Leo Burnett welcomes four summer interns and one new hire, all alumni of Leo’s pilot program with Chicago State University, which took place in the Spring.

The creative bootcamp, a ten-week program at CSU, was designed to open pathways for diverse students who aren’t always given the opportunity for hands-on experience within the advertising industry. CSU is Illinois’ sole four-year Predominantly Black Institution for higher education.

To achieve that goal, Leo Burnett partnered with The Marcus Graham Project, a portfolio school that creates opportunities for students of color.

“Students not only applied skills from the classroom on a project much like the challenges they will encounter in their professional work, but also created a final project that was stronger because they drew on their diverse lived experiences,” explains Mary Daniels, Associate Provost for Academic Innovation and Strategic Initiatives. “This project is already resulting in meaningful progress in expanding equity in the pathway from higher education to the workforce.”

The Bootcamp is built on a growing partnership between Leo Burnett and CSU. Per CSU graduate, Jameelah Hargrove, “This project is only just the beginning.”

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