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    What do the marketing industry’s newest hires really care about?

    We sat down with seven recent marketing agency recruits from across The Drum Network to ask them, as representatives of adland’s next generation of leaders, what they hope changes over the next 10 years.

    With worldwide phenomena such as ‘the great resignation’ and now ‘quiet quitting’ – not to mention inflation and the cost-of-living crisis – the marketing industry has had talent on its mind.

    Against this backdrop, we’re hearing time and again from bosses and hiring managers that new workers entering the industry are doing so with shifted expectations. Young workers, they say, have non-negotiable commitments to issues such as climate change and representation. They have more demanding expectations about growth and support. Their views are ironclad and unwavering.

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    But is that true? In these discussions, we rarely hear from those new entrants themselves. So we gathered together seven new entrants to the industry, all with less than two years under their belts, from across the US and Europe, to ask: what do you really want from this industry – and how will your cohort shape it?

    Shannon Oosthuizen, marketing executive, Across the Pond: 11 months in the industry

    I hope that diversity, equity and inclusion are not a huge focus in 10 years, because they’re the norm. I hope that the work being done today is reflected in 10 years’ time, and that all our leaders are diverse, equal and inclusive. I hope that the work that adland and the creative industry as a whole is putting out is a mirror of the state of the world, and reflective of the people who are working in it.

    Sophie Kohs, research intern, Momentum worldwide: recently completed three-month internship

    The changes that we’re seeing in a flexible work model are really exciting, whether you’re working nomadically, transferring between global offices or having meetings in the metaverse. I just hope that with these changes, we still maintain a human-first mentality, because it’s really important for the growth of young employees, whether you’re gen Z or the next generation after us.

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    Rosie Howe, marketing executive, StrategiQ: one month in the industry

    I understand that university can be a great thing for a lot of industries and a lot of people, but I hope that in the next 10 years the push toward university will be dialed down.

    When I was leaving school, only seven of us weren’t applying for university, and my school was constantly on at me about going. In marketing, I don’t think going to university is so important. A lot of people do have degrees and I was a bit like, ‘oh God, do I need a degree?’ But I’ve been reassured that what you’ll be taught in university is redundant in a couple of years because it changes so quickly.

    Nathan Brown, marketing executive, Reading Room: 10 months in the industry

    The things that I want to see in the industry are pathways for progression. I want senior leaders to realize that by investing in the graduates, in the juniors coming up, they’re just going to reap the benefits in the future. By encouraging training programs and setting out career progression pathways, companies are only going to benefit. We’re going to want to stay with the company; we’re going to feel valued. When you feel valued, you work better and you’re going to stay with the company longer.

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    Cat Lemus, search engine marketing coordinator, PMG: one year in the industry

    For me it’s about investing in the future: having more rotational programs and training programs for people coming out of school. That way, they can appreciate the industry they’re coming into and (even if they focus on one very niche area) how that plays into the greater picture. That’s really helpful when setting the foundation, rather than focusing on one little area and only later on realizing how that all plays into each other.

    And I really hope that in the future, our industry reflects more of the people that we serve. We have this industry because we have consumers, and we are consumers. We should be able to mirror that so that society can look at advertising and feel it’s authentic and not just catering to one part of the population.

    Rachel Bentley, account manager, The Marketing Practice: five months in the industry

    I hope mainly more than anything that companies in our industry take a little bit more of a risk on choosing people – maybe people who don’t have degrees, but who have experiences in different fields and have different skillsets. That’s one thing in our company that I think is so amazing: bringing people with different skills together and helping them hone in on their strengths. It’s about investing in people, and their future and careers.

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    Greg Hollands, social media channel manager, Brave Bison: two years in the industry

    Where can I see the industry going in 10 years’ time? I’ve got no idea, and that really excites me. Social media is always changing; there’s always something new. I just hope that my role keeps progressing and developing, and that I can be a positive proponent of the evolution of the industry.

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