DMA Mentoring Scheme: How you can help shape the next generation of marketing talent | DMA

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DMA Mentoring Scheme: How you can help shape the next generation of marketing talent


Led by experienced business coach Emma Shelton-Smith, the fourth round of the DMA Mentoring Scheme took place Wednesday 16th November at integrated agency iris Worldwide. The scheme has already had over 100 people through its doors and has proven to be the ideal catalyst to help young talent develop in the marketing industry.

Kicking things off, Emma carried out a short workshop with the mentors to introduce them to the format of the programme. To begin, Emma asked the group to share a piece of advice that they wish they could have given themselves at the start of their journey into the marketing and advertising industry.

Tim Bush, UK Education Marketing Manager at Microsoft opened the discussion with “It’s okay to say no sometimes, don’t spread yourself too thin.” Agreeing with him, Paul Byrne, Group Client Partner at Greenlight Digital commented, “You should be confident and should trust your own instincts more”.

Commenting on individual self-development, Chris Lonie, Senior Copywriter at iris Worldwide suggested, “You have to manage your own career as no one else will manage it for you.”

Moving on the conversation, Emma asked the group to discuss what makes a good mentor. Rachel Armstrong Jones, Business Director at OgilvyOne suggested that the role of a mentor should be “somebody who is supportive, encourages thinking and understands how best to work with others”.

Andy Todd, Creative Partner at Proximity London, discussed what advice he would give to somebody just starting out in the industry: “Have conversations! Rather than sending an email, pick up the phone and start a real conversation”.

Shortly after the workshop came to a close, the mentees arrived and were ready to be introduced to the mentors via a ‘speed-matching’ session. Adrian Pang, Freelance Marketing Specialist, commented on the benefits of setting up the first introduction in a speed-matching format: “It created a great environment to connect with new industry professionals and allowed me to meet lots of likeminded individuals in marketing.”

The day ended with some networking drinks which gave each group some time to ask questions to one another before making a final decision about who they would like to be matched with.

Jarmila Yu, MD and Consulting CMO of YUnique Marketing shared her thoughts about the day’s successes, “As a mentor I find it a highly rewarding experience. So, if you’ve got experience to share and are willing to give up some of your time to those starting out in their marketing careers, get involved and help make a difference.”

Following on from the initial meet, each matched pair will arrange a meeting in their own time to agree their objectives and discuss how they would like to work with one another. After this, regular get-togethers will be organised and the mentors will take part in group discussions to share any challenges or triumphs.

We are looking for IDM and DMA members to get involved in the fifth round of the Mentoring Scheme, taking place early in the New Year. The next sessions will be taking place in London, Bristol and Edinburgh. If you feel you have suitable experience in the industry, and would like to put yourself forward as a mentor, or if you are a young marketer that would like to join the programme to find a mentor, please contact Jessica Reilly by emailing

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