WSW eyes future, sponsors student stints at two internationaloffices

LOS ANGELES: Weber Shandwick Worldwide is lending support and expertise to a program designed to introduce students to the challenges of international PR.

LOS ANGELES: Weber Shandwick Worldwide is lending support and expertise to a program designed to introduce students to the challenges of international PR.

The Weber Shandwick/USA International PR Fellows Program will sponsor eight graduate PR students to work in WSW's UK and Ireland offices for six weeks.

The firm has committed to funding the first year of the program, possibly the start of an ongoing involvement. Participating students are enrolled in the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communications.

A grant from WSW will fund each student's participation.

According to Joe Kessler, president of WSW's global technology group and co-developer of the program, the investment is strategic. "The most important aspect for us is to drive some real-life training for young professionals,

Kessler said.

"Frankly, over the last few years, we have seen a tremendous dearth of young talent that has the kind of experience that we would like, particularly coming out of graduate school,

he continued.

Kessler said that international experience is particularly critical, as clients increasingly seek global input.

Consultant Jerry Swerling directs USC's PR programs and worked with Kessler to develop the fellowship. "Students will have first-hand experience in how PR work is done in one of the most sophisticated markets in the world,

he said.

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