T3 Summer Programs: Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders

by Jill Prentice

As Summer Fridays come to a close, the cold treats are emptied from the freezer and we prepare for fall, we’re looking back on a packed summer at T3. As part of our efforts to knowledge share in our community, shape future industry talent and embrace the entrepreneurial spirit, T3 proudly participated in several outreach programs over the last four months. Below, we share more about our experiences opening our doors to host 32 new faces.


Every summer, we invite students to apply for our T3 Summer Internship program. This year, 19 candidates were selected from over 2,000 applicants for positions spanning across nine departments. One of the students joining us this summer was a part of the 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Intern Program. MAIP’s mission is to provide and showcase the advertising industry with the best talent through world-class development opportunities.  

We were thrilled to have not only our largest but also our most diverse intern class in T3 history this summer! We narrowed in on 19 unique people who worked together seamlessly for 10 weeks.

In their last three weeks of the program, the interns were challenged with a fast-paced project to help develop agency playbooks and a prototype for exciting advancements in online ordering. More than any other intern class, this group hit the ground running, and the gap between their skill set and what we look for in full-time employees was the smallest it’s ever been. Our interns brought unmatched curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit to the agency, and they inspired T3ers to up our game!


T3 also hosted five students from the E4 Youth Shadow the Pros Summer Fellowship. This 8-week summer program allows students pursuing creative careers to collaborate on creative projects with industry professionals and real clients while building a strong resume in the process. At T3, the students strategized brand campaigns, pitched their ideas to real clients and were able to work alongside experts in the building.

Bonnie Rohan, Associate Creative Director, shared her insight from working directly with the students. “Working with the E4 kids was incredibly fun and rewarding. We gave them real client work—not knowing what to expect—and were incredibly blown away by their creativity and teamwork. The most rewarding part of the E4 Youth Program was seeing our industry through the eyes of aspiring creatives. They came in with a passion for illustration or video or photography and left with a potential career path.”


At the end of July, we welcomed three talented entrepreneurs from the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The group included Hape Marite from Lesotho, Amélia Francine Bazi from Burkina Faso and Roland Seh Washington from Liberia.

“It was amazing getting to meet with the Mandela Washington Fellows. Any time you can bring unique perspectives together, great things can happen,” observed Senior Copywriter Traci Clayton. “I personally was inspired by their entrepreneurial spirit, and they were grateful for some impartial creative feedback. We exchanged emails and have even kept in contact since their visit! Pretty cool to have that collaboration take place across opposite sides of the globe.”

The Mandela Washington Fellows is a six-week professional program that provides outstanding leaders from 49 Sub-Saharan African countries the opportunity to refine their skills at academic institutions in the U.S., as well as at a networking summit in Washington D.C. at the end of the program. Additionally, 100 outstanding participants have the opportunity to stay in the U.S. for a professional development portion of the fellowship.


T3 also paired up with the Texas State Communication Design program to pilot a weeklong shadow program we’ve named DRAFT3. Instead of having students come in to shadow for a single day, three students spent all week drafting behind creative professionals on the front lines with Fortune 500 clients in meetings, reviews, brainstorms and all the inside workings of an agency. At the end of the week, the students had a debriefing session with their creative team to rundown all of their favorite aspects of the shadowing; what they would have done differently, what they liked, loved, and what wasn’t necessarily the most useful. It was another step forward in knowing all the ins and outs of agency life.

Executive Creative Director, Chris Wooster, got to work directly with the students. “We love the quality of students coming out of Texas State’s design program. DRAFT3 was built to help their best students see how the things they’re learning about are actually applied day-to-day; over not just one day, but five.”

“T3 is also taking this on to expand opportunity and experience for students in Texas State’s ‘majority/minority’ program. It’s something productive we can do at our agency level to help recalibrate inclusion in the industry. And quite frankly, it gives us a ‘first look’ at some amazing candidates before other agencies.”

Don’t let T3’s Summer Fridays fool you into thinking we slow down during the year’s hottest season. We’ve cherished the time we spent mentoring students, interns and entrepreneurs with unique backgrounds and diverse points of view, and we may have learned even more than they did this summer.


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