Meet Jake Smith, a Creative Advertising BA graduate riding the wave of success 

13 May 2024

Sustainable Product Design graduate Niall Jones wearing mask and carrying a bucket on Porthtowan beach as part of SAS Floater campaign.
The Floater - SAS - Niall Jones
Type: Text
Category: Our graduates

"The sky’s the limit,” says Jake Smith, who recently started a new role as a creative/art director for leading advertising agency Havas Consumer Health. “We’ve got a great team at the new agency and the future is what we’ll make it. The most important thing for me is to carry on making work that I’m passionate about.” 

The award-winning Creative Advertising BA graduate’s career might be flying high in London, but it all started in Jake’s home county of Cornwall – as he explains...   

What prompted you to study at Falmouth? 

I’m from Cornwall originally and to be honest I didn’t want to leave! I had planned to do a graphic design course but I also love writing, so the Creative Advertising BA looked perfect for me. When I started, in 2015, it was one of the few courses in the UK for advertising – and it was hands down one of the best decisions I’ve made. 

How did you make the jump from university to industry? 

After graduation I interned at a couple of agencies, until I landed a job in Manchester – which was unexpected as I always thought I’d end up in London. The offer was from a world-renowned agency, however, and it kickstarted my career. I came back to London after two and half years up north, having learnt, made and practised my craft within the industry. 

The ad industry is competitive, but the degree course really did help prepare me. Live briefs from agencies in our third year built contacts for us as graduates and these same briefs filled our portfolios. With a name like Falmouth University behind you, it was a great start.  

A little bit of advice I’d offer for students across all courses is to create work that you’re proud to stand next to and call your own.

Can you tell us about some career highs, so far? 

One of the most exciting projects was the entire process of creating The Floater, the world’s first surfboard made of sewage – an idea I had while working at creative agency Mr President. The aim was to highlight the UK water pollution scandal. From concept and design to shooting the board and seeing the huge amount of response, it was incredible. It’s a great feeling when ordinary people say ‘wow, look at this’.  

My proudest moment was winning a silver award at Cannes Young Lions, an international competition for creatives under 30. The award was for Zombies, a campaign to promote inclusivity within the advertising industry. The win came at a pivotal time for me, just over a year after graduating, and it proved that I’d made it – I was up there with some of the best creatives.  

What’s next on the agenda? 

My goal is to home in on creating and selling the best work. I’m working on some really exciting briefs at the moment, but for now it all needs to be kept under wraps. They’re amazing household brands that people know and love. TV and print ads, radio, stunts – you name it, I’m working on it. 

A little bit of advice I’d offer for students across all courses is to create work that you’re proud to stand next to and call your own. If someone has an opinion on it, listen to them and learn from them. Everything can be improved. 

You might also like