Established in 1995, OmnicomUniversity (OU) is the holding company’s long-standing management development program with more than 5,000 global alumni. Considered one of the pre-eminent professional development programs within the industry, the program’s teaching format is based on the HBS case study method and is led by some of the most renowned professors from Harvard Business School and the IESE Business School in Spain. It is considered the “cultural glue” of the Omnicom network.

Karen van Bergen serves as the third Dean in the program’s history, succeeding Janet Riccio and founder Tom Watson.

“Developing current and future leaders is critical to our mission of solving our clients’ most pressing business challenges through innovation and creativity.”

Karen van Bergen, EVP and Dean of Omnicom University

OmnicomUniversity Courses

OU course content focuses on individual leadership – balancing responsibilities as a client counselor, manager and leader. Each year, fresh original content is developed which focuses on today’s challenges faced by leaders throughout Omnicom’s network of companies with the intent on keeping us fit for today’s and the future’s business world. There are several different programs offered at OU.

The Senior Management Program (SMP)

A two-year commitment which includes action learning and peer problem-solving dialogues. Students attend a six-day Undergraduate Program, followed by a four-day Graduate Program one year later. Students identify and implement a Personal Strategic Change Initiative between the two programs that will have significant impact within their organization.  A four-day Postgraduate Program is offered to SMP graduates to reinforce the concept of continuous learning. Also based on real-time business issues, the program is designed to re-inspire and refresh the enthusiasm found in the original SMP experience.

The Advanced Management Program (AMP)

An introduction for future leaders and “rising stars” to the core principles of managing a professional service firm and the Service Profit Chain, the core management framework we use at SMP.

The Agency Leadership Program (ALP)

A hands-on course specifically tailored to relatively new leaders running an office, a large account or team. Students, working in teams of six through a computer simulation, are challenged with situations and events that face an agency leader running an office over a three-year time frame.   

“An honor and a privilege. Just a fantastic reminder of what is important, valued and needed.” 

Elizabeth Cornish, Chief of Staff, DDB Worldwide

“The opportunity to learn substantive and relevant content, taught with passion… the most inspiring and supportive experience of my career.”

Sharon Callahan, CEO, CDM and Chief Client Officer, Omnicom Healthcare Group