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  • armaanajoomal

the greatest job application known to man

Updated: Feb 11

hi there. im armaan. i applied to aCopywriting Summer Internship position. i had to fill out two short-answer questions. these are my responses.

im really proud of these. enjoy.

Prompt 1:

“Talent, I believe, is most likely to be found among nonconformists, rebels, and dissenters.” – (redacted name). In 500 words or less, tell us about a time when you went against the grain or challenged a commonly held idea or belief. What was the outcome?


Most 20-year-olds don’t have the gusto to cold email the Vice Chairman of the UK’s best advertising firm.

Good thing I’m not like most 20-year-olds.

A few weeks ago, I emailed Rory Sutherland, one of my favorite humans on this tiny blue marble we call Earth. Rory has appeared on numerous podcasts I love. His book Alchemy is a must-read.

My subject line?

I sacrificed 3-goats to David Ogilvy to send this email.”

Yeah. A bit forward. But good advertising is a little naughty. And naughty is damn fun.

Nested in a few dozen words, I praised Rory, proved my allegiance to the Psycho-Logic cult, and asked him a question.

A few days later, a call was set up. I’ll be talking to him in a month. Already bouncing off the walls thinking about it.

Most college kids are scared.

They cower behind LinkedIn headshots and excuses instead of reaching the people they want to speak to.

“It’s unprofessional to email directly!” or “I have to go through the system!” they’ll cry as they suck their thumbs and tuck their resumes into bed.

They stick to boring convention, so afraid to look different, that they get in line behind hundreds of cookie-cutter candidates.

But here’s what they get wrong.

There are no rules.

Life isn’t a game of chess where pieces only move one way.

Life is a whirlwind of Chutes & Ladders, Monopoly, and every other board game you can think of. There are twists, turns, and shortcuts all around you. Luck, talent, grit, and effort all factor into the equation. And the most important thing is to not end up in jail.

So far, I’m good on that front.

Nothing great was ever achieved by those who followed all the rules, dilly-dallying, waiting around for inspiration to smack them in the face, hoping to get lucky and fall into the life they desire.

That attitude is unacceptable.

To be bold, to stand out, to be a truly unique individual like no other, is the requirement for great impact on this planet. The future is not shaped by those exhibiting momentary flashes of revolt or a spritz of non-conformity.

The future is paved by those who live, breathe, and bathe in rebellion. By those who toil day after day to create the future, they wish to see. Because these people know as long as they continue to chip away at the marble, eventually they’ll be starting into the eyes of the Statue of David.

This does not excuse asshole-ry. Don’t be an awful person to “stick out”. But this does mean that rugged grit, passion, and undying individualism are essential.

Napoleon, Steve Jobs, and the hundreds of other figures who have changed the world refused to fit into a pre-defined mold.

They took fate into their own hands and melded it to their grandest visions.

That is the spirit.

The spirit of nonconformity.

The spirit of rebellion.

The spirit of dissenters.

That is the spirit of ______(company name im not putting here).

Prompt 2:

Tell us a story about what makes you uniquely you. What can you bring to the (company) community that no one else can?  

2:48 AM.

January 13th, 2024.

Shirtless, pacing in my bedroom.

“My friends, this is the day of revolution. The day we take back our endowed rights! The day we unshackle ourselves, break the chains, and bathe in the glory of freedom!”

The last syllable echoed throughout my room. All that was left was my hoarse, caffeine-fueled panting.

In 12 hours was the first meeting for rev, the new club my friends and I started. Rev is a community of creatives banding together to not merely predict the future, but invent it.

I was finalizing the opening speech.

Half a dozen iterations. Over 10 practice run-throughs. Sentences strewn with metaphor. And an infinite pool of passion.

12 hours later, it came out perfectly. The applause was symphonic.

To me, that speech felt like home. It thrummed with “Armaan-energy” as if I’d lobotomized a piece of my brain and dedicated it to that day.

It was radically authentic.

Ah yes, the core ideal that touches every word I write, sentence I say, and action I do.

Radical Authenticity.

Authenticity is necessary for Advertising. Creative expression requires unfiltered honesty. If the work isn’t real, no one will believe it.

The client, the audience, and most importantly, yourself, will feel how false it is.

I assure you nothing fake will ever leave my fingers. Everything that my mind touches is honest, real, and radically authentic.

There is no greater gift than Truth.

And Truth exists within all of us, we simply must express it.

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