In April 2015, Saatchi & Saatchi Greater China extended its intern recruitment program to a global scale through an exclusive partnership with the University of Oxford. This cooperation with one of the world's top institutes of higher learning enabled Saatchi & Saatchi to reach young people who are passionate about advertising worldwide.
As the only advertising agency to win ‘China Advertising Creative Agency of the Year’ three years in a row, Saatchi & Saatchi is an irresistibly attractive name to the bright and ambitious students of Oxford. Within only two weeks of officially announcing the internship opportunity at the end of April, Saatchi & Saatchi Greater China received applications and creative portfolios from nearly fifty Oxford students, spanning widely diverse fields of study. After an intensive, multi-round selection process, six truly outstanding students were chosen for the internship positions in July: three students were assigned to the Shanghai office, and the other three joined the Hong Kong office. Both groups joined the pool of young talent recruited from across China for their month-long internships. Throughout the course of the internships, each intern underwent intensive training in creative thinking, pitching and other skills that make up the advertising toolbox; in live-action ‘combat training’ on real project teams, interns also participated in brainstorming, creative pitching and drawing up real proposals. The best performers were awarded the ‘Ultimate Pass’, which allows the holder to knock on the door of any Saatchi & Saatchi office worldwide for a formal job interview.
Meiling Young, who studies a Master of Philosophy in International Relations in the University of Oxford, said, “I am an academic by training and disposition, but it's good to leave your comfort zone once in a while and try something utterly foreign. Moreover, there are things that I enjoy as well that cannot be satisfied so easily at university. Saatchi & Saatchi provided a stimulating intellectual environment and the opportunity to make use of and develop my non-academic skills.”
Saatchi & Saatchi Greater China Chief Talent Officer Yuki Qi commented on the development of the intern recruitment program. "This is our fifth year since launching the intern recruitment program in 2011. Every year we hear from over a thousand applicants eager to learn what it's like to work at Saatchi & Saatchi, and we have also noticed strong interest in internships from overseas students," said Ms. Qi. "This year represents our first exclusive cross-border cooperation with the University of Oxford, and we believe it has gathered the best students from different backgrounds and given them the opportunity to work together and learn from each other; we hope to have inspired them and helped fan their creative sparks into roaring flames. We believe all this will help to ensure that the world's best talent continues to come to Saatchi & Saatchi."