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Career Stories - David

Senior Copywriter
Klemtner, New York

My first ad job was with Medicus Intercon, New York, the medical marketing division of parent company DMB&B, now D'Arcy. I was a junior copywriter or copy "cub" as it's affectionately known. The building is located in the heart of midtown and it was my first "real" job out of college.

AEF: How many people did you have to meet with?

David: One, the Executive Creative Director of the agency.

AEF: Did he ask you any surprising questions?

David: Yeah. He asked if I knew how to use a ruler and a straightedge. It was a joke.

AEF: How long a period of time did you search for a job in the industry?

David: After moving to NYC, it took me about 4 months to get the job. In the meantime, I worked as a bike messenger and professional resume faxer. It's funny when you live in the city how you learn when papers containing apartment and job listings are being delivered. This way you can get them the night before they are out and get a jump on the competition.

AEF: How long a period of time passed between your interview and start date?

David: Three days.

AEF: How were you notified that you were hired?

David: I was told then at the interview. If you can call it an interview. You see, I knew someone who was working at Medicus as a copywriter. He knew I was looking for a job and had told his boss about me. There was interest but nothing really became of it and I kept on pedaling. Finally, one day I got two job offers. One at a film/video tape house selling tape, and the other working at Viacom. It wasn't the job you'd expect, it was working in the cafeteria. Hey, it was better than me being sandwiched between two cabbies. Anyway, I was strolling along 8th Ave. weighing my options when I happened to run into my copywriting friend. He told me to come to a restaurant with him because he was having dinner with his boss. I went along. He introduced me to his boss and we chatted over dinner. For the most part, I told him my background and abilities. That's when the ruler joke came in. Then he said he would hire me freelance for one month to see what I could do. I was there for about two years.

AEF: Did you send a thank-you note?

David: I thanked him then, while I worked there, and to this day. It takes a lot of hard work and persistence to cultivate a career. It always pays to be sincere and respect those that you can learn from.

AEF: Things you know now that you wish you knew then:

David: FDA regulations, AMA style, and how to present in front of a bunch of stoic clients.

AEF: Things you wish someone had told you when you were just starting out:

David: FDA regulations, AMA style, and how to present in front of a bunch of stoic clients.

AEF: How many jobs have you had since then?

David: After Medicus, I worked for DMB&B in video production. Then I worked for FCB Healthcare, Grey Healthcare, Robert A. Becker, and now Klemtner, all as copywriter. Klemtner is the healthcare division of Saatchi & Saatchi. While working as a video production freelancer, I worked with Lumina Films, Publicus Bloom and McCann-Erickson.

AEF: So did you know how to use a ruler and a straight edge?

David: Of course, that's why I got the job!