This challenging year has made it harder than ever for young talent to network and break into the advertising industry. That’s why BBDO NY has recently launched a new mentorship program called Beyond Introductions. Developed by the agency’s employee-led group IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Allyship), Beyond Introductions creates opportunities for diverse talent looking to enter the industry to build connections and mentorship with experts in their desired fields.
To kick things off, BBDO NY partnered with 100 Roses from Concrete
, a network for men of colour in advertising, marketing media and PR, with the mission of increasing visibility and building community. Together, we hosted a multi-day networking series pairing BBDOers with mentees from 100 Rose’s virtual summer internship program, called the G.R.O.W.T.H. Initiative, based on interest and expertise, for 25-minute Teams chats.
The mission is to provide mentorship opportunities to budding marketers and to help create pathways to increasing pipelines of diverse talent in the industry. While it is not a recruitment event, Beyond Introductions, as a whole, aims to help participants build connections and get a sense of the day-to-day life working at an agency; to lift the veil if you will on what its really like to do what we do.
The first round of mentorship included 38 G.R.O.W.T.H. Fellows paired with 46 BBDOers, and the response was overwhelmingly positive with 87% of participants saying they would be very likely to recommend Beyond Introductions.
100 Roses G.R.O.W.T.H. Fellow Osvaldo De Leon had this to say about the experience: “It was beyond amazing. This is not an everyday opportunity and I am extremely happy I was able to partake in it.” Some of the best advice he took away? “Keep an open mindset with each opportunity, hunt down uncomfortable scenarios, and stay hungry!”
BBDOers got just as much out of it as they put in. BBDO NY managing director, data solutions, Tina Allan, noted: “It’s like reverse mentoring - I got so much more out of this than I expected! It was emotionally invigorating and inspiring to connect with the new generation of talent coming into our business. The future is bright, and I know this connection and conversation won’t be our last.”
This was just a pilot round of Beyond Introductions, with plans to repeat and expand the initiative across BBDO’s US offices in 2021.