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 full series.
TLDR: Check out program details, including how to apply, in our Q&A with Gale below. Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and style.
This year, Stagwell agency Gale founded its Media Accelerator Program to cultivate media-focused talent in the Kansas City and Denver markets. The three-month rotational training opportunity offers a salary and benefits.
This program is ideal for recent graduates or career switchers who want to launch a media career and prioritize job security. Upon the program’s completion, participants remain full-time, permanent employees at Gale and work in one of the practice areas they received training in.
It’s indicative of Gale edging toward establishing a fully-integrated offering. In fact, much of the agency’s 120% year over year growth came from launching its media practice in 2019. This year, Dropbox named the agency its global media agency of record. It also manages media for others including new accounts like Seagate, Lumos, Cadre and Carson Wealth.
Establishing a new media practice requires a deep investment in talent and training that must be built over time—as any in-house agency could attest to.
“This program with media being an area that we’re expanding into, trying to find people who really take on that integrative approach that we live and breathe here at scale has been a challenge,” said Kevin Doyle, Gale’s director of organizational development. The program is one way Gale invests in its people from day one and begin building an integrated mindset, he added.
Gale has two business coaches on its staff and Doyle is one. The agency also promotes from within twice a year. Tae Krumsieg, a current associate in Gale’s accelerator program, told Adweek that mentorship opportunities, like attending team meetings, prepared her to understand team dynamics and how teams work together well.
The program’s depth of technical expertise also impressed Krumsieg.
“I took a certification exam and I was really surprised at just how much I learned in three weeks. They did a really great job, in terms of preparing me for technical skills,” she told Adweek.
Interested applicants can expect to learn those skills on the job. Since the accelerator program is for early-career applicants, candidates don’t need prior media experience. Displaying culture fit is important, though. “That’s really what we’re looking for—people who are driven to put the effort into it, to understand and grow,” Doyle said.
When did Gale found the program?
How many cohorts does Gale welcome each year?
Gale welcomed one 11-person cohort, although this is the first time we’ve run the program. The agency is flexible with when we run the program to ensure we are developing our employees in relation to our growing needs.
How long does the program run for?
This is a three-month rotation based program. The associates work for three weeks each across four practice areas: Paid Social, Paid Search, Programmatic and SEO. Associates learn about each discipline while working with mentors and simultaneously earning relevant certifications. This enables them making an informed start to their media career. At the end of the program, the associates jump into one of the disciplines to start their career.
What does the program pay?
The starting salary is $50,000, with benefits.
How many fellows do you hire or plan to hire for each class?
Gale plans to hire roughly 20 fellows for its next cohort.
What percentage of your most recent cohort are historically underrepresented?
Nine of the 11 associates are women.
Is a college degree required for your program?
No, but historically, the agency has hired recent college graduates.
What do you require from applicants as part of the hiring process?
A resume and cover letter, phone screen and panel interview.
When are you hiring your next class of fellows?
The plan is to run this program as-needed, ideally, in alignment with college graduation dates. The next cohort will begin summer 2023 and applications to join this cohort will open in January. Those interested in learning more can visit the Gale website.