‘Unternship’ Experience: Developing Talent Outside the Office

April 1, 2015

[ikon images/corbis]
[ikon images/corbis]

When I took on the role of chief people officer at Golin last summer, I was prepared for new challenges and an interesting ride. Up until Golin, I had enjoyed a successful career finding and fostering talent in the consumer packaged goods, banking and pharmaceutical industries.

But I felt that I needed a fresh perspective. I already knew enough about advertising, marketing and public relations from the corporate side to be dangerous. Now it was time for me to see life from an agency point of view.

I was well aware of the many twists and turns that led to Fred Cook becoming Golin’s chief executive officer. It was Fred’s life of unlikely paths — including pool hustler, rock band agent, chauffeur, junior high teacher, tour guide, cabin boy and doorman — that helped prepare him for his career.

And that’s when I fell in love with the idea of an anti-internship — we call it the “Unternship” — a new way to test and vet our job candidates, and challenge our agency’s predisposed notions of finding and keeping talent.

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