Rachel Gillett

Genevieve Potter - 26th September 2017

Making Creativity Work is The Bauer Academy’s biggest training programme to date.  Funded by The European Social Fund, it aims to get over 1,000 unemployed Londoners in to employment within creative industries.  Much of the training takes place within Bauer itself, providing students with a truly valuable insight in to the media industry.

Many of our talented students have already gone on to jobs within other businesses like Channel 4. And within Bauer, we have also placed our talented learners within our digital, editorial and commercial divisions. Rachel Gillett, Head of Project Development within the national commercial team employed Bhakti Mistry as Project Planner.

Rachel takes up her story:

‘Like many others, I had heard of the Bauer Academy and the great work they had done with the students who attended courses, but I had no idea just how in depth their training was. This all changed when I was invited in to speak at a “Making Creativity Work” session.

‘For a few minutes I was asked to re-cap on my career path and share any learnings or tips along the way, and then explain about my current role and invite questions from the group. The students were so positive, and genuinely interested in ‘how things work’ here at Bauer. Their questions showed that they already had a much deeper understanding of Advertising than I initially expected and their enthusiasm was infectious. For a group of people hoping to take their first step into the industry they showed real promise and were 100% focused on learning as much as they could in the course so as to be ready for their first role.

‘At the time, we had been looking for a new Project Planner to join our team, and received applications through the Bauer website as well as some industry news sites. Genuinely taken with how they’d interacted in the session I invited the Course Leader to open up the vacancy to the students to apply, and it wasn’t long before the CVs started coming in. But rather than showing a lack of experience (as you might perhaps expect from a group of students) what we saw impressed us. We saw a wide range of valid and exciting skills – everything from video shoots to podcasts to vloggers and more besides! We actually ended up interviewing EVERY Academy Student who applied.

‘In interviews, we started the 1st round with traditional Q&As before narrowing down the candidates for a more in-depth 2nd interview stage, including a formal presentation responding to a creative advertising brief. We took 3 Academy students through to this stage and the ideas they presented were well thought-through, confidently presented and among the best we have ever seen when recruiting. When asked for more rationale behind their presentation all candidates were able to draw on their background from “Making Creativity Work” but adapt their learnings to make them relevant, effective and 100% on brief for the advertising task. We had found a group of promising applicants and really struggled to narrow down to just the one as they were so strong.

‘However, we had one candidate from the programme who ticked all the boxes for us: creative, logical, organised and with work experience in production. When backed up with the way she demonstrated all she had learnt in the Academy course we were sure she’d be a strong performer for us and offered her the role. We weren’t disappointed! She really hit the ground running, learnt quickly and was able to work on a project worth over £500,000 within the first few weeks.

‘Personally I couldn’t recommend both the “Making Creativity Work” course and the candidates from the programme enough. We have clearly seen how effective the experience has been, and how positive and focused the students that join the programme are. If we recruit again, I’d be sure to open up the vacancy to Academy students every time.’