Code Worldwide

We found him - our very own Creative Pioneer!

Matt McNeany

Matt McNeany

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Regular readers will know that we were invited to be part of the IPA’s Creative Pioneers Challenge – a crucial initiative to bring diverse new talent into the advertising industry. Given Code’s belief in the emergence of a whole new discipline called ‘Marketing Technology’, new talent is a subject close to our hearts. So we were beyond chuffed to reach the most exciting part of Creative Pioneers journey – meeting the candidates and choosing who to offer a place to. We tasked Account Executive extraordinaire, Juliane Bentivoglio, with the challenge of choosing a bright young thing to work with us – so no pressure! This is her story...


When I was told I was going “speed dating” I couldn’t help laughing. That was how my boss described the selection process for the IPA’s Creative Pioneers Challenge.

As one of Code’s Account Executives, it was down to me and a colleague, Kate, to run the rule over literally hundreds of candidates that the IPA had brilliantly assembled. So much choice Kate and I got there quite early and we didn’t really know what to expect. In a few minutes, the room was flooded with people from the most exciting companies in the country. Then the candidates started to arrive. We had six minutes to talk to each one. Then a bell would ring announcing that the time was over. At the beginning we thought it was too little time, but we realized just how much you can absorb about a person in such a quick chat.

We could see how much effort they were putting in leaving a memorable impression

Lots of the candidates were really impressive, they had brought along their iPads or laptops to show their portfolios and some of their CVs were extremely innovative, very creatively designed. For me, it was all completely new and a very interesting experience. We came back to the office with lots of CVs and we kind of had our favourites already, based on a few criteria that we had agreed beforehand. As we separated the CVs into two piles – “favourites” and “rejected” – we tried to work out who were “creative + tech savvy” and who would most enjoy working at Code. So hard to say no As if rejecting a few CVs wasn’t hard enough, once we invited our favourites to an interview (hoping that maybe only two or three would be interested), pretty much all of them got back to us extremely excited about the opportunity. We interviewed two candidates per day last week. It was an absolutely amazing experience, very rewarding and at the same time, really, really hard.

The candidates were all just so good - our industry is definitely in safe hands!

They were good communicators, had clever ideas, a good understanding of what Code does and what their role would be, and some of them had a lot of work experience already, despite their young age.

Their keenness to learn and their willingness to be challenged was a real inspiration

These two things made our choice really hard, because we believe that anyone who has the right attitude, is willing to learn and doesn’t fear a big challenge, can be trained in all the other skills. And at the end of the day, an internship is all about learning anyway. Sharing the great news Once the interviews were over, we reviewed CVs again, poured over their responses to the “Day in a life of a Junior Account Executive” tests we set, and discussed gut feel on each one. Finally we had just three candidates that I personally would’ve been very happy to hire. We had to choose one though future superstar Michael Couch: awesome

Sharing the good news with our chosen one, Michael Couch, was a great feeling. Not just because he was thrilled, but also because we’re so excited to have an injection of new talent.We’re really looking forward for him starting!

That joy was tempered by having to pass on the bad news to the final two. It was horrible! But we gave really honest and positive feedback, hopefully motivating and encouraging them to keep looking and keep developing their skills. I sincerely hope that they get a good internship in one of the other cool agencies who were in the IPA that day and that these lucky agencies do a good job in developing their skills and offering good career opportunities. A brilliant experience Personally, I can say that it's been a brilliant thing to be involved in.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet so many bright minds and I have learned so much from this amazing experience.

We are welcoming our new intern next week and we hope he will enjoy working with us, that he brings all that energy to the team and that working at Code is the first step in a bright and successful career.

A brilliant experience for us all. Thank you!

Thanks to the IPA and all their partners in the Creative Pioneers Challenge for helping to bring new talent into our industry, and particularly to all the candidates who made making a decision so hard!