The Media & Branding committee was delighted to receive an invitation from our partner, GroupM, to visit their office and see what the company is all about. Hannah, the Chief Visual Marketeer, and I, the Chief Digital Marketeer, took a trip to the company’s office at Amsteldijk and had the pleasure of chatting with Anne Smit, the company’s recruiter. 

Before diving into the nitty gritty, let’s talk location! The office is situated alongside the Amstel river; lavished with modern decor and amenities such as a fully-stocked cafeteria, a coffee bar (serving mouth-watering brownies), and an exclusive sky bar on the 9th floor, it more so resembles a resort than a corporate building.

The building itself serves as a hub for all of WPP’s subsidiaries. WPP is a creative transformation company. It develops transformative ideas and outcomes for its clients by integrating services encompassing communications, experience, commerce, and technology. WPP serves as the parent company for GroupM’s media agencies (i.e., Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker) and Greenhouse, its brand and performance agency. WPP’s main goal is to maximize the performance of media communication agencies on behalf of their clients and stakeholders. They operate as a parent and collaborator in performance-enhancing activities such as trading, content creation, sport marketing, finance, and proprietary tool development.

GroupM is the leading global media investment management company operating within WPP. It’s a young, dynamic, and ambitious company where thousands of (young) professionals work for clients in leading market positions. These clients include  giants such as Unilever, KPN, and ING.

Surrounded by great coffee, 360 panoramic views, and sunlight (on that particular day at least), GroupM’s magic happens on the 6th floor of the building. As a leader in the field of advertising – responsible for one in three ads globally – GroupM deals with a range of advertising aspects. These include: content creation, data analytics, strategy implementation, and brand safety assurance. To say the company is a Jack of all trades would be an understatement.

With such an outstanding impact in their field – and renowned clients such as IKEA and Netflix – it’s no surprise that fresh graduates flock to the company for employment opportunities. When asked about the qualities GroupM looks for in potential employees, Anne went on to explain that “in terms of soft skills, you really have to be informal and social … these would be very useful for the Friday drinks. But if we look at hard skills, I’d say being analytical and ambitious are key. Patience is important as well, because if you start in a position, you’d really have to be an expert in that position before you advance onto the next tier. Being able to manage projects is crucial as well, as there’s a lot of coordination involved. Yet, if I were to choose just one very important quality, I’d say it’s being analytical.” 

While some of those qualities can be inferred from one’s CV, the interview process reveals a lot about a potential employee’s ‘fit’ in the company. GroupM oftentimes conducts a series of interviews for potential candidates, thus leading to confident, unanimous decisions amongst employers. Anne gave us more details about the staged interviewing process. “Most of the time, the first interview will be conducted by a recruiter and the hiring manager. Sometimes, the hiring manager’s interview is separate from the recruiter’s interview. After this, a final interview is conducted with two senior employees.” The interviewing process, however, differs for more executive roles, wherein additional steps are required for job candidates. Fortunately for us students, we don’t have to worry about that (yet). “For the media executive role, for example, there’s a case study that is to be completed after the two rounds of interviews,” says Anne, “this would test things such as a person’s numerical skills and other such ways of thinking.”

If you are – or want to be – immersed in the ever-changing field of advertising and media, it’s essential that you continuously upskill and enhance your current abilities. Thankfully, GroupM has got their employees covered. We continued our conversation with Anne by talking about the educational opportunities GroupM has to offer. “We have GroupM University, which provides both digital and face-to-face trainings. These trainings can be both within an employee’s field of expertise, but also outside it. For example, one could receive training about content even though they’d normally work in analytics. Every employee, both new and established, can choose to be part of these trainings. That is, of course, if they’re able to manage their time well.” she chuckled. And so did we. We bonded; time really is a luxury for both students and employees.

Speaking about shared experiences, it isn’t just employees that can benefit from all that GroupM has to offer. Us students can also dip our toes into the company’s pool of success. GroupM often hosts inhouse days, allowing sneak-peeks into what potential colleagues do on a day-to-day basis. On the 14th of February, they’ll be hosting an inhouse day exclusively for MAA members (yes, you heard that right: exclusively!). This inhouse day will kickoff with an introduction about WPP’s and GroupM’s scope, followed by a series of presentations from WPP’s partners and Kantar Media (a research organization within the WPP building). A Q&A session will then ensue, where all curiosities about (working for) GroupM can be satisfied. Eventually, the lucky attendees will put their thinkingcaps on and work to solve and present a business case project, which will yield a final winner. The evening will then culminate with well-deserved networking drinks.

So far, we’ve discussed GroupM’s work persona, but there’s more to the company than meets the eye. Their fun side is just as salient. It’s not all about hard work and continual upskilling at GroupM. Quite the contrary, actually. The saying “work hard, play hard” is just as pertinent as ever in this case. The perks of being a part of this corporation are plenty; from weekly rooftop boxing sessions to Friday drinks, the company understands the importance of fostering a sense of unity amongst its employees. The parent company, WPP, upholds the same values. WIRED is an organization powered by WPP that focuses on creating networking events and activities for young professionals across all of WPP’s agencies and Kantar Media. Such events include winter parties, intercompany galas, drinks, and training sessions. Opportunities for networking – in a lighthearted and informal way – are endless within GroupM and WPP. 

Convinced? Mesmerized? In awe? So are we! If you’re interested in GroupM, join their in-house day on the 14th of February! To be part of their creative family or get to know more about them, check out their current available positions on Jobvite here, or visit their website!

By Derya Yildirim & Hannah Radtke

Let’s give you some more insights about our in-house days!

The past year we’ve held several in-house days at different companies. Some of our partners provide an in-house day annually for our members, and sometimes we find interesting new companies that see the benefits of organizing an in-house day. But what is an in-house day exactly? What do you do or learn at an in-house day? And more importantly, what is in it for you?

An in-house day starts ofcourse with an announcement on our social media pages, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. But you can also find our in-house days on the event page of our website. When a new in-house day is announced, the applications come in rapidly. The company who’s organizing the in-house day receives the resumes of the interested students, to see which students fits the most with their industry and positions they provide. Did you by the way know, that on our bigger events you can let your resume checked by professional recruiters?

When you are picked for your beloved in-house day you will get an invitation for the day that might be of big importance for your future career. An in-house day starts with a warm welcome of the hosting company. Well experienced professionals will tell you about the history, the purpose, the activities and the goals of the company. They are really good in making students enthusiastic about their company, even when you didn’t knew much about the company in the first place. Out of experience I can tell you, I went to an in-house day of a sales company, which isn’t really my cup of tea. I went there by the way because of the committee that I work for, but even in the end I was enthusiastic about sales. So, in-house days help you figure out what companies might of interest for you, even if you in the beginning didn’t think they would.

After the introduction and the story about the company and its culture most often they provide a case or an exercise that you have to solve within a team. It helps that you work in a team, just like you would do in working life, and this way you get to know other MAA members that you will probably see on other events as well. Hereafter, you have to present your solution, and at all the in-house days I went to, the winners always got a nice price. Of course that is not what you are doing it for, but it is a nice bonus. The real reason why you want to present the best case solution is to impress the hosts. See it as a small job interview, where you want to be the best to get the job. You might even get a job or internship offer at the end of the day.

Because to be honest, that is exactly what an in-house day is for. You as a student might be interested in the company. You want to know more about how it is to be working for the particular company. You may also want to broaden your network in the professional field, or you went there with a mission to get a job or internship offer. And that is exactly the reason why these companies want to work with the MAA. To recruit ambitious, intelligent and motivated students, just like you, for their open applications. So a big win-win situation.

Got excited for the next in-house day? Have a look at our event page to see which in-house day is interesting for you!

By Jasper Wolff