Forget the stereotypes of a flustered young intern, running around the office with coffee orders and stacks of printed paper – you won’t see that at Haines McGregor. In fact, on the contrary. I’ve had more coffee bought for me than I have made for others around here.


During my time as an intern, I’ll admit, I have done a bit of printing and photocopying, but no more than my line manager (Ed) has. Right from the get-go, I have been involved in live projects, supported across multiple areas of the team, and received training that has aided my understanding of the work HMc does, and its company culture. I’ve sat in on client calls and stakeholder interviews with some big companies like Arla and PepsiCo, helped to organise an in-person workshop for the Carlsberg France team, been wined and dined and invited to social events. I’ve always been made to feel like one of the team.



Each week there is at least one opportunity for different team members to share new thinking with the team. There is a real culture of sharing knowledge and an eagerness to learn from everyone at HMc. For example, Cam, one of the Strategists, gave a very thought-provoking presentation to the team on Blue Ocean Strategy. I’ve seen presentations on the brand Flamingo Estate, The Future of Nightlife, and various cultural trends. It’s a nice way to keep things fresh and the discussions always extend your thinking and understanding. Frankie, one of the Strategy Directors, heads up HMc’s internal training Programme called ‘The Thread’. These sessions come with an open invite to the team to learn more about the key tools and processes of the company – very useful for someone new to the team! These training sessions are usually accompanied by coffee and breakfast – as if we needed any convincing to get together, but with a very flexible work environment these are often the days you’ll catch most people in the office.


In just the first week of my internship, I was privy to HMc’s Annual Team Meeting followed by the Christmas party – great timing on my part. During the ‘Year in Review’ I was genuinely quite amazed at the dedication, passion, and brilliance I witnessed in the room. I came to the conclusion quite quickly that yes, this was a Great Place to Work.

Not that it was planned in this way, but for me, the Annual Review was an insight into the hard-working, creative and uplifting culture that exudes from every member of the HMc team. I remember sitting in the room, not having much to say at this point, but just having the chance to listen in as different members recapped and shared with the team some pretty massive projects that had been completed throughout the year. It became very apparent to me that every person in that room has varying strengths and talents and there is no ‘I’ in the HMc team. During the presentations, I began to realise the extent of the relationships that HMc has with some of the biggest names in the CPG space. Clients completely trust the level of creativity and quality of ideas that this team will deliver, and hearing about the projects everyone had worked on and the client feedback that followed was all very inspiring. I’d only been here one week and I felt proud.


Throughout the course of the internship, my involvement with live projects (something that you may not get at other agencies) has meant that I’ve been able to see into the world of brand strategy whilst working with some major players in the CPG world. Thanks to Lily and Lucy, the Junior Strategists at HMc, I’ve also had great insight into what a Junior Strat role would look like, and they’re always happy to bounce ideas around and give welcomed feedback. Alongside the live projects, Ed and I have been putting together a mock project following a ‘client brief’ I was given in my first week. The nature of the job here at HMc means that no two days are ever really the same. Some days I’ll be contributing to live projects, whether that’s reading through client documents to find supporting data, conducting competitor and category reviews, organising a retail safari around London, helping out the internal marketing team with content scheduling and if there isn’t a need for me elsewhere, I’ll chip away at my own mock project where I can really have a go at exercising my own strategic thinking.



One thing that I have learnt along the way is that anyone in the team is more than willing to help, lend advice and give you tips if you just ask. I’ve had coffee catch-ups or Teams calls to chat through anything from copywriting to presentation flow, to helpful websites and resources, to how to brief the creative team. I often need to remind myself that I don’t have to have all the answers and not all of the thinking has to come from me – lean on the team, they’ll be happy to help.


If it’s a foot in the door to the world of brand strategy that you’re after, don’t just take my word for it. Listen to what HMc’s clients have to say about the work that they do, look at the companies that they work for, listen to Jamie’s podcast (You, Me & CPG), and you’ll get a feel for the level of excellence that you’ll be exposed to here. The team will look after you with a thorough onboarding and unwavering support throughout your time here, setting you up for a career in brand strategy. After nearly 3 months, I’m convinced that there would be no greater place to work if it’s a career in brand strategy that you want. And if you’re one of the lucky ones who have the opportunity to intern here, I’m sure you will be convinced of that too.