In a year when many industry internship programs were cancelled due to the pandemic, The One Club for Creativity has extended its commitment to helping the next generation of diverse creatives enter the industry by transforming its Mentor & Creative program into a free, ongoing global online initiative for Fall 2020.
The free program is open to individual members of The One Club and past winners of the club’s Young Ones Student Awards looking to break into the industry. The global program connects these aspiring creatives with mentors at One Club corporate member agencies around the world for six weeks of working on briefs and receiving one-on-one professional guidance, career advice and portfolio reviews from top agency creatives.
Mentor & Creative is a wide-ranging initiative within The One Club, run jointly by its Membership and Education departments in order to reach a diverse mix of young creatives. Registration for Fall closes September 25, 2020, with sessions running October 12-November 20.
“The pandemic put a halt to our in-person multi-city Intern & Creative networking events, but not on our drive to help diverse young creatives get their foot in the door at top agencies,” said Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club. “We strongly encourage agencies to get involved because it’s a way to give back to the industry as mentors, and provides them with a first-look at the next generation of creative talent who they might want to hire.”
The upcoming Fall program follows on the heels of a trial run this summer, where a diverse group of 97 young creatives -- 61% female, 44% minority, 15% Black -- from 13 countries received online mentorship from 15 offices of One Club corporate members Baldwin&, Barbarian, Cactus, Edelman, MullenLowe Boston, Los Angeles and New York, Publicis Seattle, Serviceplan, Swim, TDA Boulder, Virtue, Wieden+Kennedy New York, Work in Progress and Zambezi. Agencies interested in providing mentorship for the Fall can contact Justin Epstein, The One Club corporate member and chapter manager.
Participant feedback from the summer program tells the story of how agencies can provide tangible, meaningful help to prepare the creative leaders of tomorrow.
“How many recent grads get a foot in the door at Wieden+Kennedy?!”, said Palak Kapadia, who along with Catarina Barcala Gosende went on to create the “Hey Street” case study video. “I learned so much and got to create work I'm proud of.”
“I'm an international student from Malaysia and had to pass up many internship opportunities due to my visa, so being able to be a part of this program meant so much to me,” added Pei Chei Teh, who was paired with MullenLowe New York. “I've learned a lot from our mentors and I'm just so so thankful to everyone.”
Valentina Orjuela, who was mentored by creatives at Baldwin&, summed it up this way. “Having six weeks to work on a cool relevant brief, collaborating with other creatives from around the world, having the guidance and feedback of amazing mentors that are working in the industry right now, and having a chance to create a new portfolio piece while having our ideas heard during these difficult times is really out of this world.”