An overlooked aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic is the effect it’s having on the next generation of creative talent: graduating students at colleges and ad schools around the world who suddenly find themselves with little in the way of professional guidance, internships or job prospects.
To help maintain opportunities for graduating students this year, The One Club for Creativity announced its annual in-person Young Ones Student Portfolio Review program has been transformed into a free global online portfolio review program.
The virtual program will enable graduating students around the world to upload their portfolios at no charge and get feedback from some of the industry’s top creative professionals.
Among those who have agreed to serve as reviewers are 35 members of The One Club’s National and International Boards of Directors, including FCB Global CCO Susan Credle (One Club chairperson), 72andSunny CCO Glenn Cole (vice-chair), McCann Global Creative Chairman Rob Reilly, Goodby Silverstein & Partners CCO/partner Margaret Johnson, Design Army co-founder/CCO Pum Lefebure, Burger King Global CMO Fernando Machado, Apple VP, Marketing Integration Nick Law, Google Director of User Experience Chloe Gottlieb and VP Robert Wong, Dentsu Head of Digital Creative/ECD Yasuharu Sasaki, AlmapBBDO CCO/partner Luiz Sanches and others.
“Graduating seniors have been dealt an unimaginable situation that no one has ever experienced before,” said Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club. “After years of hard work, their classes and graduations have been canceled, they suddenly have no opportunity for one-on-one professional guidance and little prospect of a job or internship. The advertising and design community owes it to these young creatives to step up and help them.”
He adds: “We should do everything possible to prevent the next generation of creative talent from becoming a lost generation”.
Each year, The One Club holds a day of in-person portfolio reviews as part of the Young Ones Student Awards and Festival, where creative directors and recruiters already in town for the other Creative Week festivities volunteer to offer advice to eager up-and-comers. The One Club’s education program has benefited thousands of students through its various initiatives for over 30 years.
With Creative Week this year being reimagined into a broader online initiative due to the pandemic, the organization has built a system to allow student portfolio reviews to continue in the new online format. Instead of being limited to students able to attend the in-person portfolio reviews of the past, this year’s online system opens up the review opportunity to students globally.
“Young Ones has always been one of the highlights of Creative Week, where we get to support and celebrate amazing work from students around the world,” said Swanepoel. “We are committed to continuing that role in any way we can. This new online portfolio review, for the first time featuring dozens of the world’s top creative leaders as reviewers, is one small way to help young creative talent globally when they need it most.”
The online student portfolio program is The One Club’s second new initiative in as many weeks to help the industry during the pandemic. As the world’s foremost nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the global creative community, the club last week launched The One Club COVID-19 Jobs Board, a free resource to connect advertising and design creatives around the world with openings at agencies, studios, production companies and brands looking to fill full-time, project, freelance and internship positions.