows Creative Directors how much fun you have as a creative. Show them what you’ve got. You also don’t need to go to London. And… this is coming from the world’s biggest pessimist, it’ll work out.
Finally, are there any future ambitions or projects in the pipeline you can tell us about?
I am so passionate about writing a book. It’s something I planned during the Covid-19 lockdown and with a few more years under my belt, I’ll get cracking. I’ve also just finished School of Thought - a competition that is 12 briefs over 12 weeks from agencies in Leeds where the winner goes to Cannes Lions, which is the largest gathering in the creative marketing community. So, keep your fingers crossed for me!