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FastTrack to the Future

November 2016

As a leading marketing agency, we know that our talent is central to our success so we are always looking to do more for our high performers. Alongside our bespoke training, 1-2-1 coaching and regular internal lunchtime talks (which we call Lunch & Learn), we wanted to recognise those who go above and beyond and exceed client and agency expectations. So we created FastTrack, a tailored development programme and here’s our first success story!

When we asked the agency what would add value to people’s development, they identified keys areas and we created a programme consisting of three pillars:

  1. 6 months of mentoring
  2. Access to the latest training
  3. Tickets to high profile industry events

Having researched what other agencies offer, we found this a rare combination to be offered as a bespoke package.

Our first Fastracker was Najla Zakaria, an Account Manager who started with us as an Intern in 2014. Naz has worked across many of our flagship accounts and with the help of FastTrack, she identified skills she needed to grow her career. Naz wanted to understand more about planning and learn how to create an effective communications plan with a long term objective of running her own agency.

Using the three pillars of FastTrack, here’s her journey:

Mentor

We plugged Naz into a mentor who would accommodate her aspiration of running her own agency someday (we love people with self-start ambition!), matching her with a senior marketing director with more than 15 years’ leadership experience in agencies. This provided an insight into the breadth of knowledge required and the reality of being at the top.

Naz meets her Mentor once a month and says, “My Mentor deliberately asks provocative questions about things that I wouldn’t usually consider which helps me to look at the end game and where my career is going. It’s flexible with no rigid timings or agenda so we can just talk and from that, ideas spark.”

Training

Naz and our People Manager scanned the latest trainings across the industry and selected two day-long courses run by the CIM on Behavioural Economics and Writing an Integrated Communications plan. These gave Naz the opportunity to pose questions to experts in their field while also picking up new skills to instantly feed back into her account management.

Networking

Networking is crucial in our industry, so we sent Naz to the launch day of Centaur’s prestigious Festival of Marketing where she heard from top, global CMO’s on how to change consumer behaviours in a low trust/low interest category; how to manage quintessentially British brands across continents and a post-Brexit discussion on the future of ‘Brand Britain’.

To mark the end of her FastTrack, Naz will attend a breakfast with our Executive Board to report back on her experience, giving her priceless face time with the agency heads and she is also excited about running an all-agency Lunch & Learn on behavioural economics.

“FastTrack has really supported my development, each element complemented the other and gave me something unique to help me with my career. I feel inspired and motivated to continue growing.”

We are delighted to say that Naz was recently promoted to Senior Account Manager and has been working closely with our senior Planners and Directors preparing for pitches and managing the new business pipeline.

As a result of this success, we are now rolling the programme out on a quarterly basis, so watch this space for our next FastTrack success story!

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