One Club Recruits Ad Veterans to Offer Students Free Online Portfolio Reviews

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As fallout from the pandemic lockdown dims job prospects for budding advertising students, The One Club for Creativity is aiming to connect the next generation of creatives with top industry execs for feedback on their work.

The nonprofit, which organizes The One Show and ADC awards, will debut a virtual platform on Wednesday where students can have their portfolios critiqued by top creative directors and marketing execs. The program is a stand-in for the organization’s annual Young Ones Student Portfolio Review and is one of The One Club’s several springtime industry events that will be held online this year amid quarantine measures taken to curb the global coronavirus outbreak.

The group says 35 of its board members have agreed to participate in the program, including top creative directors like FCB Global CCO Susan Credle, 72andSunny CCO Glenn Cole and McCann global creative chairman Rob Reilly, as well as marketing execs like Burger King Global CMO Fernando Machado, Apple vp of marketing integration Nick Law and Google Director of User Experience Chloe Gottlieb.

The One Club CEO Kevin Swanepoel said that while face-to-face reviews have their obvious advantages, he’s hoping the virtual format will enable a broader global reach this year, though the organization still plans to bring back the in-person element next year.

“The current situation made us realize we should also offer online reviews as well because it’s a way to reach a global audience of students who might otherwise not be able to join us in New York during Creative Week,” Swanepoel said. “The online program also enables creative professionals around the world to ‘pay it forward’ and participate as reviewers.”

The One Club is one of several organizations offering virtual networking opportunities right now as graduation events and internships are canceled and students face a job market marred by widespread layoffs and furloughs. Fellow, a networking app created by Venables Bell & Partners senior art director Aisha Hakim, has also sought to connect aspiring creatives to industry veterans for portfolio reviews.

“We should do everything possible to prevent the next generation of creative talent from becoming the lost generation,” Swanepoel said.

The One Club also previously announced a COVID-19 job board and is in the process of transitioning its May award ceremonies and Creative Week conference into a virtual format. The program is open to graduating students around the world free of charge.

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