The Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) announced the launch of CMA NXT, a program that will help Canadian university and college students forge a meaningful career path in marketing and set them up for success.
"Over time, CMA NXT will have a dramatic effect on the quality of marketing in Canada by helping students approaching graduation overcome challenges they face in the earliest stages of their career," said John Wiltshire, president and CEO of the CMA. "CMA NXT demonstrates Canada's leading role in the global marketing community and will attract the best talent to the right jobs and we look forward to seeing the value it will bring to so many students."
Only 34 per cent of employers and 44 per cent of youth believe that young people are prepared for work, according to consulting firm McKinsey & Co. Eighty-five per cent of all jobs are filled via networking according to Adler Group, yet many young people feel they are ill-equipped to develop professional relationships. CMA NXT will help students nearing graduation to hone their skills and improve their readiness through a series of online modules and in-person interactions with CEOs, Chartered Marketers (CMs) and other marketing thought-leaders.
"RBC is delighted to be the founding lead sponsor of CMA NXT because it will help so many young people grow their professional networks, gain critical skills that are often not taught, and showcase their abilities to prospective employers," said Alan Depencier, chief marketing officer, personal and commercial banking and insurance at RBC. "The benefits and outcomes of participating in CMA NXT align with our RBC Future Launch commitment – preparing the youth of today for the jobs of tomorrow."
Through CMA NXT, students will learn about the range of marketing roles within an organization, how to develop their professional profile and prepare effectively for job interviews. They will gain insights into emerging technologies and professional trends, and how these could affect the future of marketing. In addition, they will have the opportunity to develop communications and other soft skills, which will greatly improve their chances of being hired and achieving success in their jobs.
The program will offer students the opportunity to complete optional assignments and projects developed by CMA member companies. Their work will be shared with all CMA member companies to demonstrate each student's skills and knowledge and serve as a talent pool that companies can access during their hiring processes. Students will be able to use their completed assignments as a portfolio of work with prospective employers.
"To our knowledge, there is no comparable program anywhere in the world," WiItshire noted.
As founding sponsor, RBC is providing a significant investment to the program over four years. As a result of this generosity, the program will be available to students at no charge.