The ad industry is following the tech industry in removing the need for a college degree to get hired. That doesn’t mean that those with alternate education or work experience have a leg up on those who got a four-year degree, however. Commerce agency The Stable aims to reward those who didn’t go to college with an apprenticeship.
“We want to help people who have ambition, drive and potential but never had the opportunity to go to college. After the program, we plan to hire them in a full-time position and train them to become one of our future business leaders,” Chad Hetherington, CEO and co-founder of The Stable, told Adweek.
Hetherington didn’t go to a university, instead jumping into the video production business in his native Australia and working his way up. Since he didn’t have a degree, he had to fight hard to get people to take him seriously about his entrepreneurial ambitions. After a few years, he learned that real-world experience outweighed anything he could have learned in the classroom, which he felt put him in a much better position against those who had just been in academia.
“People have the perception that if you didn’t go to college, you are a loser. But, if you have the opportunity to be surrounded by smart and supportive people and are prepared to work hard, incredible things can happen,” Hetherington said.
The apprentice program at The Stable seeks those who are intellectually curious and willing to take risks and face new challenges. The agency created some assets as part of its #nocollegenoworries campaign to attract those people. Through billboards, flyers, radio ads across Minneapolis, the agency’s headquarters, along with a dedicated web page, The Stable hopes to find one apprentice who will be offered a salary and benefits during the 15-month program.
The Stable will take video submissions at nocollegenoworries.com, where a video by Hetherington explains the process. The agency will give talent the chance to authentically share their story and explain why they are the right person for the job. Applications will be accepted through the end of October and interviews will begin in November, with a start date for the person chosen on Jan. 10, 2022. After the apprentice goes through the program and is hired, that person will work in a three-month training program across all areas of The Stable’s business before doing two 6-month rotations to grow position-specific skills. Mentorship and hands-on experience and support from senior leaders is included.
While the apprenticeship is only offering one space in one city, Hetherington thinks it would be great if #nocollegenoworries turned into a movement and other companies started to offer the same program and opportunities for those who can’t get to college.
“At The Stable, we’re always trying to think ahead when it comes to hiring great talent. While we’ve never required candidates to have a degree, historically, only those who have one apply. Our opinion is that it shouldn’t matter if they went to college or not—only if they have a relentless drive and ability to do the work. We believe this is a life-changing opportunity and are excited to find our first apprentice,” said Hetherington.