ADWEEK’s Guide to the Marcus Graham Project’s iCR8 Bootcamp

By Olivia Morley 

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This is part of ADWEEK’s series covering fellowship programs at agencies. As agencies continue to face a talent crunch, many recent graduates or career changers are seeking a way into the industry. Here, we cover programs for entry-level marketers at top agencies. Read the ongoing series.

The Marcus Graham Project (MGP) is looking for applicants to its 12-week long summer bootcamp program housed within Giant Spoon’s Los Angeles office.

Program participants work across large brands, like Apple and McDonald’s, which are sponsoring the L.A. program this summer. The cohorts also produce work for nonprofit organizations and minority-owned businesses.

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“The participants come to Los Angeles, where they live and work. We are housed and work out of Giant Spoon. So, when [a brand like] General Motors provides the brief, we then brief the talent, and they create a pop-up agency where they essentially do the work. At the end of the program, they pitch back to General Motors the work, with the hopes of  [it] hiring and bringing them on as talent—either through [the] brand or [its] agency partners, and they take that work to market,” said Brandon L. Washington, founder of Washington Strategic Ventures. Washington, who is an MGP program alum, brought on iCR8 as a client and manages programming for incoming participants.

Ty Jenkins, now a connections strategist at Deutsch LA, was a member of the program’s first Giant Spoon-based cohort. He worked on the GMC account, leveraging a personal passion for cars.

Determined to make it through the program with a job, he used his last $2,000 to ship his car from Chicago to L.A.

“Strategy is just one part of the puzzle,” he told ADWEEK. “I have to bring out the skills—from copywriting, art direction, brand management, project management—all of those different elements.” 

Though currently housed within Giant Spoon, the program facilitates tours of other local partner agencies, like 72andSunny, TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles,  plus media companies like Fox Sports. One of those visits, to Deutsch LA, led Jenkins to his current strategy role, which he landed only four days after completing the iCR8 program.

TLDR: Check out program details, including how to apply, in our Q&A with program leaders below. Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and style.

When did the MGP found the program?

2009.

How many program participants do you welcome to the iCR8 Bootcamp each year?

Between eight and 10.

How long is the bootcamp?

Three months.

What does iCR8 pay participants?

As 501c3 non-profit, the iCR8 Bootcamp provides housing and transportation for all program participants. The Marcus Graham Project does not compensate its program fellows, though its vision is to provide compensation for all fellows in future programming. That’s where support is vital for our organization.

What percentage of participants receive full-time offers by the end of the program?

On average 93% of participants from the iCR8 Bootcamp program are employed within six months. From the last two cohorts (19 participants), a total of 17 alumni have now secured and sourced opportunities working in the creative industry as full time employees, freelancers, contractors and/or entrepreneurs.

What percentage of your most recent cohort are historically underrepresented?

100% of this cohort are from underrepresented groups.

Is a college degree required for the iCR8 program?

No.

How long is the application process from start to finish?

On average, applications are open for three months and MGP starts conducting rolling interviews within the last month of recruitment.

What do you require from applicants?

Applicants must complete the application and submit with one letter of recommendation (either academic or professional); 30-second pitch video; resume; and portfolio of prior work.

When is the MGP recruiting its next iCR8 cohort?

Marcus Graham Project applications for summer iCR8 Bootcamp are now open.

The application window closes on May 10, 2024, at noon PT.
The 12-week creative bootcamp begins the week of June 3.

CLICK HERE to apply.

Is there a program you would like us to know about? Please reach out to olivia.morley@adweek.com and complete our survey to tell us more.

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