While the latest cohort of Verizon’s Adfellows program won’t be spending six months in New York City this year, they’re getting a first-class seat at the table with major brands and agencies.
The diversity pipeline fellowship for entry-level marketers virtually kicked off its fourth year today. The 27 participants, who either have some marketing experience or are making a career change, will have the opportunity to take part in specialized tracks focused on either creative or analytics/insights work. The program’s ultimate goal is to hire 90% of participants to full-time positions.
With the pandemic upending all in-person programs, Verizon will introduce new education tools and training for fellows, increase the amount of marketing thought leaders and pair each participant with an Adfellows alum to facilitate remote mentoring and networking within the program’s previous classes.
Verizon is also expanding Adfellows’ brand and agency partnerships. IBM, Visible and Amobee join American Express, Walmart and Anheuser-Busch as brand partners, while Madwell, Pentagram and EP+Co will be added as agency partners in a list that already includes WPP’s roster of agencies.
Diego Scotti, Verizon’s evp and CMO who founded the program in 2017, told Adweek that it was a priority for Adfellows to adjust its program amid the pandemic in order to give them “an experience that fully immerses them in the marketing industry.”
Scotti also encourages industry leaders to partner with Adfellows so everyone “can all work together to truly create a diverse pipeline.”
“I want other marketers to know that there is tremendous diverse talent out there,” he said. “I often hear that leaders aren’t hiring diverse talent because they can’t find it. They just aren’t looking hard enough.”
With six months of mentoring ahead, Scotti said he hopes Adfellows leave the program knowing “that their voice matters and the industry needs their perspective.”