Marketing Week backs drive to get school kids interested in marketing careers

Marketing Week is partnering with the School of Marketing to help transform the way young people think about marketing careers and we are looking for 50 young marketers to help spread the word.

We are looking for 50 founding members to act as ambassadors for the School of Marketing.

Marketing Week is supporting a new education initiative that aims to solve the looming talent crisis in the marketing industry by raising awareness of the profession as a career option among young people all across the UK.

Alongside education company Learn Et Al and Pearson College London, we will be powering the launch of the School of Marketing, a new learning platform and series of educational initiatives for young people from all backgrounds across the UK.

It has the backing of key industry figures including Unilever CEO Paul Polman and top marketers from the likes of Direct Line Group, Microsoft, Santander, IBM and Google who have each contributed to course modules.

The programme will kick off with an interactive course consisting of five modules exploring the foundations of marketing, including case studies, videos and interactive exercises set by the UK’s top marketers, including Direct Line Group’s Mark Evans, Unilever’s Keith Weed, Santander’s Keith Moor, Microsoft’s Helen Tupper and IBM’s Lisa Gilbert.

The focus is on experiencing the real-life challenges being faced by marketers today, as well as showing students the sheer variety of different paths a career in marketing has to offer.

The long-term goal has to be that more people find fulfilling careers in marketing and it enables them to achieve their full potential.

Mark Evans, Direct Line Group

Dean and managing director of the School of Marketing, Ritchie Mehta, explains that the two broad aims of the content are to inform and excite the next generation, and address the misconception often held by young people that all marketing is just advertising.

“We’re trying to give kids a really good understanding of what’s hot in marketing, so what the future of marketing looks like. The aim is to get them thinking about the key skills they would require in order to have a very successful future career,” says Mehta.

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To explore these practical challenges, School of Marketing students will work with Unilever brand Wall’s on a project to help it develop the next big ice cream. Students will be asked to submit a two-minute video explaining their dream ice cream and brand, alongside their marketing plan, in a bid to win a year’s supply of free ice cream.

Mark Evans, Direct Line Group marketing director and chairman of the School of Marketing, says the programme’s ambition is to encourage young people to have marketing on their consideration list as they leave school, in order to build up a swell of demand for marketing careers over the next five to 10 years.

“The long-term goal has to be that more people find fulfilling careers in marketing and it enables them to achieve their full potential,” explains Evans. “We fix the emerging skills gap and more people are fulfilled in marketing careers, so marketing as a whole benefits.”

The need for a programme like the School of Marketing was made apparent earlier this year when research, carried out exclusively for Marketing Week by student affinity network Unidays, found that just 3% of a sample of 8,405 UK students aged 18 to 24 considered marketing a good career.

READ MORE: Different class – How the marketing industry is coming together to inspire the next generation

Join the Founding 50

While it is crucial to have senior leaders as part of the rallying cry, the School of Marketing is keen to get young marketers to become role models to inspire the next generation.

To achieve this aim, we are looking for 50 founding members of the School of Marketing to act as ambassadors, helping to spread the word about how exciting, creative and dynamic a career in marketing can be.

To qualify as a Founding 50 member, those that apply must be in their 20s, working in a marketing department anywhere across the UK and extremely passionate about having a career in the industry.

The School of Marketing is looking for advocates who can share their marketing story in a number of ways. This could involve anything from speaking at their local school or college, to helping the team develop the course content by identifying the key digital trends shaping marketing today.

As well as having the opportunity to add value to the community and help promote a career in marketing to young people across the country, members of the Founding 50 will also be invited to network with leaders in the industry, including those on the School of Marketing’s advisory board.

Members will also have your profile posted on the Marketing Week website as recognition of your newly earned status.

To apply to become a Founding 50 member, you must record a two-minute video explaining what attracted you to a career in marketing, your current role and career route to-date, why you love marketing and how you would inspire other young people to pursue a marketing career.

Visit the School of Marketing website to upload your video.

For more information on the School of Marketing and the Founding 50 visit

The School of Marketing advisory board:

  • Ritchie Mehta, dean and managing director, School of Marketing
  • Mark Evans, marketing director, Direct Line Group and chairman, School of Marketing
  • Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever
  • Rory Sutherland, vice-chairman, Ogilvy UK
  • Professor Byron Sharp, director, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute
  • Professor Jaideep Prabhu, Judge Business School
  • Nishma Robb, ads marketing director, Google UK
  • Michele Oliver, global corporate brand and purpose director, Mars
  • Magnus Djaba, global president and UK CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Russell Parsons, editor, Marketing Week

Pearson collaboration

The School of Marketing and educational company Pearson will develop a range of short courses in marketing to help young people learn about the industry. Pearson will also feature the School of Marketing in its globally published textbook Marketing: An Introduction, by Philip Kotler et al.

Young Enterprise Scotland partnership

The School of Marketing has partnered with Scotland’s business education charity to take its programme into schools across the country.