Kicking off Year Two of the Marketing Explorers Program

We’re proud to share that the first year of our Marketing Explorers Program was a success!

For those not familiar with the initiative: in the summer of 2017, we attended a panel at AdAdge’s Small Agency Conference titled “The Industry Sucks at Diversity — What Will You Do About It” and well…we decided to do something about it.

The resulting Marketing Explorers Program provides opportunities for local high school students who might not otherwise have a chance to pursue a career in marketing. Awarded students receive a paid internship, an agency marketing curriculum, and upon completion of the program, a $1,500 college scholarship.      

We partnered with Hill Regional Career High School in New Haven, CT to launch the program in early 2018. Career High is only a 5-minute drive away from us — it was great to find a school in our own backyard that also believes its students would benefit from exploring a marketing career.

Our CEO Carolyn Walker and President David Klineberg launched the program with a presentation to interested students.

The applications poured in and after a selection process, we picked Henry Smith as our 2018 Marketing Explorer. Henry thrived here at Response and is now studying marketing at Central Connecticut State University!   

Before we share more about Henry’s time at our agency, we want to announce that year two of the Marketing Explorers Program starts in February of 2019. Stay tuned on our blog and social channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn) for the latest updates.    

Year One

In his application, Henry expressed an interest in marketing because it would allow him to flex his imagination and utilize his people skills.

However, like most high school students, Henry wasn’t sure how his skills would translate into a career and what he would specialize in.  That’s why we designed the program’s curriculum to expose Henry — and all our future marketing explorers — to every discipline and facet of agency life. One of the reasons marketing can be such a rewarding career is because of the flexibility it allows. Whether you’re a designer, developer, writer, strategist, producer, or some hybrid of any or all of the above, you get to create your own path.

Henry began plotting his path with an opening introduction to the agency world. Our President, David, gave Henry a briefing about the role we serve for our clients, the tools and skills of our staff, how we work together, and all the other big 101s.

For the following 14 weeks, Henry had a new one-on-one session each week with a different Response team member. No matter their seniority, everyone here took time to share their skills and perspective — topics ranged from strategy and project management to brainstorming, technology, analytics, and design.  

After each lesson, it was Henry’s turn to take what he learned and apply it to a deliverable. That deliverable could be something that helped our clients, other times it created work for his portfolio.

The strongest marketers tend to be well-rounded and curious. They aren’t necessarily a jack-of-all-trades, but they are passionate and interested enough in different disciplines to take a holistic view when solving client problems. During his time with us, Henry more than demonstrated these characteristics. Whether he was discussing design with our VP of Creative or back-end architecture with our VP of Technology, Henry was a quick and engaged study.    

We were proud to award the scholarship to Henry, and are not surprised by the success he’s having at Central Connecticut University.   

Plus, not only did Henry complete the curriculum, but he performed a set of stand up comedy for the entire agency. What better way to practice your presentation skills?!  This is a promotional poster that Henry designed for his much anticipated, one-night-only performance.

Year Two and Beyond

Once again, check back on our blog and our social channels for updates as our 2019 program kicks off in February. We’ll announce the 2019 recipient and share where their journey in marketing takes them.   

And thank you to our clients! Their support has made this program possible.

If you are interested, we are always open to ideas and conversation about how we can further develop this program, so please reach out.