PRSSA, Finn Partners launch mentorship program for students of color

The two organizations are trying to reach students at HBCUs and HSIs.

Helen Shelton, senior partner at Finn Partners.
Helen Shelton, senior partner at Finn Partners.

NEW YORK: The Public Relations Student Society of America has teamed up with Finn Partners to launch a mentorship program for the PRSSA’s members of color. 

The program will be dedicated to students from historically Black colleges and universities as well as Hispanic-serving institutions from around the country. 

The two-day program, entitled Partners for Diversity: The Internship Preview, is intended to address the lack of diversity in the PR industry.

“Our goal for this program in partnership with PRSSA is two-fold,” said Helen Shelton, senior  partner at Finn Partners, via email. “One, to inform students of the different types of opportunities in PR and provide some guidance on how to take the first steps as they launch their careers. And two, to build a pipeline of a diverse group of students that will hopefully apply for upcoming internships and entry-level positions at Finn Partners, where they can grow their careers.” 

The program is open to college juniors and seniors who are set to graduate by the spring semester of 2022. Employees at Finn Partners will pick 50 students for the initiative. 

Those selected to join the program will be paired with an agency mentor, participate in a client meeting and take part in an panel discussion with young professionals of color from the firm and its clients about their experiences in the industry. Participants will also be given the opportunity to apply for future internships. 

The agency also expects the program, part of the wider initiative Actions Speak Louder, to identify candidates for its Partner-in-Training initiative, an entry-level program for college graduates, Shelton said.

PRSSA also launched a program for its diverse members in 2019, led by VP of diversity and inclusion Adrienne Bolden. 

“As we get started, it is our intention to offer this opportunity to students from our HBCU and HSI chapters initially,” said Jeneen Garcia, senior vice president of programs PRSA. “If successful, there’s no reason why we could not expand this opportunity to diverse students from other colleges and universities.” 

The program will start on March 10. Finn Partners will also offer participants a resume and application workshop the following week.

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