September 21, 2016

Ad-ventures Abroad : Singapore

It was 3 days before my final hand in at university when I got a phone call from a random +65 number (that turned out to be the ECD) telling me that myself and my creative partner had been offered a place each on the BBH intern program in Singapore. Amongst the squealing and extreme happiness we managed to say yes.

It had all started with a tweet a couple of months earlier from BBH Singapore; despite the slim odds we filled out the online application form separately, but luckily got offered the place together.

The scene in London wasn’t looking promising, I had an interview lined up for IPA ad school, but that was about it. The first internship is the hardest one to get, without contacts you’re pretty much screwed. (Sorry for the negativity.)

So with an amazing offer in hand, off to Singapore we went. It was ridiculously exciting; they’d even set us interns up with an apartment, bringing 6 of us from around the world together in the Tiong Bahru district. (A fairly cool part of town for young folk.)

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With severe jet lag and butterflies work commenced, the difference from London is phenomenal. As a London grad I was desperate to make edgy, rebellious work, but that’s not really the vibe in Singapore. This place thrives on rules; and there are a lot of regulations in ad land. That’s not to say you can’t make good work, you just have to get out of your London head.

Agency life does involve long hours, sometimes there was a lot of work on, and other times it was more of a social thing. They’ve got some pretty cool clients so the opportunities are 100% there for the taking.

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My stint in Singapore was 3 months, and I loved every minute of it. Everyone at BBH is lovely, and they’re incredibly social. You drink at the same bar every Friday, and if you’re lucky you might get invited to the infamous Four Floors Of Whores. A shopping centre filled with strippers, karaoke and an endless supply of alcohol.

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I’d be lying if I said it would have been a good career move to stay there, I just don’t fit the Singaporean way of communications. I wanted to rebel, speak out and fuck some shit up. But, that being said it’s an amazing city with an interesting culture and well worth a go if you get the chance.

My top 12 things to do if you find yourself in Singapore:

- Tiong Bahru bakery
- Thai Lion Kitchen at Tiong Bahru hawker centre (Generally hawker centres do the best food
- Satay Social //www.facebook.com/SataySocial
- Veganburg
- Blujaz cafe Haji Lane
- All of the amazing brunch spots Artichoke and PS café are great
- NTU centre for Contemporary art Singapore
- Take a trip to Little India with an empty stomach
- Visit Sentosa just for the lols
- Shangri-La hotel restaurant The Line, best buffet ever
- Also eat prata and curry sauce all day every day
- Ladies night!!! Free drinks every Wednesday

Holly studied at London College of Communication and had her first internship at BBH Singapore. She's now a YCC member and works at PD3.

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