(Adoimagazine.com) After three gruelling months of intensive training and entry-level work experience, four students graduated with “full honours” and permanent job offers from their respective sponsoring agencies.
The Graduate Fellowship Programme, a collaboration between the 4As, MSA, and MAA, was initiated to attract new talent into the industry with short-listed candidates required to undergo a vigorous training programme conducted by 95% The Advertising Academy, and an internship at the sponsoring agencies.
The programme was also designed to initiate graduates who read for degrees other than Mass Communications, Business and Marketing and who were keen to switch professions to join the Advertising industry.
“The pioneer batch of four graduates from this programme will serve as catalysts in encouraging students across multiple disciplines to join the advertising industry to chart new milestones in the evolving industry landscape,” said Omar Shaari, 4As Council Member and CEO of Dentsu Utama. “Our goal is to provide the tools and inspiration for these future industry leaders to originate fresh, bold ideas that will resonate with the future generation of consumers.”
Omar added that this industry is for people with ideas and a creative spirit. “It is fun and rewarding when you get it right.”
In his opening address at the graduation ceremony, Tony Savarimuthu, 4As President, said that the industry was undergoing rapid changes that required a complete overhaul in communicating and engaging consumers.
“The theoretical fundamentals that students learn in classrooms do not adequately prepare them for the work environment,” Savarimuthu said. “The Graduate Fellowship Programme was aims to address the dearth of talents joining our industry – and equip them with insights to enable them to function brilliantly.”
The four graduates – Amanda Wong, Dhiviah Lakshmi Arumugan, Tho Wern Ming, and Jeremy Song – are now fulltime employees at their sponsoring agencies. Two of them have a degree in Business Administration, and the other two in Mass Communications. Tho and Song work at Rapp Malaysia, Arumugan at Dentsu Utama, and Wong at People ‘N Rich Holdings. Wong works as an Account Executive while the others are copywriters.
“This programme is open to fresh graduates as well as career switchers – essentially anyone who loves being creative, solving problems, and building brands,” explained Janet Lee, Director and Trainer at 95% The Advertising Academy. “This is an excellent opportunity to launch their careers in advertising. The training programme is designed to equip the participants with the essentials about the advertising industry and unlock their ability to generate great ideas.”
95% The Advertising Academy interviewed short-listed degree-holders from established universities and successful applicants were placed in sponsoring agencies. Apart from the training programme and internship, the successful candidates also attended Career Talks by industry leaders.
“The programme was exceptional because it allowed me to get hands-on experience and provoked me to think more broadly,” said Arumugan, one of the graduates. “There were no short cuts. All of us in the programme had to contribute ideas and participate actively in the training and at our place of work.”
The Graduate Fellowship Programme aims to create a pool of well-trained talent who are job-ready to fill the entry-level vacuum in the industry.
Omar, the driving force behind the Graduate Fellowship Programme, summed it up as follows: “We’re making this investment as a long-term goal in re-shaping our industry with top-notch talent capable of creating pioneering ideas that will thrust our creative economy to a higher plateau.”