Z Academy

Our companies offer internships, apprenticeships and other extra-curricular activities to bring young creative talent into the industry and help them to develop their skills. Many programs also support our efforts to encourage greater workforce diversity.

For example, most of our North American offices participate in Ladders for Leaders, providing seven-week internships and professional development workshops for New York City high school and college students. This joint program with the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development and the NYC Commission on Women’s Issues is targeted at students from diverse backgrounds. Our agencies also support the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) which has helped more than 2,000 individuals from ethnic minorities begin a career in advertising since 1973. Each year, undergraduate and graduate students are selected for a 10-week paid internship. Students gain practical work experience, establish key industry contacts, and become better prepared to land a full-time job in advertising when they graduate.

Other examples from our companies include:

  • In 2010 Wunderman created the Z AcademySM, an international apprenticeship program in partnership with the best design and digital marketing universities around the world. Z Academy’s total immersion approach gives students international work experience on multi-million dollar accounts that goes well beyond the experience typical of traditional corporate internships. ‘Zeds’, as they are called, join a Wunderman office for a three- to six-month commitment and they are immediately assigned to client-serving digital or creative teams. They are aspiring professionals looking to leverage their skills in real work experience. Graduating Zeds are then evaluated and assessed to see if there is a fit for a full-time opportunity at a Wunderman office. Since the program’s launch in 2010, Wunderman has selected only schools that meet its criteria in collaboration, digital and design skills. In 2011, Wunderman partners with nine schools from the US, UK and Singapore; and more than 75 students are expected to cycle through the program this year. The Wall Street Journal highlighted the Wunderman program for recognising that keeping up with digital trends requires aligning with talent from the best digital schools in the world.
  • JWT companies run a number of different internships and mentoring programs to help young people get a foothold in advertising. For example, in 2010 XM-Asia, a JWT company, collaborated with one of Singapore’s local universities to allow 18 students to apply their knowledge and find out more about the marketing industry. Students were tasked with developing their own research, strategy, creative ideas and execution to meet the brief ‘Engaging Asia-Pacific Youth with Technology’, before presenting their ideas to XM. Throughout the process XM staff members acted as mentors, offering guidance and advice.
  • Y&R Brands North America runs an internship program with Hampton University’s Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications which helps students from diverse backgrounds learn more about developing careers in the fields of marketing, advertising, branding and communications.