Direct Marketing Educational Foundation expands talent placement program

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The nonprofit Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) has broadened its Next Generation Leaders program to two additional markets. Now in its third year, the program is placing associates in Dallas and Los Angeles, while continuing to do so in New York.

The DMEF, which was created by the Direct Marketing Association, hopes the program's expanded scope will increase its profile and ability to attract top young industry talent, said Terri Bartlett, president of the DMEF.

 “We were looking for ways to capture the attention and interest, and ultimately the placement, of some of the top students from top-tier schools across the country,” she said.

New York- and Dallas-based companies are hosting three associates each, while Los Angeles sponsors are hosting two. To become associates in the program, students apply for placement in their final year of undergraduate studies. After rounds of interviews with both the DMEF and a corporate sponsor, qualifying candidates are placed at the participating companies for one year.

Including eight current associates, the program has placed 15 recent graduates out of 500 applicants with sponsor companies for the one-year period, after which the firm has the option of hiring the associate full-time. Brieley & Partners, DirecTV, Goodman & Company, Guthy-Renker, Hawkeye, KnowledgeBase Marketing, Kraft, and Time Inc. are participating in the program this year.

Bartlett hopes the program will expand to other cities next year, including Chicago, Boston and Washington.

“It has really started to snowball,” said Bartlett. “These individuals have relationships with people still in school and their professors know about the program, so the field is really gaining visibility based on this program.”

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