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Life As A BG Intern: Ben Preston

“Holy f*** Ben, you’ve really done it this time,” was the main thought crossing my mind in my interview as I was introduced to Amanda (our resident neuroscientist). How was I ever meant to compete with that? Yet here I am, 6 months down the line, and not only did I get the job, but I quickly came to realise that this is exactly what makes Brand Genetics special.

Collaboration is in everything we do. From running consumer research to muddy assault courses, everyone from top to bottom gets their hands dirty. BG essentially says “f*** the cookie cutter corporate”, and, quite frankly, I love it!

The ability to successfully combine an incredibly diverse and passionate skill set is, for me, what makes our balance of start-up and experience so potent. I have always been a big believer in small businesses doing big work, a statement that rings true here. We work with huge global clients, delivering first rate work on an international level – and all from a core internal team of just 11 people!

The hunger, drive and adaptability needed to do things differently is only possible with the range of different perspectives you’ll find at 24 Fitzroy Square, united under the BG mantra of “don’t take the piss”.

A nice ballsy statement, ideal for attracting the modern millennial, but what does that actually mean to an intern?

Well, I have printed less than 50 pages during my 6 months here, only made cups of tea when it’s my fair turn (if anything I probably owe a few), and rarely if ever sit in a meeting where I am not asked my opinion. I have debated the future global positioning of the world’s biggest beer brand for the world’s largest brewer. I have organised customer immersions for senior brand teams, and I have run in-depth interviews in London’s finest bars.

We are a start up with 20 years’ experience. Honestly, this comes with a certain level of expectation. This is not Accenture – you can’t hide in a corner, content with writing up someone else’s work, counting 5:30 down. And quite frankly, if that’s what you are after, then BG is not for you.

Unlike larger firms, you are on multiple projects simultaneously and flexibly. Quick thinking and a hands-on attitude will keep you coming in to work excited every day.  Here you have the opportunity to deliver, with your opinions valued from Day One. You will need to be fluid, fast and adaptable to cope with the start-up mentality, but if you embrace your entrepreneurial side, the support network is there to genuinely change the game.

After my first 3 months, it never really crossed my mind whether I wanted to come back or not. And, for someone who has failed to live in the same city for more than 6 months at a time in the last 5 years, I think that says something.

The business is at an extremely exciting stage in its development, with huge potential. It won’t be a smooth ride (it never is), but if you are light on your feet and ambitious, then BG is an agency that is doing some of the most exciting and innovative work in an industry ripe for disruption.

Most importantly, the business has backed me, pushed me and given me opportunities every single day. I don’t think anyone can say that that is taking the piss. So personally, I can’t wait to come back again… Roll on June 2018!

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