The opportunity to kickstart a rewarding career in a cutting-edge industry is what University of Cape Town student, Matthew Browning, is most looking forward to after being selected as one of just four winners from 63 candidates in this year’s pilot Ogilvy Graduate Programme (OGP).
The initiative aims to identify and groom the finest talent among final year creative and marketing students. In February 2013, these winners will join the ranks of Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) Johannesburg and Cape Town campuses as full-time employees and in addition will be awarded a full bursary for their final year tuition.
The graduate programme, which will roll out annually, complements the communication group’s extensive talent inclusion and development initiatives.
“We not only build brands; we build talent,” says O&M South Africa CEO Abey Mokgwatsane. “It’s not just our responsibility, but our obligation, to invest in the future of our industry by continually building the talent pool that will support the brands we manage today, well into the future.”
Four tertiary institutions with whom O&M has longstanding relationships were handpicked to participate in the programme, including the University of Cape Town (Business Science Marketing), the University of Johannesburg (Marketing), the University of Pretoria (Visual Communication) and Red and Yellow School of Logic and Magic (all faculties).
OGP candidates were put through their paces in a rigorous selection process. Their challenge? To create and manage, in four months, a blog on any subject and in any language, that demonstrates not only a sound knowledge of target audience and engagement tactics, but the kind of groundbreaking ideas that would impress a selection panel comprising some of the most creative and business-minded people in the industry.
In addition to the blog entries, judged by O&M South Africa leadership and a member from the faculty of the respective institution, candidates were evaluated holistically for aptitude and experience, among other criteria. Finally, shortlisted entrants were invited for interviews to assess their interpersonal skills and culture fit.
“The winners impressed us with the potential they demonstrated – no small feat considering the overall high caliber of entrants and the intensive selection process,” says O&M Cape Town Managing Director, Gavin Levinsohn.
“We are excited about this new venture, which allows us to find, attract and foster promising and diverse new talent, while at the same time allowing us to develop and hone their skills and digital expertise. We look forward to another stimulating rollout next year,” added O&M Johannesburg Managing Director, Julian Ribeiro.
UP Information Design Coordinator, Karen Nel, adds that the programme, which encourages students to interact with industry leaders during their course and incorporate social media into their design thinking, has been well-received by students.
Johannesburg winner Tshepo Chaka, a UJ Strategic Communications student whose blog aims to inspire a culture of entrepreneurship amongst South African youth, says he most enjoyed the interactive use of various social media platforms. “I met some very inspiring people. The challenges pushed me out of my comfort zone to create insightful work and a distinct personal brand.”
The winners (two in Cape Town and two in Johannesburg) will continue to blog as they embark on a customised six-month training and rotation programme designed to evaluate their skills and aide their transition into the industry. On identifying their particular niche and areas of strength and passion, with guidance from peer and senior mentors, the candidates will be permanently placed in one of the Ogilvy divisions.
The winners will be introduced to all the advantages of a vibrant, creative culture, stimulating encounters with people drawn from all walks of life, training sessions,exposure to the major sub-disciplines, and the opportunity to network and fine-tune their skills within the company.
The 2012/13 OGP Winners
O&M Cape Town:
Matthew Browning (UCT)
Visit Matthew’s blog or follow him
“It is a tremendous honour to be awarded the Ogilvy Graduate Programme, especially considering the strong competition. I cannot wait to be a part of this company of giants.”
Nashane Mariah (Red & Yellow)
Visit Nashane blog or follow him
“I’m so glad that all the hard work has paid off. It’s really such an honour to be working for what I believe to be the best agency in the country. I guess this proves I am relevant!”
Established in 1984, Ogilvy & Mather South Africa has been a leading advertising and communications group in South Africa for over 25 years. The group offers multiple, ongoing talent inclusion initiatives, providing development and training opportunities for school and tertiary students in order to identify and groom talent in the industry. Annually, the Ogilvy Graduate Programme (OGP), which launched in 2012, partners with key tertiary institutions to identify the finest talent among final year creative and marketing students. In addition, the group runs an annual Open Day where students are invited to learn about the industry and the company. Students from any tertiary institution may also apply for an eight-month Seta internship programme. Annually, up to 20 students are selected for the internship programme, of which promising candidates continue as full-time employees. The group also hosts students for shorter internships of up to four weeks, and provides job shadow opportunities.
Issued for Ogilvy & Mather South Africa by:
Ogilvy Public Relations, Johannesburg
Tarryn Pitchers, Senior Account Manager
+27 (0) 72 139 3086