On September 20, RAPP welcomed its first member of the team who does not have a college diploma.
Christian Wimberly, a 2020 Los Angeles-based high school graduate, joined the agency as the first participant in RAPP’s Emerging Leaders (ELP) program, a talent recruitment and retention initiative designed to help those without a degree. university to engage in advertising. He joined the team as an assistant account manager.
RAPP launched the program earlier this year to open its doors to talent from diverse backgrounds and disadvantaged circumstances. It was inspired by the talent gap, racial inequalities in hiring practices and recent data that shows 60% of American workers do not have a bachelor’s degree, said Mark Miller, SVP and client partner at RAPP. .
“It is heartbreaking to see that our industry is predominantly white,” he said. “I thought it could be due to a lack of awareness on the part of [multicultural groups] on opportunities. But then I started [realizing] the [barriers around] Advanced education. ”
The program invites high school seniors, recent graduates or other young talent without a diploma to apply for a position on a microsite. Applicants are not required to have previous advertising experience, but are encouraged to select a “lead” of interest, from options such as technology, business management, and creation.
After an interview, the selected candidates are integrated for 12 months as full-time employees with benefits, vacations, development training and mentorship from industry leaders. The RAPP also encourages continuing education with a tuition reimbursement of $ 5,000 for those who choose to return to school.
The agency enlisted the leadership of the ANA and hired coaches to provide mentorship and training to candidates.
“We have the commitment of all those responsible for the discipline to make sure we are devoting time to mentoring and education,” Miller said.
For Wimberly, who had to drop out of college for financial reasons, the job is a much-needed opportunity to advance his career without having to worry about his studies, he said.
Although he has completed several internships, most notably with Bank of America, marketing and advertising has always been an area of interest.
“I briefly attended Cal State Northridge for my first year majoring in Marketing. I’ve always been interested in the marketing / advertising space, I just didn’t know how to get there, ”Wimberly said in an email. “It seemed like the perfect opportunity to achieve my dream job. ”
Wimberly hopes establish links in the industry and use its experiences to advance its secondary activity “Positive Vibez Only”, an outlet for people to express their creativity and positivity.
The Emerging Leaders program launched LA, but RAPP plans to expand it to all of its sites in the United States. The agency is currently looking for a candidate in Dallas. He has not yet determined the number of candidates he intends to recruit.
In the meantime, Wimberly continues to learn the basics of marketing from his team.
“Personally, I think this is an innovation driven industry,” he said. “We have the ability to help the world through branding and create change for future generations. ”