The Aspiring Marketer’s Guide to PMG’s Graduate Leadership Program

This is the first in Adweek’s new series on agency scholarship programs. As agencies continue to face a talent shortage, many recent graduates or retrainers are looking to break into the industry. Here, we cover programs for entry-level marketers at top agencies.

PMG, the Texas-based independent agency that won the Adweek 2021 Breakthrough Media Agency of the Year award, is currently recruiting for the next class of its Graduate Leadership Program (GLP). The agency also has offices in New York and London and counts TikTok for Business, Beats by Dre, Old Navy, Sephora, SurveyMonkey, Madewell and Michael Kors among its clients.

The one-year GLP program is designed for postgraduate graduates who have limited work experience and are looking to enter the advertising industry. During the first 16 weeks on the job, GLP employees undergo an intensive onboarding and training process before onboarding account teams to gain hands-on experience. The agency, which hopes to teach new hires leadership skills, brings in guest speakers from Harvard Business School professors to experts in radical franchising and negotiation skills.

“This full year they’re not just in the development program, it’s a mix of hard and intense development up front and then placement in a squad with continued development,” Stacey MartinPMG’s director of human resources told Adweek.

The program ensures that the agency is constantly hiring new talent. Through his investment in the program, he is able to regularly promote his talents as GLP hires join new accounts.

“One of the great things about our GLP program is that it’s really how we continue to provide superior mobility to our existing PMGers,” Martin said. “It really is a great way to constantly infuse new talent and ideas, while rewarding and promoting our current staff,” she added.

Over the past two years, more than 100 entry-level marketers have participated in the program. Previously, the agency only hired one cohort each summer. This year, he expanded the program to two cohorts per year and hired a January class of 17.

As full-time PMG employees, GLP hires receive a salary and have access to all benefits afforded to all other employees.

“One of the differences in our program is that many other companies offer more traditional internships. It’s not like that. You are hired on day one as a PMGer. Therefore, you are entitled to the same benefits and advantages that all PMGs have,” Martin said.

PMG Graduate Leadership Program from PMG on Vimeo.

When did your company find out about the program?
After hiring and training new college graduates for many years, PMG officially launched the Graduate Leadership Program in 2018 to help provide dedicated training and leadership development to early-career hires, and help fill the gap between graduation and the start of a digital career.

How many cohorts of scholarship holders/trainees do you welcome each year?
We have a winter cohort and a summer cohort.

How long does the program last?
12 months.

What does your program pay? The more transparency you can provide, the better. Please also note whether fellows are salaried employees with benefits or are paid hourly.
GLP participants are full-time salaried employees with full benefits. PMG offers a market-competitive compensation package that reflects prior experience and qualifications, including academic rigor; in addition, all PMGers are eligible to be rewarded through the company’s annual bonus program, beyond their base salary.

How many fellows/trainees do you hire or plan to hire for each class?
In January, we welcomed 17 GLPers to PMG’s Dallas office and expect to welcome up to 90 summer GLPers in June.

What percentage of your last class of scholarship recipients/trainees is historically underrepresented?
Summer 2021 program: 45% underrepresented and 77% women.

How long does the application process take from start to finish?
Applications for the GLP summer cohort open in the fall and close in May, with acceptances on a rolling basis. The application process varies by track and includes a multi-step assessment process to ensure the best candidate experience and an opportunity for long-term success in the program and at PMG.

What do you require of candidates as part of the hiring process?
Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree between Spring 2021 and Spring 2022, have a GPA of 3.2 or higher, and have relevant professional and/or internship work experience. During the interview process, qualified candidates are asked to complete a brief cognitive assessment, a one-way virtual interview, a technical skills assessment, and a final panel interview.

What percentage of your fellows/interns receive full-time offers at the end of your program?
All Graduate Leadership Program hires receive a full-time offer when they join the program.

When are you hiring your next cohort of fellows/trainees?
We are actively recruiting Media and Software Engineering candidates for Summer 2022. Applications for Summer 2022 will close in May.

You can apply for the GLP program for Media and Software Engineering here.

Is there a program you would like us to know about? Please contact [email protected] and tell us more.

Kevin E. Boling