Former advertising executive and ex-chief creative officer for Dentsu Asia-Pacific, Merlee Jayme, has launched The Misfits Camp—a training camp for neurodiverse and physically disabled adults seeking careers in the creative industry. The Misfits Camp will enable such individuals by providing training, resources, and support to develop creative skills and find employment in the creative industry.
Research has shown that people with neurodiverse conditions often have strengths or even a competitive advantage in areas such as visual thinking, attention to detail and pattern recognition, which can be valuable assets in the creative industry. However, many often find it challenging to break through the industry's neurotypical career pathways and standards and find a role that fits their unique skill sets.
The program is open to adults aged 21 and above, gifted with creative skills in writing, illustration, animation, digital arts, or film editing. It is accepting individuals with diverse abilities, which include but are not limited to ASD, ADHD, and deafness. Candidates will begin with a 15-day creative assessment to garner their skillsets, followed by a 6-month training program with customised schedules and courses built for each individual’s portfolio. Training will be offered both on-site, as well as virtually for any interested overseas participants.
During the 15-day assessment period, members of the program will also receive access to job interview training and portfolio-building exercises. The Misfits Camp will continue to monitor progress and offer support on a monthly basis in conjunction with HR departments once a candidate has been hired.
In addition to Jayme, the camp is also supported by several team members, including J.R. Igancio— who previously led creative tech teams at places including AdSpark, Dentsu Jayme Syfu, BBDO/Proximity (Singapore), and OgilvyOne. He joins as a digital mentor. Junette Laxamana Lacap joins as an adviser—an experienced marketing professional with a strong background in product management and advertising. She is also a devoted mother of two boys on the autism spectrum. Also joining as an adviser: Rochele Masangkay, an experienced finance operations professional, personal assistant, and business support admin with over two decades of experience, including several years working in Dubai, and at agencies including DM9 Jayme Syfu and Dentsu Philippines.
The camp has been welcomed by parents and industry professionals alike and is the first of its kind in the region.