Talent Champion – Derrick Echoles

Talent Champion Spotlight

2023 Talent Champion - Derrick Echoles

Derrick Echoles
Head of Future Talent

Derrick Echoles is the Head of Future Talent for GroupM US, the world’s leading media investment company. In his role, he oversees the early talent recruitment team for the internship program and entry-level roles. Derrick is a Mississippi native and earned both his undergraduate degree in Social Work and graduate degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Mississippi, respectively. Additionally, he’s completed post-graduate certificates in DEI in the Workplace, HR Analytics, HR Management, and a most recent alum of the McKinsey & Company’s Black Management Accelerator Program, which he was sponsored by GroupM. Derrick’s professional background includes over a decade of experience in various higher education leadership roles and talent acquisition. Derrick resides in Houston, TX. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc, HR Houston, and the Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals.

What prompted you to get involved with the AEF?

AEF’s mission resonated with me the most and what better way to contribute to the organization’s mission than connecting AEF-serving students with early talent opportunities at GroupM. Additionally, I had a fun and rewarding experience serving as a MADE Program Mentor.

Why are you passionate about the future of the industry?

In simplest terms, I’m able to make meaningful contributions to the diversification of the future of the industry, expand brand awareness in non-traditional locations, and lead with passion most importantly. I love the role my future talent team and I have as we embrace emerging media enthusiasts by helping them jumpstart their careers in media at GroupM which enables them to contribute to the industry both internally and externally which can lead to continuous impact.

What is the best career advice you've ever received?

Acknowledge adversity as a learning opportunity that can reignite your passion.

Why do you feel it is so important to inspire the next generation of diverse talent?

As someone who considers people as the pulse of any organization, I wholeheartedly believe as people team leaders, the prioritization of diversifying the media industry has to be consistent and ongoing as our workforce is becoming more diverse and the media landscape is everchanging and evolving. What better way to inspire the next generation of diverse talent than to equip them with a runway that allows the opportunity for creativity, diverse thought, impactful outcomes, continuous growth opportunities, and a winning spirit to contribute to both organizational and/or client needs?!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I absolutely love connecting diverse and emerging media enthusiasts with early talent opportunities at GroupM. Hearing their testimonials as they embark upon their new role and witnessing both their personal and professional growth is an invaluable feeling. Most importantly, working for an organization such as GroupM where we consistently invest resources and support for our early talent programs to embrace non-traditional talent in media by affording them the rewarding opportunity to grow their careers with us is the ‘icing’ on the cake.

What advice would you give to students as they consider entering the industry?

Take the necessary time to learn about your new role and organization. Embrace learning and development opportunities. Network. Be inquisitive. Set goals and hold yourself accountable. Be open to and receptive to feedback. Learn what you’re passionate about and understand your interest may change and evolve throughout your career journey.

2023 Talent Champions

"Our future marketing and advertising leaders are not just looking for a job, they are looking for a meaningful career that will make a positive impact on society."
— Gord McLean, President and CEO at ANA Educational Foundation