Wunderman Thompson launches their second year of the Catalyst Academy, an industry-defining programme that aims to bring together talent from different backgrounds to build brilliant experiences for consumers.
The future of communications is changing rapidly. For brands to succeed they need to have access to a range of experts and a diverse meeting of minds. Integrated marketing agency Wunderman Thompson offers their clients the full range of disciplines, from creative, to consulting, to data and customer experience, and hopes to develop a new breed of future marketeers who can understand, communicate and deliver across the entire range of capabilities. The Catalyst Academy is designed to do exactly that – develop future marketers and equip them with the experience and skills to thrive in a competitive industry.
2021 marked the first intake of catalysts for this eighteen-month programme. From a pool of 600 applicants, 11 candidates were hired across the London, Berlin and Amsterdam offices with 42% of the group identifying as BAME, 43% as female or non-binary and 18% stated that they had a disability. The programme has been a huge success and, as the 2021 cohort wraps up, those who have completed the programme are all expected to be offered permanent roles.
During an exciting eighteen-month rotational programme at nine of our campuses around the world, including the UK, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Dubai and other great locations, our 29 Catalysts candidates will train together, develop a range of important new skills, build camaraderie, and have fun doing so.
Each successful applicant will be offered a competitive salary, while being offered multiple rotations within different departments. They will have access to a whole host of personal development opportunities, plus the chance to get involved with the agency’s Employee Resource Groups, including the Women’s network RISE, Unite, Roots, Wellbeing and Re-think.
The Catalyst Academy is designed to accelerate development; catalysts rapidly take on real client responsibilities and can expect fast career progression. During their eighteen months with the agency, they will rotate through different specialisms and be assigned a mentor who will be there to support, guide and advise throughout. Catalysts will also gain essential industry qualifications from the IPA and the WPP AI Academy.
Inclusion and diversity are a fundamental part of Wunderman Thompson and the agency recognises that talent comes in a variety of forms and from different backgrounds. It’s committed to making sure that their people reflect the diversity of the wider world and creating an inclusive environment where people feel they can belong. The agency invites applications from candidates of all identities and backgrounds and advertised across a range of platforms including The Other Box, Creative Equals, The Dots, Brixton Finishing School, Stonewall, WPP’s Roots network, Camden’s secondary schools and non-graduate colleges and Drive Forward, to name a few.
The application process is open for eight weeks and asks candidates to answer a range of questions linked to the agency’s key behaviours, assessed using a pre-determined scoring system across behaviours, technical ability and storytelling. In an effort to level the playing field for those with conditions such as dyslexia, Wunderman Thompson will also allow candidates to answer questions however they like, not necessarily in writing, and will fast-track all candidates that identify as disabled.
Paula Joannou, chief People Officer for Wunderman Thompson UK, said: ‘We believe that we have designed the very best, most inspiring and exciting entry-level programme in the industry and we’re thrilled to expand it after a hugely successful first year. Our catalysts have proven that bringing diverse minds together accelerates growth both within the agency and for our clients, and we look forward to welcoming the next cohort into our offices in 2023.