First Bite placement teams all find permanent roles

First Bite Group Shot

Acting on a commitment to expanding its pool of talent, adam&eveDDB’s inaugural First Bite placement scheme has given permanent jobs to three participants from its first intake of five.

Sam Oldham and Julia Mathew joined First Bite after graduating from a Falmouth College advertising course, and are now Junior Creatives at adam&eveDDB.

The other three participants have also found employment. Leila Nithila-George and Obinna Udekwereze met at Brixton Finishing School and have taken on roles at Amplify; and Gabrielle Etchells, who came down from Scotland to join First Bite, has now returned to Edinburgh and a job at Leith.

Adam&eveDDB has also given a permanent strategy role to Lucy Wilson from the scheme. 

Wilson, who signed up for First Bite strategy in October, joins the agency as Junior Planner, having been offered the position towards the end of her placement.

First Bite

The First Bite programme offers three or six month creative and strategic placements, which aim to help anyone with talent get their first bite at the advertising industry. 

Applicants don’t have to have gone to ad school, know the right people, have a portfolio, or be part of a team; they simply need to answer a creative question – and to make the process as unbiased as possible, their responses are judged anonymously.

Rick Brim, Chief Creative Officer at adam&eveDDB, said: “For too long, placements have been about who you know and whether you can afford the opportunity. 

“First Bite is about changing all that, and the fantastic success of our first intake shows that by levelling the playing field we have raised the bar in terms of the talent we have attracted.”

Sam and Julia, Junior Creatives at adam&eveDDB, said: “We saw First Bite advertised on LinkedIn and thought, why not, let’s just go for it! 

“We were over the moon that we were accepted onto the scheme, joining adam&eveDDB has been more than we ever could have imagined, everyone has been so helpful and lovely, encouraging us to keep pushing and challenging ourselves. 

“The culture has been a joy to be a part of and we’re so happy we’re able to continue our journey here!”

Lucy Wilson, Junior Planner at adam&eveDDB, added: “I’d never planned to move to London but when I heard about First Bite I figured it sounded too good not to apply for – I still can’t believe I was offered a place on the scheme or a full-time role! 

“Everyone was so welcoming and willing to take the time to teach me the ropes, so I’m thrilled to have the chance to keep working alongside them.”

Adam&eveDDB’s First Bite scheme pays London Living Wage plus creative equity allowance to reduce the barriers for underserved talent gaining access to the industry. 

First Bite also focuses on overcoming social economic barriers by sponsoring the talent with mentors who work with them throughout the scheme, as well as ensuring visibility of other departments.

According to Brixton Finishing School research, 42% of internships are still unpaid. 

This reinforces the social mobility gap and accounts for why 82% of incoming talent is put off from applying to roles within the creative industry due to financial barriers.

In their first week in the agency, creative First Biters who didn’t go to ad school get a crash course on creativity and meet the head of each department, before working on live briefs. 

All the participants are led and mentored by adam&eveDDB Creatives Chloe Pope, Jess Morris, Caio Turbiani and Raminder Samra, who make sure that everyone is encouraged to show their ideas and ask questions. 

First Bite strategy trainees, led and mentored by Planning Directors, Stuart Williams and Roisin Mulroney, are assigned to a Planning Director, where they have the opportunity to work with them on live client work. 

They are given training on the fundamentals of planning, delivered by members of the department.

The next round of First Bite will be opening from the summer in 2022.