The Rising Marketer’s Guide to B-Reel’s LA Open Program

By Nandika Chatterjee 

An illustration of an employee presenting to others in a conference room environment.

This is part of Adweek’s new 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.

In 2021, Catch Prep Charter High kick-started its LA Open program in collaboration with and under the mentorship of L.A.-based creative agency B-Reel. 

LA Open is a program for rising high school seniors, especially those from underfunded backgrounds. The program serves as a local initiative to support the future creative talent in the Los Angeles community.


The program grew as a response to the growing need to support youth of color by improving diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. As a way to contribute to the solution, LA Open gives young students the opportunity to explore the creative industry through hands-on experience.

Interns participate in career talks, gain a better understanding of the workplace dynamics and participate in a design challenge. Based on feedback from prior cohorts, this year’s program will also schedule time for interns to develop their own projects to add to their portfolios.

The summer 2022 program allows interns to explore an in-depth case study that they will present to the L.A. B-Reel team at the end of the program.

Isiah Wise, a senior at Catch High School planning to major in statistics, admitted that when he joined the program, all he knew was that he wanted to work at a creative agency. 

“We were told it was a creative agency. To be honest, I’m not very creative, I’m not a creative person. I joined in hopes of finding some creative expression,” Wise explained.

According to Nelly Shams, the program director of LA Open, the student projects aim “to spark creative thinking and to provide deeper insight into client briefs and projects, as well as develop their presentation skills.”

Michael Escobedo is another senior at Catch High School who is planning on being a realtor and entrepreneur. Escobedo saw an ad about Google Earth and heard that B-Reel was behind it, which interested him.

Reflecting on his experience, he said he enjoyed the design and the creative side of the program the most. Hearing from the team and learning about their roles helped Escobedo better understand his own interests.

“Everything from [interns’] individual, unique life experiences, to witnessing their creative minds, thoughts and aspirations—this has been something truly invaluable,” Shams said.

Creating a holistic internship reminded the team how much they enjoy their work. Taking that step back to reflect on their own individual journeys and giving their younger creatives advice is rewarding, said Shams. 

“We also hope to inspire other agencies in our industry to initiate similar programs in their studios—and we are open to share the program and our experiences with whoever is interested,” said Anders Wahlquist, CEO B-Reel.

The program, based in Los Angeles, aims to expand to New York in the coming months.

TLDR: Check out program details, including how to apply, in our Q&A about with B-Reel and LA Open. Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and style.

When did B-Reel found the program?


How many intern classes does LA Open welcome each year?

6 interns.

How long does the program run for?

3 weeks.

What does your program pay? The more transparency you can provide, the better. Please also note whether fellows are salaried employees with benefits or if they are paid hourly.

They are paid $15 per hour.

How many fellows/interns do you hire or plan to hire for each class? Please provide your most recent hiring data.

It’s important for us to build long-term relationships with our interns. Our biggest hope is that we have sparked further interest among our interns to pursue a career within the creative industry. That’s why we keep a repository of all of our interns and their contact details to reach out for future opportunities, as well as check up on them from time to time and learn more about their lives after the internship—and how we can help support them in their future plans.

What percentage of your most recent cohort are historically underrepresented?

We focus only on bringing in students from historically underrepresented backgrounds (100%). For this year’s internship, 33% are women and 67% are men.

How long is the application process from start to finish?

These past two years, we have let the high school that we are collaborating with pick the students based on the requirements that they should be interested in learning more about technology, design and advertising. 

What do you require from applicants as part of the hiring process?

We are specifically targeting students who might not even have previously considered a career within the creative industry, to give them opportunities that might not have been available to them (companies often have hiring requirements and target specific groups) in hopes to spark their interests in pursuing careers within our field, so that we can see more future diverse and talented representation within our industry. So we do not require anything but an interest to participate and learn.

For more information on the agency, you can visit the B-Reel website.

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