The DMA Group Mentoring Scheme - helping young talent in the marketing industry | DMA

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The DMA Group Mentoring Scheme - helping young talent in the marketing industry


On Friday 6th May, the DMA Mentoring Scheme opened its doors for a third time to young talent in the marketing industry. Hungry to develop a successful career in marketing, the group were introduced to senior marketers who were ready to use their experience to nurture young people in the sector.

Led by Mark Brill, Strategy Consultant in Mobile and Innovation, the programme kicked off with a short workshop for the mentors. The group were asked to share what advice they would have liked to have known at the start of their own careers. Gavin Wheeler, CEO of WDMP, commented: “Always ask for help and advice, you won’t look bad”. Agreeing with him, Octavia Wolton, Freelance Marketing Consultant said: “You don’t have to know everything or have all the answers right away”.

Later on in the discussion, James Morgan, Director of Management Information at British Gas, highlighted that the “importance of the basic skills” were essential to self-development. Dominic Quantrill, Founder of The Collection added that his “network would be a lot larger now if he had spent more time working on his own soft-skills”.

John Willacy, Commercial Director at Nail on the Head Productions Ltd, closed the discussion with his own piece of advice for budding marketers, “realise what you are good at, as opposed to what you think you are good at and you will end up in the right place.”

Shortly after the workshop, the mentor group were joined by the mentees. The two groups were introduced to one another in a speed matching session which ensured that everyone got some individual time together. Katherine Francis, Managing Partner at OgilvyOne addressed the positive impact of having a ‘speed-dating’ format, pointing out that it “forces you to ask the more pertinent questions from the start” and how “you immediately get a sense of whether you can form a relationship with the other person, without all the unnecessary chit chat.”

The mentees were given the same time with each mentor before moving onto the next. In this time, each mentee could discuss their own career prospects and decide who could be their best support. Commenting on what makes a good mentor, Emma Shelton-Smith, Founding Director of Slipstream said: “The job of a mentor is to share their knowledge, to coach, share strategies and ask good questions.”

One of the mentees, Rebecca Hunter, Social Media Executive at MedSailors, found the matching aspect to be hugely beneficial, she said “I was amazed by the breadth of experience of the fifteen marketing mentors in the room and found myself gaining excellent advice - and I hadn't even been matched with my mentor yet!”

The feedback from the mentors involved showed how both parties could gain something from the experience. Francesca Monaco, Client Services Director at Rocketseed was able to relate to the mentees, commenting: “Funnily enough, they have the same concerns about their careers as we once did and to quote John Crosby, ‘Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.’”

Jack Lowman, Senior Head of Marketing at The Prince’s Trust added: “It’s a pleasure to be part of something that is bringing the industry together in such a positive way.”

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 each other. Over the next 3-6 months regular catch ups will take place, generally around twice a month and the mentors also have a monthly group call to share any challenges or successes.

We are looking for IDM and DMA members to get involved in the fourth round of the Mentoring Programme, taking place later on this year. 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 The current mentoring sessions have taken place in London but we are planning to run in other regions.

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