Mediaworks 2017, mentoring the next generation of advertising leaders

This week I was asked to be a mentor at an industry program called MediaWorks hosted in Hanoi.

Mediaworks now in it’s 12th year is designed to test the newest batch of rising stars in the media and communications industry. The bootcamp-style workshop is an intense and uniquely rewarding learning experience featuring a 4-day course designed to challenge young talent to think quickly and creatively execute their ideas as a team.

MediaWorks replicates real-life scenarios, tasking syndicate teams to pitch to a real client on a real brief. As part of the workshop, MediaWorks incorporates a one-day conference that gathers industry leaders and professional trainers to examine practical applications such as obstacles facing the next generation, strategies for winning pitches and how to encourage creativity while delivering the client’s objectives.

As a mentor our role is to imbue young talent with skills and practical experience to thrive in media roles. It’s best described as part vocational bootcamp, networking hub, and conference, with the added flavour of a tense reality-TV challenge.

This year’s MediaWorks drew nearly 80 delegates, representing 25 organisations from across the Asia Pacific region. Separated on arrival from colleagues and placed in one of eight colour-coded teams, they were assigned their mission; to research, craft, and pitch an enticing and—more importantly—viable media strategy for a client in less than sixty hours.

One notable feature of MediaWorks is that each edition invites a different client to present a unique brief. This year that duty was taken on by Seraphina Wong, APAC executive director for brand management and advertising at UBS. Defying expectations, the brief wasn’t for an established brand, but instead a startup company in an extremely niche market.

It was an extremely rewarding experience bringing a group of people together from around the region who don’t know each other to quickly form a team and transform into a high performance team. It opens your eyes up to the talent we have in our industry and gives me reassurance for it’s future. It is not for the faint hearted or for people that love their sleep.

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