The m/SIX Pioneers programme: thoughts from our first recruits

At the beginning of 2021 we launched our Pioneers programme where we welcomed our first ever cohort of pioneers into the agency, for a paid six month period of world-class training and industry learning.

The pioneers programme is exactly that; pioneering! We welcome candidates of any age above 18 and any educational level. We don’t ask for CVs, cover letters or even first or second names.

In our 3 stage hiring process candidates have the opportunity to showcase their creativity and flair, in their responses to 3 challenges – all in complete anonymity, to provide truly equal opportunity. This way, we only evaluate candidates solely on their work and potential in a completely fair unbiased process that also allows us to build a truly diverse, equal and inclusive community of staff at m/SIX.

As well as a six month fixed term contract, Pioneers are paired with a mentor who will support them in a comprehensive media introduction and training in industry tools – with the opportunity to get industry accreditation!

Our first ever cohort of pioneers were absolutely excellent. Not only were they forced to navigate starting the program in the midst of lockdown, but also deal with the challenges of getting to know their teams and completing industry training in a fully remote environment. Our graduate Pioneers are agile, adaptable and bring their individual creativity to their roles at m/SIX.

Let’s hear some insights from our Pioneers.

What has been your favourite aspect of working at m/SIX?

“Despite only having been at m/SIX for 6 months, what I very quickly established was the lack of hierarchical culture. The culture at m/SIX is like nothing I’ve experienced before and it’s frankly quite brilliant! Everybody can ask anybody and  everybody for help and they’re happy to do just that.”

Devon Campbell

“Learning about media briefs and being part of the brainstorms included in the planning process. Being exposed to so many different media owners who all perform different functions and offer new insights into the world of media.”

Laura Emmett

How would you say the Pioneers scheme has kick started your career in the media industry?

“I have received outstanding training and official industry certifications with the IPA, the Radiocentre and more informally with my team. I am working with fantastic people who are extremely intelligent, open minded and empower me to apply my own knowledge immediately. I was encouraged to get stuck in from the beginning with lots of trust and support from the team. Most importantly, no question or thought was ever dismissed and the team repeatedly invested (and continue to invest!) their time to help me become more confident and familiar with the industry.”

Sorcha Ince

What did you find unique about the recruitment process for the Pioneers scheme?

“The unique part was that it was really a recruitment process that did not care about credentials but instead sought pioneers and creatives. I believe this recruitment process allowed m/SIX to get to know Emmanuel, the person, rather than Emmanuel, who lacked experience on his cv. Giving us challenges that challenged us, pioneers, to think outside the box with creative answers that stand out from other pioneers.”

Emmanuel Baah

How did you find starting at m/SIX during lockdown?

“Starting during the lockdown was virtually seamless. My team and I had daily morning catch-ups to discuss the plans for the day/week, I was kept in the loop and invited to all meetings and have catch-ups post meeting to review what had been discussed and ensure I understood everything going on. I would call and work through various tasks together with Candice (line manager) and Millie throughout the day so I never felt isolated or alienated from the team. I’d also work with Candice with our Zooms on so it was like a virtual office. That way if I had a question I could talk to her there and then. The way the team operated when I came on board was replicating/adapting nearly every aspect of what would be done in the office in a virtual setting so I quickly felt comfortable and a fully integrated team member.”

Sorcha Ince