Creative consultancy Tayburn has set a series of seemingly impossible briefs for students and graduates applying to its annual placement scheme. Challenges include selling a theme park to the over 60s and putting a positive spin on an oil spill in one tweet…
The two-month paid placement at Tayburn’s Edinburgh office gives candidates the chance to work on live projects with creatives, account directors and strategists.
To test applicants’ suitability, the company has designed a website, newspaper and downloadable PDF which contain a series of bizarre and mind-bending tasks.
Challenges are designed to test candidates’ ability to problem solve and apply their creative thinking to commercial briefs, says design director Matt Robinson.
“Students coming out of university tend to show great creative thinking skills, but what they’re not necessarily taught is commercial application in a branding context,” he says.
“The main issue with this is that the science of human behaviour – how people think, how they react with brands and why they respond to them – is neatly avoided. And when you look through student portolios, it shows,” he adds.
Instead of preparing polished presentations and detailed pitches, candidates are asked to simply jot down their ideas and sketches on the pages provided. Applicants aren’t expected to provide final solutions but rather, demonstrate how they would approach each project, says Robinson.
“Of course, the tasks aren’t reflective of what we do here on a daily basis, but responses to impossible briefs are much more reflective of how someone works than a straightforward, generic one,” he adds.
Candidates are also invited to sketch a self portrait and write their own epitaph to give an insight into their personality, which Robinson says is often difficult to gauge at interviews.
It’s a fun concept and anyone that can sell the unsellable or sum up Tatcher in a thumbnail-sized drawing certainly deserves a job. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and you can download briefs at tayburn.co.uk/deepend