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Wunderman Thompson brings back and expands industry-defining recruitment programme The Catalyst Academy

Wunderman Thompson launches its second year of the Catalyst Academy, an industry-defining programme that aims to bring together talent from different backgrounds to build brilliant experiences for consumers and B2B audiences.
Unati Moalusi, chief people officer
Unati Moalusi, chief people officer

The future of communications is changing rapidly. For brands to succeed they need to have access to a range of experts and a diverse meeting of minds. Integrated marketing agency Wunderman Thompson offers clients the full range of disciplines, from strategy and creative, to production, consulting, data strategies and analytics, and customer experience.

The hope is to develop a new breed of future marketeers who can understand, communicate and deliver across the entire range of capabilities. The Catalyst Academy is designed to do exactly that – develop future integrated marketers who’re equipped with the experience and skills to thrive in a converging and competitive industry.

2021 marked the first intake of catalysts for this programme. From a pool of 600 applicants, 11 candidates were hired across offices with 42% of the group identifying as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), 43% as female or non-binary and 18% stated that they had a disability. The programme has been a huge success and, as the 2021 cohort wraps up, those who have completed the programme are all expected to be offered permanent roles.

During this exciting rotational programme with exposure to some of our offices around the world, 29 Catalysts candidates from across the region will train together, develop a range of important new skills, build camaraderie, and have fun doing so.

Each successful applicant will be offered a competitive salary, while being offered multiple rotations within different departments. They will also have access to a whole host of personal development opportunities, plus the chance to get involved with the agency’s Employee Resource Groups.

The Catalyst Academy is designed to accelerate development; catalysts rapidly take on real client responsibilities and can expect fast career progression. During their twelve months with the agency, they will rotate through different specialisms and be assigned a mentor who will be there to support, guide and advise throughout. Catalysts will also gain essential industry qualifications from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and the global WPP AI Academy.

Inclusion and diversity are a fundamental part of Wunderman Thompson and the agency recognises that talent comes in a variety of forms and from different backgrounds. It’s committed to making sure that its talent reflects the diversity of South African society and the wider world, and to creating an inclusive environment where people feel they can belong.

The agency invites applications from candidates of all identities and backgrounds through the applications portal on the Wunderman Thompson website:

The application process is open for five weeks and asks candidates to answer a range of questions linked to the agency’s key behaviours – important considerations include behaviours, technical ability and storytelling. In an effort to level the playing field for those with conditions such as dyslexia, Wunderman Thompson will also allow candidates to answer questions however they like, not necessarily in writing, and will fast-track all candidates that identify as disabled.

Unati Moalusi, chief people officer for Wunderman Thompson SA, said, "Our agency's culture values inclusion and diversity. The Catalyst Academy enables us to harness talent from various backgrounds to reflect the multicultural beauty of the world. Designed to bring together a range of experts and a diverse meeting of minds, The Catalyst Academy ensures that Wunderman Thompson SA can build relevant, contemporary experiences for consumers. We're delighted to receive and empower the second intake of catalysts."

Apply here.

Wunderman Thompson
Wunderman Thompson South Africa is born out of the country's oldest digital, social media, technology and advertising agencies. Strong strategic and creative approaches backed by data insights drive service delivery across four centres of excellence: Advertising, Digital, Technology & Consulting.

Part creative agency, part tech firm, and part consultancy, Wunderman Thompson offers Level 1 BBBEE credentials, a team of 500+ talented professionals, and 4 office locations nationwide. The group's global network spans 90 markets.

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