An introduction to the WPP Health Fellowship | DebutLive

The WPP Health Fellowship is a brand new scheme by WPP Group. DebutLive viewers were treated to some exclusive insights on how to apply.
Brenda Wong
Brenda Wong
wpp health

Team Debut were delighted to welcome WPP to their very own DebutLive stream. In case you missed it, Gloria Gibbons (Global Practice Leader at Ogilvy Health & Wellness) and Daniel Baldwin (Account Director at Ogilvy CommonHealth) introduced the WPP Health Fellowship. The WPP Health Fellowship is a graduate program for students studying science subjects. DebutLive viewers were treated to some exclusive insights on how to apply and the chance to win a work shadowing experience this summer.

WPP Health Fellowship

During the DebutLive stream, Gloria and Daniel also launched yet another exciting opportunity. WPP has opened up an opportunity for two Debut users to win a two-week work shadowing experience with a WPP healthcare agency. More on how to apply for this at the end of the post. ?

If you missed out on this DebutLive, don’t fret. You can watch the recap on the DebutLive tab on the Debut app under ‘Past’. Gloria and Dan didn’t have the time to answer all of the questions during the session. You guys asked us so many! So, we caught up with them this morning to answer the rest. Read on for the answers to your questions ?

WPP Health Fellowship

1. “Dear WPP, what makes an applicant stand out?”

People who are engaging, curious, committed, knowledgeable, big picture and small detail thinkers, able to ‘sell’ ideas and thoughts convincingly.

2. “I’m currently a biomedical science student at uni and was wondering if you offer summer placements. If you do, what would they involve?”

Not typically, but please consider applying for the work shadowing programme that is exclusively available for DebutLive participants. There are two places, each of two weeks, available this summer. See details at the bottom of this post.

3. “Do you need to be in the last year of your degree?”

No. For applicants for the 2018 WPP Health Fellowship Programme you need to be graduating in 2018 or earlier. For the work shadowing programme you can be at any stage.

4. “What are the degree grade requirements?”

For both opportunities, you need to be either predicted or have achieved 2:1 or better.

5. “Who are the typical clients of the agencies?”

We work with a wide variety of clients. They include:

  • large and small pharmaceutical companies,
  • technology companies specialising in all applications for health and well-being,
  • food and drink companies specialising in health and functional foods,
  • government bodies concerned with health education,
  • organisations offering health and wellness experiences,
  • charities and NGOs involved in this area

and many many others!

6. “Is working in an agency environment very stressful? How do you both handle stress at work?”

It can be exhilarating with variety, pace, deadlines and changing priorities. It’s a team environment with people always able to help. Our office environments are stunning and designed to optimise working conditions. We also have occupational well-being support too.

7. “How many positions are potentially going to be available?”

There will be nine places available on the WPP Health Fellowship for start in Summer 2018. For the work shadowing programme, there are two places available.

8. “Dear WPP do you work alongside with the NHS in order to promote health?”

We work with many public sector / NGOs to help support health promotion.

9. “Can you tell us more about career development in the field? Where would a candidate be 5 years after completing the fellowship?”

After completing the WPP Health Fellowship you will either stay with your “home agency” or leave the programme. You will then develop your career in a specialist healthcare agency and be given support to progress through that business.

Where you will be in five years will be down to you and your individual skills, desire and application.

10. “Is a big part of health comms debunking health myths?”

If research indicates that a ‘myth’ is getting in the way of successful patient outcomes we might work on a campaign to help educate interested parties in those aspects. There would be lots of component pieces to a typical campaign in this area, which makes the role so interesting.

11. “Hi WPP! How much do your clients in the health sector typically spend on campaigns like this?”

It could vary enormously!

12. “Will we be able to get professional qualifications during the health fellowship?”

No, not during the WPP Health Fellowship. But you can always work towards professional qualifications in marketing and communications.

13. “How much will video editing be judged in my application?”

We are interested in your idea, how well you researched it and how you communicated that idea. Editing skills are not so high on our list of priorities! We don’t want you to invest in the video itself – a selfie video will be great as long as you consider the basics.

14. “I am a Biological Sciences graduate but currently work in finance. Do you consider any particular career backgrounds advantageous for the programme?”

Work experience is often helpful but not essential. Working with clients, whether in a client service or patient focused environment, is also usually helpful.

15. “Where do you think a psychology student will fit in within the firm? Which skills do you believe are key for an individual to thrive in this firm?”

A psychology student would have many interesting skills to add to our talent mix and many in our agencies have this degree.

16. “Over the two years, how many departments/businesses can I experience?”

You would experience three different healthcare agencies in two years.

17. “What do you think is the biggest challenge working in healthcare communications?”

Dan Baldwin from the DebutLive stream wanted to answer this question personally:

“I think as a young professional starting off there were a few things which struck me as quite challenging when I got my first job. Firstly the expertise of the team was quite intimidating. Adding to that, there was also pace / quality of the work and thus the responsibility I was given almost immediately. I loved it and was given a great bit of advice when I first started, which was “have a go, if it is 50% right, that’s 50% of the work taken from someone else”.

Secondly for an industry that largely goes under the radar, the competitiveness between agencies! Clients are always looking for innovation and new ways to communicate their messages, things become stale quickly.

Finally, acronyms! I’m sure it is the same in other industries, but it takes a while to get used to.”

18. “What is a typical day like and what are some of your clients?”

The work is incredibly varied. It can involve designing and creating materials for health professionals and patient groups, to attending medical symposium in far-flung places.

Also, you’ll be helping to identify motivating insights from research. This will help frame creative campaigns that might be executed in traditional or digital channels. Besides that, you might be involved in explaining the intricacies of new drugs to various stakeholders. These can be journalists, patient groups, public sector bodies, and ministers. Great comms around health education campaigns and issues are so important.

19. “Will only recent graduates be considered?” 

Yes, please do consider applying for the WPP Health Fellowship.

20. “Is this offer intended to U.K. students or you are considering students from abroad too?”

If you have the right to work in the UK we would love you to consider applying to the WPP Health Fellowship. Unfortunately, we are not supporting Tier 2 Visa sponsorship at this time.

21. “What’s the company culture like at the WPP agencies? Do they vary a lot? This is something I care deeply about.”

Cultures do vary by agency. However, many are similar in that they are typically populated by intelligent, imaginative, curious and committed individuals who have a passion for their subject and for achieving great results for clients.

For the WPP Health Fellowship, applications open in August 2017 for start in Summer 2018.
The process will be a staging process with successful applicants progressing further through: application form, followed by video submission, followed by face-to-face interviews.

Do check back on the Debut app in August for when applications for the WPP Health Fellowship open.

To apply for the two-week work shadowing experience at a WPP Health agency, please submit a 30 second video of yourself answering this question:

“With the changing world we live in, what healthcare service or product do you think would not be available in the future and why?”

Please submit video to: [email protected].
Submission deadline: 15th June 2017
If you’re successful, you will be contacted by a member of the team to discuss the details.


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