' is WPP's new ten-week virtual learning series for college students and recent graduates, and the first of its kind in the marketing communications industry. Its aim is to provide learning, growth and collaboration opportunities for early-career talent at a time when office-based programs have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The series allows participants to hear from and connect with leaders across agency brands and functions at WPP, as well as clients, partners and others from a broader network. It also provides a unique opportunity to experience WPP’s culture as a whole, build community and look 'under the hood' of the world’s leading creative transformation company.
Executives from WPP’s brands and top clients will lead sessions covering everything from industry trends, marketing strategy and data science to experience design, emerging technology and culture. Participants will hear from a wide range of thought leaders and highly-regarded industry figures who will bring their perspectives on today’s key issues and how to use the power of creativity to build better futures. Participants will listen to prerecorded sessions and join live discussions, where they will have the opportunity to engage with one another.
In partnership with colleges and universities in the US and the UK, the 'NextGen Leaders' series aims to pull from as diverse a pool of early-career talent as possible and admit up to 2,000 participants. Participants will come away from the program with their own professional network within WPP and may have the opportunity to secure full-time offers from WPP brands. Participants will also be encouraged to stay engaged with their cohort via private networks, such as an invite-only LinkedIn group.
Brands within WPP, including VMLY&R and Group SJR, will also host extension programs that plug into the 'NextGen Leaders' curriculum and offer more specialised experiences.
The series kicked off on 8th June 2020 with a live opening from CEO Mark Read and chief people officer Jacqui Canney.