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For decades students and recent graduates in advertising have been strung along on internships with no pay, no benefits and no job security. So as the ad agency that famously said “no to spec”, Zulu Alpha Kilo felt it was time to also say “no to internships” with our “$40K a Year Employeeship” competition.
The Employeeship was promoted on campuses and social media through a series of posters, social posts and an online video. To apply, all students had to do was submit their book and explain their best piece. From there, we invited the top 10 candidates to Zulu for a four-hour paid interview/boot camp. The interview required them to perform a gauntlet of creative tasks before a judging panel.
With more than 150 applicants, the “$40K a Year Employeeship” surpassed our expectations. We clearly had terrific fresh new talent coming to us. The top two students were offered a $5,000 signing bonus and employment starting at $40,000 for their first year.
But instead of only bringing two people on board like was planned, we ended up hiring three more candidates from the original pool of 10. In other words, five of those 10 young finalists now have real, paying jobs at Zulu.
Typically in the past there’s been a disconnect between the agencies and the schools that feed them. But through our initiative, we’ve been able to solidify a strong relationship with these universities and colleges. Now as students approach graduation, Zulu has become top of mind as the agency to get their start at in the industry.
The “$40k a Year Employeeship” was featured in numerous local and international trade publications including Strategy, Stimultant, AdWeek, and Little Black Book.