dentsu has launched a new apprenticeship program called The Media Experience across its US media agencies, Carat, dentsu X and iProspect. As the agency network looked for opportunities to expand inclusive pathways for talent to enter the industry, apprenticeships were a natural extension beyond dentsu’s successful summer intern programs. The Media Experience opens the aperture for talent without technical expertise to join the advertising industry while meeting real business needs, welcoming newcomers from diverse pipelines including parents re-entering the workforce, military veterans, those in other industries looking to pivot to media, recent college graduates, and those without college degrees. The modern, eight-week program provides hands-on training and onboarding into full-time roles including media planning, paid search, investment, and programmatic on existing client teams.
“You don’t need a college degree to work in advertising. With The Media Experience, we’re opening the door for different kinds of talent to join us at dentsu and learn the skills necessary to succeed in media careers, through on the job training. We’re excited to help future-proof talent pipelines, not only for dentsu’s media agencies but for our industry, in ways like never before,” said Doug Rozen, CEO, denstu Media, Americas.
To recruit for the program, dentsu is developing partnerships with organisations that will help reach veterans, and other individuals returning to the workforce or looking to make career changes, in addition to recruiting from its existing network of universities. Talent from across the organisation have been helping to bridge these new partnerships.
Will Ferguson, SVP, managing director of dentsu’s M1 platform and executive sponsor of the network’s Military Business Resource Group said: “As a veteran myself, I’m proud to see dentsu creating paths to help servicemembers identify careers in advertising as a viable post-service option—it’s not an industry many folks are naturally exposed to. With The Media Experience program, dentsu is leading the way to get in front of talented people who will be able to build meaningful and fulfilling careers in media without requiring prior formalised training.”
The Media Experience applicants face a reimagined interview process focused on identifying candidates who have a history of accomplishment, show potential, and are eager to enter the industry and learn. A pool of qualified dentsu Media interviewers, including HR and team leads, have been trained to ask specific questions that gauge for potential, rather than skillset competency, intentionally removing bias from the process.
The eight-week apprenticeship helps fast-track careers in media and consists of four weeks of media basics training, learning the industry, the dentsu organisation, and developing power skills like emotional intelligence, time management, communication, and succeeding in a hybrid work environment. The second four weeks consist of bespoke training in role-specific capabilities including on-demand training via dentsu University, and training and certifications with partners like Google, The Trade Desk and Microsoft. To foster a sense of belonging, cohorts travel through the program together and participate in team-building sessions including social activities, small group mentorship, and special events hosted by dentsu senior leadership. The Media Experience is a launching point within dentsu’s ongoing continued learning that apprentices will experience as they grow in their careers within the organisation.
Following a successful pilot in 2021, the program’s first official cohort is in progress and includes individuals both with and without college degrees, some with internship experience, and others who uncovered personal interest in media while working full-time jobs in the hospitality, IT, and retail fields, among others. Dentsu will host two more cohorts in 2022 and plans to continue the program into 2023 and beyond with the aim of hiring 200+ new employees a year via The Media Experience.
Dentsu strives to be an enabler of media for good and a force for change within the industry. The Media Experience is one effort to help develop a more inclusive advertising workforce for the future.