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Nonconformists, dissenters & rebels: helping students get a career in communications

Ogilvy & Mather Group UK is a communications agency that includes 10 companies, across a wide range of disciplines including marketing, advertising and public relations. Shannon Vaughan tells Success at School about one of the programmes Ogilvy Group offers to help students get a career in communications.

Advertising legend and Ogilvy Group founder, David Ogilvy once said “Talent, I believe, is most likely to be found among nonconformists, dissenters, and rebels.”

At Ogilvy Labs, we feel the same way. As a specialist division within the Ogilvy Group focusing on education, inspiration and innovation, we’re always on the look out for those who are curious and those who get things done.

So we created the Rough Diamond consortium. This a long term collaboration between educational disrupters and innovators in educational learning who have partnered with Ogilvy Labs to help identify and develop new creative talent.

There are many reasons why students are not flourishing in their current learning environment and, at Ogilvy Labs, we believe that companies need to work closer with educators. This is where the Rough Diamond comes in.

The programme begins with the charity Ideas Foundation who work to increase diversity within the creative industry and nurture creatively gifted young people who are not thriving in the education system. Ogilvy provides annual work experience for up to 8 Ideas Foundation students and sponsors £5k to the charity each year while providing office space for the Ideas Foundation staff.

Next up is the School Of Communications Arts (SCA). Ogilvy staff mentor the students and the group takes on at least one creative placement each year where students get to spend a minimum of 6 weeks working within the Ogilvy creative department.

Then we have Ravensbourne, a university sector college and champion of creativity. Ogilvy is in its 5th year of taking on creative interns from Ravensbourne and have hired from each intake. This is important as each discipline is creative in its own right and will allow students to offer a unique perspective when working on client briefs.

The third Rough Diamond partner is The Marketing Academy, a nonprofit organisation, which works with Ogilvy to deliver the Merlin Apprenticeships programme, providing 12 month, fully paid marketing apprenticeships for 18-24 year olds who, because of their challenging backgrounds or lack of qualifications, may have been overlooked for this kind of opportunity.

We also work with The Marketing Academy on their Scholarship programme, a year long initiative taking future leaders who have worked in the industry for at least 4 years and providing them training.

And last but by no means least, we have partnered with Tech City UK, who created the Digital Business Academy to help bridge the digital skills gap in the UK. They will be offering free online courses for those interested in learning business skills that can be applied in the digital world. At the end of courses, students will be offered rewards, including mentoring sessions with the experienced staff at Ogilvy.

Through the Rough Diamond programme we aim to bring more diverse creative talent into the Ogilvy family. However, this is not and should not be exclusive to Ogilvy or to the creative sector. This model can be used across all industries, so please use it and share it!

We are always looking for talent at Ogilvy, so to find out more take a look at our website.

If you have any questions or comments on this, please contact Shannon Vaughan via Twitter @ShannonrVaughan.