I frequently receive emails from people asking me for help in entering the toy business. I was, however, particularly struck by a letter I received from a university student asking me how to get a job in the toy industry.
I decided to share the letter with all of you because 1. It was well written and 2. It underscores a concern that I have had for some time; people simply don’t know how to get jobs in the toy industry.
Think about what happens when you tell someone that you work in the toy industry. Almost invariably there is a two part response. First they say: That sounds like fun” followed by “how did you get a job in the toy industry?” As I have written before, undoubtedly circus people get the same response, but I doubt that many other industries do.
People know how to get jobs in retail, advertising and even the movies. The toy industry, for some reason, seems impervious to entry.
I think you will all agree that we need more young blood in this industry. So, please write into this blog and give this young man some tips. Here is his letter:
My name is John, I'm currently an undergraduate student at Syracuse University and I'd like your help.
For years I've known what I have wanted to do: be a part of producing marketing/communications messages for a boys action toy brand.
Right now I'm interning for [a Fortune 500 Company] and I am having my love for communications and marketing reaffirmed. I can see myself doing this for a long time, but there is something about the Toy industry that touches me on a more personal level.
I come to you asking for help, because, within the next few months I am going to attempt to navigate unfamiliar waters and try to land an internship at a prominent toy company.
The current internship I have I got because of a strong resume and a great interview – but I doubt I'll be able to interview in person for companies, many of which are located in California - thousands of miles away. I will be relying instead on phone-skills, persistence, and again, a strong resume.
If there are any tips you have for how to go about this, any people you would not mind putting me in contact with, any recommendations on how to put myself in a better position to succeed, I would be greatly appreciative.
I know this is not what you do, but I was hoping I could learn something from your 35+ years in the industry. If there is anything you think would help, please let me know.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for your help,