Inaugural career and learning fair for Admarcom Industry, The Big Break, targeted at new entrants to the industry and career switchers

The Big Break.jpgIn an effort to boost and develop quality professionals for the AdMarcom (Advertising, Marketing and Communications) industry, the Association for Accredited Advertising Agents Singapore (4As) launched The Big Break, with support from the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA).

The Big Break is an inaugural career and learning fair comprised of a Career Fair, Winners' Workshop and the Crowbar Awards (creative awards for design and creative students from the art schools).
The Career Fair is targeted at job-seekers, new entrants, mid career switchers and freelancers who are looking to enter the industry. More than 40 positions are available ranging from creative, accounting servicing, production to other support roles such as admin and finance, etc. Among the employers participating in the Career Fair are BBDO, Grey Group Singapore, Leo Burnett, TBWA, Y&R and Wunderman, Papahan Films and  Sitting in Pictures.

Edmund Choe.jpg"The reason we're in advertising today is because someone along the way gave us that first break. He or she gave us an opportunity to join the industry and nurtured us to become who we are. That's why we'd like to pay it forward by helping others in return, and The Big Break provides a great platform for young talents to be discovered," said Edmund Choe, Chief Creative Officer, Singapore & South East Asia, TBWA Group/Asia Pacific (pictured left).

Existing industry professionals and aspiring job seekers can also keep abreast of industry trends and acquire valuable industry knowledge at the Winners' Workshop. The Workshop gathers a line-up of distinguished industry professionals to share real-world learnings, industry insights, tricks and tips to prepare new entrants to enter the industry and educate seasoned industry professionals on the latest trends in the industry. Hear from Michelle Lim, CEO of Chatsworth Medi@rt Academy, Colin Koh, Creative Group Head of TBWA, Pann Lim, Creative Director of Kinetic and many others. (Annex A)

The importance of continual learning is being summed up by Michelle Lim, CEO and Co-Founder of award-winning ad school, M.A.D. School by Chatsworth Mediart Academy, "Technology has rapidly changed various industries and we are living in this disruptive knowledge economy. Yet, we are still counting on our expiring skills, knowledge and mindsets developed in our college years. To stay current, we must go beyond what we have acquired and rethink how to develop our capabilities. Unlearn and relearn is the key."

The Crowbar Awards is an annual event for emerging young creatives to showcase their best works and learn from their peers. Established in 2001, it called on students to 'grab a crowbar and break into the industry'. It quickly became a rich hunting ground for fresh talent till today where the winners are highly sought after by prospective employers. This is the first year that the Crowbar Awards will be held in conjunction with a career and learning fair with the support of WDA. Today, the Crowbar Awards attracts more than 1,000 entries from both local and overseas schools, from countries as far as Germany to those nearer home like Malaysia, New Zealand and China. Entries fall into 5 categories - Advertising, Design, Photography, Interactive and Film. (Annex A)

"As the industry body, 4As is committed to recognising and developing AdMarcom talents - the newly graduated, the young professionals, the experienced and those are transiting to this industry. Our aim is to equip them with competencies to remain competitive in the fast-changing global media and communications industry. The Big Break is a collaboration of efforts among like-minded associations within this industry to fulfill this vision," said Bernard Chan, CEO of 4As.

Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency said "WDA will continue to work closely with 4As and the industry to expand training opportunities and platforms for individuals to develop meaningful and sustainable careers in the advertising industry, and build a strong pipeline of Singaporean talent for the advertising industry. In support of the SkillsFuture vision, we strongly encourage advertising professionals and new entrants to deepen their skills in emerging areas such as digital marketing and e-commerce, and advance in their careers through skills mastery."

This event is supported by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency and industry associations such as Association of Independent Producers of Singapore (AIPRO), Direct Marketing Association of Singapore (DMAS), Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), and Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI) are industry partners of this event. Their presence presents a more complete representation of the industry. "AIPRO is well poised to have found a great partner in the 4As to tap in on the talent pool in the greater creative industry. We look forward to build upon this synergy and work towards more and greater collaborations in the future," remarked Tan Chih Chong, President of Association of Independent Producers of Singapore (AIPRO).

"The future of the marketing world is almost entirely dependent on finding, developing and keeping dedicated, passionate people with the right skills to meet the ever-changing needs of our industry.  The Big Break is a unique opportunity for DMAS to engage tomorrow's talent, plant the seeds of passion in our industry and accelerate the careers of the best, brightest and most keen to succeed," said Lisa Watson, Chairman of Direct Marketing Association of Singapore (DMAS).

Annex A

1.     Industry practitioners at the event will speak about the following: trending issues in this industry e.g. the skills and knowledge that need to be acquired, understanding the industry and where it's heading towards, the opportunities that abound, training and higher learning available, industry expectations, preparing for new frontiers in the Admarcom space, and many more. Topics covered at the Winners' Workshop include 'The Importance of Being Relentless", "Working with Others', You are Replaceable!" and 'Advertising, Disrupted.'
2.     One more new category was added this year - the SG50 category. This category recognises entries that incorporated a SG50 theme. Participants hailed from the art schools and the lecturers. In the Crowbar 24-Hour Advertising Challenge, 20 teams of student groups of 4 to 5 members per team raced against the clock to crack a real brief given by Hewlett Packard within 24 hours. They brainstormed, toiled and pitched their campaign to the client after a day's work. This is to facilitate a real-world situation where time and creativity are of the essence to a win or a loss for the agency. And an expected crowd of 250 lecturers and students will turn up on October 23 to cheer for their friends and their alma mater.

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