JOHANNESBURG, February 13, 2014 – This month, four new graduates kick-started their careers at Ogilvy & Mather South Africa (O&M SA), following their completion of the entry into the Ogilvy Graduate Programme (OGP). This is the second year of the programme, aimed at identifying and nurturing young talent interested in entering the creative communications industry.
The four successful graduates were amongst 98 students who registered for the programme from carefully selected partnering tertiary institutions in both the Gauteng and Western Cape regions. All were tasked with coming up with a unique and creative treatment of a ubiquitous digital communication medium — the blog.
Group Marketing Director at O&M SA, Lauren Woolf, says with the exponential growth of digital media, it made sense that those looking to embark on a career in the industry start to understand what successful digital communication looks like. “We’re constantly looking for those who are able to create a brand for themselves – ultimately something we do for our clients every day,” says Woolf. “These four took the blog and elevated it to a new level, using social media to promote their posts by engaging and seeking advice from O&M employees. Some went as far as to expanding their personal brand into the offline space — such as radio and press — and we’re looking forward to seeing what these four millenials will bring to our teams.”
Although O&M SA’s unique approach to finding young talent in the country is in line with the company’s worldwide notion of ‘hiring giants’, the OGP aims to go beyond that. “The programme also allows us to train and up-skill numerous graduates; while they won’t all be employed by O&M SA, many of them will finish the challenge with digital portfolios that they can use to find work in the industry,” Woolf adds.
The four selected graduates for 2014, Claire Brayshay, Alexandra Perry, Marcus Von Geyso and Cathleen Makhetha, are excited to begin working at the agency and believe that through the recruitment process they received critical skills that will help them excel in the early stages of their career. Brayshay and Perry will be based at Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town, while Von Geyso and Makheta will start their O&M journeys in the Johannesburg office. Each will be put through a dynamic six-month rotation programme, exposing them to multiple disciplines, before being permanantly placed into positions across the O&M SA group; in addition to having their final year tuition fees paid back to them.
Getting to know the graduates:
Claire Brayshay graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Business Science Marketing degree, six months of which were spent on exchange at The University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver.
“I was attracted by the structure of the application process. The focus wasn’t on a CV. It tested your persistence. Through blogging the emphasis was placed on how you thought and not on what you had done. I felt that this was the best way to test whether someone was fit for the advertising world and respected Ogilvy’s pioneering ability to make it happen. The statement “creativity means business”, which was the first thing I saw on the OGP website, also really struck a chord with me,” says Brayshay.
Follow Claire on Twitter and check out her blog:@clairebrayshay
Alexandra (Zsa) Perry
Alexandra Perry graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bcom degree in politics and economics, after which she was tutored in copywriting by Wendy Moorcroft at Red and Yellow School.
“I learnt a lot about blogging, SEO, social media, punctuality and professionalism, but my main takeout is that you really can achieve anything when you put your mind to it. Everyone who works at O&M SA has this ease and confidence about them — like they’re part of the biggest, coolest family, having the most fun. In a few years I hope to be working on creative strategies for integrated digital media,” says Perry.
Follow Zsa on Twitter and check out her blog: @zsaperry
Marcus Von Geyso
Marcus Von Geyso graduated from the University of Pretoria with a BA degree in Information Design and aims to be a “creative technologist”. He believes that his purpose is to make an impact on the lives of people and hopes to uplift people through the work he creates.
“I’m really excited to start working at O&M JHB, where I hope to form part of something great that could inspire significant change,” says Von Geyso. “I want to be part of the creative movement that is O&M, a place where inspiration flows freely and everyone’s default setting is set to be incredibly creative.”
Follow Marcus on Twitter and check out his blog: @MarcusvonGeyso
Cathleen Makhetha graduated from The University of Johannesburg with an Honours degree in Strategic Communication. She believes that she has grown significantly following the OGP process and has pushed herself to achieve results beyond her expectations. She has always been inspired by the group’s innovative and ground-breaking creative work and is excited to now be a contributor to that work.
“Through the blogging process I uncovered a lot about myself. I was re-introduced to the advertising and brand world from a fresh perspective. I was constantly learning and pushing myself to the limit. What I enjoyed is putting my work out for O&M SA to share with the world,” says Makhetha. “This prospect exhilarated me beyond measure and I am thankful for the opportunity”.
Follow Cathleen on Twitter and check out her blog: @Vantage_9
For more information on the programme, visit http://bit.ly/OgilvyGrads or follow the conversation through the #OgilvyGrads hashtag.
Established in 1984, Ogilvy & Mather South Africa has been a leading advertising and communications group in South Africa for over 25 years. It currently employs over 800 staff across 14 specialised companies. O&M SA has industry leading capability in the following disciplines: advertising; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; shopper and retail marketing; healthcare communications; direct, digital, CRM, mobile, promotion and relationship marketing; consulting, research and analytics capabilities; branded content and specialist communications. It is at the forefront of integrated communication, with a mission to work with clients to develop breakthrough ideas that release the potential that exists in their brands, thereby creating measurable value. Clients include both global multinationals and local businesses.
Issued for Ogilvy & Mather South Africa by:
Ogilvy Public Relations, Johannesburg
Ivana Naidoo, Account Manager
+27 (0) 11 709 6858