Last week, M&C Saatchi hosted the graduation of the Academy’s first six young women to pass through the doors of the scheme. Each student was paired with a female leader who worked at M&C Saatchi who acted as their mentor throughout the programme. The students participated in monthly creative briefs, visiting exhibitions as well as industry events.
On a panel chaired by BITE’s Managing Editor Nicola Kemp, the students revealed the reasons why they decided to join the Academy and what they’d taken from it. The answers ranged from wanting to meet likeminded people to being given the push they needed to embark on a creative path. As one of the young women, Olamide Taiwo revealed about what she’d take away from the Academy, “I learnt to always be creative and never limit myself.”
The mentees then sat on stage alongside their mentors as each talked about the journey they’d come on over the course of the year. Amy Westbrook, a creative at M&C Saatchi Sports and Entertainment spoke about her experience of mentoring as one of reciprocal learning: “We learnt a lot from one another.” The mentors also talked about their experience of being trained to mentor, noting that listening is a core skill.
Off the back of the Academy’s first year success, they are now taking applicants for the class of 2020. The agency is also looking to devise a Creative Pioneers Apprenticeships scheme alongside the IPA. As Tindall explained, “We wanted to make this project self-fulfilling.” The hope is that the scheme will be up and running by Spring 2020.
To find out more about the graduating class of 2019 or the Academy itself, visit M&C Saatchi’s website.