At GANDT, we are always looking for ways to attract and retain the best talent. We understand that we operate in a competitive industry and need to evolve alongside the changing circumstances, technology, and business climate. That is why we are thrilled to introduce our GANDT Starter Program—where we’ve taken the best elements of an internship (paid), training period, and apprenticeship and rolled them into one exciting package geared towards long-term employment.
Sharing knowledge and educating one another are critical elements of what has made our team and company a success. We feel that the starter program will allow us to give talented, (digital) marketing professionals a chance to grow into a lasting role in our organization.
More than half of our team members kick-started their careers in marketing at GANDT, and despite having diverse backgrounds, our common denominator is a shared passion for all things digital and marketing.
During the GANDT Starter Program, participants will get to know the team and have exclusive access to online marketing masterclasses. The goal is to grow into the organization, identify strengths, and learn to approach marketing with a holistic, entrepreneurial mindset.
This is how it works
- We see this as a stepping stone into the organization.
- The program will consist of a few training days per month in various fields such as performance marketing, SEO, marketing intelligence, business development, or social media.
- Each individual is part of one of our project teams, learns on the job, and is given a mentor.
- After three months, we do a mid-term check-in. We evaluate where we see the potential for growth and where we could imagine which role the Starter could take in the organization after finishing the program.
- In the last 3 months, the starter is given a personal project to work on in order to deepen their skills.
- We close the starter program with the presentations, where the mentors, team members, and the leadership team review the performance and long-term company fit.
- After successfully finishing the program, the starter may becomes the onboarding mentor for the next cohort. This enables us to create a learning and education loop within the team early on.
A deeper dive into the GANDT Starter Program
To share some more insight into how our Starter Program was developed and is currently being implemented, Laura Schierjott, GANDT’s Channel Marketing Director, shared her insight. Laura is a digital-minded marketing professional who has been in the digital industry since 2008, working for startups and media agencies in both the US and Switzerland.
So Laura, what are you most excited about as we bring the Started Program into action?
The world of digital technology and marketing is evolving so quickly that it can be almost impossible for those new to the industry to understand what the opportunities are. This is our solution. By offering fresh graduates, or professionals looking to make a career change, a chance to experiment and try out different roles within the digital world — we are confident we will find like-minded individuals who can continue growing in their knowledge and developing alongside us as an organization. We currently have both recent students and professionals from areas as diverse as real estate and e-commerce joining us to see what else the digital world has to offer.
How does the structure of the program facilitate this experimentation?
The beauty of the program is that it is flexible and designed to be self-directed. Over the first three months, candidates will go through a series of rotations and receive training in our main areas of operation. At this point, we take the training wheels off and ask them to take the initiative and direct where they would like to invest their efforts for the remainder of the six months.
We feel this gives them a chance to get a bit more experienced in a specific area so they can really hit the ground running once the program has been completed. In the end, we will ask candidates to do a presentation based on what they’ve learned during their time with us. The idea is that if we both feel we’ve found a good fit—they will be able to transition seamlessly into a full-time position. As the onboarding process will have already been completed, we like to think of it as a type of ‘self-launch into the digital world.’
As you said, it is also a chance for the applicants to determine whether or not the way we work at GANDT suits them. How is the program positioned to immerse them in the processes?
At GANDT, every team member is valued and expected to participate in a range of goals and projects. The Starter Program is a chance for interested participants to experience our company culture and values and learn what we mean when we say we Work Out Loud. This is an integral part of our process and is a way of approaching work that encourages employees to narrate their actions so others can interact, respond, learn, and apply that knowledge to their own endeavors. It is intended to break through organizational hierarchies and get people to communicate outside of narrow groups.
The idea is that when team members proactively lead by example, others are persuaded to take part, which helps nurture a more open working culture of truth, transparency, and trust.
This program reflects the fact that education trends are changing, and many companies are finding it preferable to do a lot of on-the-job training. Is there any baseline for the experience that an applicant to the Starter Program should have?
Honestly, this is for anyone who is enthusiastic about the digital world and is eager to learn. As an organization, we know that we can benefit from the skills offered across many disciplines. We are just looking for strong critical thinking skills and a great attitude!