Core leads on ICAD’s Upstarts

Marketing communications group Core is the lead partner with the Institute of Creative Advertising and Design (ICAD) Upstarts. Core will provide several mentors as well as space and feedback, along with potential recruitment at the end of process. Upstarts is a free-to-participate training and mentorship programme which aims to develop the skills of emerging creatives and educate them about how advertising and design works.

It provides a pathway to the creative sector for marginalised and underrepresented communities and caters for advertising creatives – art directors and copywriters specifically – and designers, preparing them for careers in the business. Now in its 18th year, Upstarts is the most  recognised programme of its kind in Ireland, delivering benefits to recruits, mentors, and host agencies and studio.


In recent years, three in four participants felt the programme had a significant impact on their career, while as many as 98 per cent would recommend others sign up to the programme. Likewise, 94 per cent of hosts say they would look to the programme as a primary hiring ground. Nadia Marlène Karim, associate creative director at Core and an ICAD management board member, will lead the initiative for Core and participate as a mentor.

The deadline for applications to this year’s programme is Tuesday, July 16.

To apply, entrants can respond to an open brief at

Pictured is Nadia Marlène Karim, Core and Neil Rooney, CEO, ICAD

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