Ad Council Launches Inaugural Career Accelerator Program in Partnership with HBCUs

The Ad Council announced a new career accelerator program designed to foster the next generation of talent in the advertising and marketing industry. The inaugural program will begin on October 17th and run 5 weeks, providing participants with education and hands on experience in all facets of the advertising and marketing industry, including AdTech, analytics, communications, creative development, influencers, media, research, social, strategy and more.

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The Ad Council is such a rare nexus of advertising, marketing, tech, and purpose, and we are in a unique position to change how our broader industry engages in improving society. We recognize that there is systemic racism not only in our industry, but across industries and this Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program will pave the way for underrepresented groups to be seen, heard, valued, and compensated while further developing their skills. We’re so grateful to our partners as we support these young professionals and lead the way to change how people think about hiring, content, and program development,” said Ad Council Chief Equity Officer, Elise James-DeCruise.

“Our Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program isn’t just a reflection of the Ad Council’s ongoing commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within our organization — it’s a reflection of the impact that’s possible when our industry comes together,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “Along with our partners, we’re proud of fostering the next generation of talent with this cohort, providing support, sharing learnings and creating paths to success for people who have been historically excluded from the industry.”

The inaugural cohort of the Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program includes 15 current students and recent graduates from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) — Howard UniversityBrooklyn CollegeMorgan State UniversityGeorgia StateGrambling State University, and Morehouse College. Throughout the program, they will gain in-depth experience, ongoing mentorship, and targeted training across a broad range of functions within the Ad Council and advertising, tech, and marketing industries at large.

Fellows will be placed in mentorship circles and instructor-led industry-specific training will enable them to develop meaningful connections with program partners including Dentsu, LiquidSoul, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Makers and more. The fully immersive rotational experience addresses the lack of representation within the advertising industry by diversifying the talent pipeline. Speakers from partner agencies and the 5-week curriculum will give fellows professional development training alongside insights into the advertising and marketing industries and exposure to the tactics and technology used throughout the industry to equip and connect them for the next steps in their careers. The program’s focus areas include: positioning for success (resume building, personal branding, mock interviews), multicultural marketing, AdTech fundamentals, media strategy, digital product management, and leadership development.

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