It’s an exciting time in our world at the moment.

We love this phase of TIE.

The last lucky participants for 2014 are being chosen, being matched to their chosen projects, and the first professionals are starting to head out. 

This is when TIE starts to come to life.

We get to create these life-changing adventures for people, and then join them for ultimately one of the most rich and valuable experiences they will ever be a part of.

And this is the start of that journey!

Our first person for 2014 arrived in country this week. And the others are following not too far behind.

But what is it that drives people to challenge themselves, to want to shake things up a bit, to step out of their comfort zone?

What are the future leaders of our industry thinking? What do they want out of their career? What are they yearning for?

We were keen to know, and thought you would find the answers interesting too!

Keep reading to get into the heads of three of our next participants as they get ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime.

Lorna Burt, Leo Burnett, London – in Malawi!

I have just arrived in Malawi where I’ll be for 30 days, to work with Greenroot Finance, a local business that provides loans for local people in one of the world’s poorest countries.
I think when you first hear that the opportunity to apply to TIE might be coming up there are three things that cross your mind. 1) This looks like the most amazing personal opportunity – a chance to explore a new part of the world, meet new people and try new things, in an immersive and very real way that you are rarely afforded as simply a tourist. 2) This looks like an incredible professional opportunity – a chance to really develop and grow your skills, and a chance to spend 30 days working on the holy grail of comms, a project you believe in with the scope to genuinely change people’s lives. And 3) this looks like a chance to bring something different back to your agency and the industry. It could be a new way of thinking, a new way of working, a new perspective or just a new appreciation for what comms can achieve but in many ways I am as excited for what I can do when I return as I for what the 30 days in Malawi will hold. 

Sam Miller, Grey New York – off to Zambia!

In just over two months I’ll be on my way to Zambia and I could not be more excited. The reason I signed up for TIE originally was to be able to experience a different part of the advertising culture. Handling marketing for a non-profit, especially one in a completely different country, is an experience that I knew would be extremely valuable for my career. But what I’m looking forward to now that I have been going through all the preparation is to really push myself as a leader and to learn how to manage a truly strategic campaign with a goal that will truly affect the people I’m working for. Sometimes in day-to-day advertising life I ask myself if I’m really helping people. Is what I’m doing making a difference? And I am incredibly energized by the fact that I will be able to help the Barefeet Theatre group and ultimately some people in Zambia as well. While there is a little part of me that is nervous to be on my own in a new country for a month, I know that the experience is one that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Yewande Sokan, Maxus London – off to Brazil!

In three months I start my stint in Recife, Brazil where I’ll be working with Action Aid. When I applied in December last year, the idea of November 2014 seemed so far away! I signed up for TIE because I want an adventure. I felt it was time to leave my comfort zone again and work through a number of difficult tasks/situations that I know will make me stronger and better. I didn’t really know what to expect. Had I known what I know now, would I have applied? I don’t know. This certainly isn’t going to be a walk in the park, however, I’m thrilled I applied. I’m excited that I’ve found myself in this position and I’m pushing myself to rise to the challenge. I’m hoping to learn something new about myself. When it comes to flexibility, I’m looking to expand my range of motion and I want to communicate with people that are very different to me…in their own language. I’m hoping to become a better leader and listener following this experience. Most importantly, I’m looking to bring back a sense of pride, that the career I’ve chosen to pursue, can be a force of good in society.
But this is a long list of ‘Is.’ Things I want to learn and that I want to gain. It would be incredible if my presence on this project could leave some lasting positive experience with the people I work with. I’m intensively learning Portuguese and hope I’ll be able to use it while in Recife. I’m also preparing for the possibility of being homesick, missing my family, boyfriend and friends. I want to embrace this emotion, but I don’t want it to be crippling.  
I’m so excited to live through what I’m sure will be a positively transformational month in my life…and hopefully the lives of others.

We’d love to know if you found these insights interesting. Did they help provide a new perspective on how the high potentials in your company may be thinking? Or perhaps inspire a different dialogue?  We hope so. Let us know!