Swim Camp training program launches for young agency staff

The Institute of Communication Agencies and Art Directors Club have partnered with two of the industry’s most respected mentors, Nancy Vonk and Janet Kestin, to launch Swim Camp – a new training program for advertising’s next generation of leaders. Vonk and Kestin have been focused on leadership training – mostly creative directors – since forming Swim […]

The Institute of Communication Agencies and Art Directors Club have partnered with two of the industry’s most respected mentors, Nancy Vonk and Janet Kestin, to launch Swim Camp – a new training program for advertising’s next generation of leaders.

Janet Kestin

Vonk and Kestin have been focused on leadership training – mostly creative directors – since forming Swim in 2011. But this new program is intended to meet a ubiquitous need across the industry today; a problem with the new status quo of the agency world that leaves a void in development for the next generation.

“We always had it on our back burner that we wanted to offer our thing to a younger group,” Vonk said. “The magic came from partnering with the ICA and ADC to create a program that would be accessible both financially and in terms of time commitment.”

Hearing that more junior agency employees are increasingly having a hard time understanding office politics, selling work to creative leaders or understanding client demands, the course is meant to provide the kind of training that the agencies themselves no longer have time to handle internally.

Nancy Vonk

“In a perfect world, people would get this on the job,” said Vonk. “But that day is long past that the time and energy has been available… The not-learning-on-the-job thing has been a reality for 15 years. The reasons are pretty basic; I think it is a lack of time. People are just trying to get the daily checklist done and there is far less focus on career management and personal development.”

The four-part program for creatives, planners and account managers will be delivered in half days. Vonk said that while they are designed to compliment each other, the sessions can be taken as one-offs for those who can’t make the full time commitment.

The first two sessions are planned for June with another in September and the final in October.

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