Eric Schoenfeld, CEO & Co-Founder

Every year around late April through the end of May, we get our share of resumes for summer internships and/or first jobs. Everyone writes the same type of thing:

  • I go to this school…
  • I major(ed) in…
  • I am a great candidate because…
  • Your agency looks amazing…

I tend to look at all of these candidates the same way. They know nothing. They need to be trained. It will be at least six months before they truly understand what we do, how we do it, and are contributing value internally and externally.

So I’ve posed the following question a number of times, which has caused much debate at Mint:
Do you really need to go to college to do what we do?
I say “No.”

Don’t get me wrong, I think everyone should go to college. I’m going to advise my own kids to go. Going to college teaches you about how to be on your own, expands your knowledge base, allows you to hone in on what you are good at and what you want to do, etc.

My argument is, if you take the same candidate — smart, curious, open, and respectful — and put them through four years of college majoring in marketing (or copywriting or art) vs. giving them a job for four years right out of high school, the one who graduates with a degree has a relatively low value to an agency initially, and, unless he or she knows someone, they will have a difficult time getting an agency job.

But the one who has spent four years working at an agency, learning from professionals with deep industry experience, will have a wealth of knowledge and experience that could get him or her a job at pretty much any agency in the world.

What do you think about this?
How do we change this to get the best of both worlds? (Mint University?!)

Agree or disagree, I would love to hear your opinion: