Golin's Inaugural Fellowship Program for Future Black Leaders Results in Impactful Client Creative From Its First Graduation Class

October 18th, 2023

Agency’s PRep School paid career development opportunity for students from HBCUs and BGLOs changes the future face of PR and opens applications process for 2024. 

CHICAGO (October 18th, 2023) – Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) agency Golin reported today the graduation of its first class of PRep School fellows and announced the open application process for the 2024 program. PRep School is the agency’s paid summer career development training program for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and from Black Greek Letter Sororities and Fraternities (BGLOs) of the Divine Nine. PRepSchool’s inaugural eight-week pilot program took place in the U.S. over the summer for 14 rising seniors and concluded in August with social impact presentations shared with some of Golin’s top global clients by the graduating fellows.

“At Golin, we create change that matters, and that applies to the work we do for our clients and ourselves, but it also applies to our responsibility to prepare the future generation of talent in our industry,” said Natasha O’Dell Archer, EVP and global head of DEI, Golin. “No other program in our industry focuses on HBCUs and BGLOs together, both of which sheathe talented students who have already exemplified high scholastic and professional potential. Our fellows not only receive a unique learning opportunity from our agency and brand leaders as they prepare for their own professional futures, but they are also able to make a difference right now by offering their unique perspectives into our existing client solutions.”

The program includes weekly one-on-one development coaching, training focus on core PR capabilities and building of both soft and hard skills. Each fellow was assigned to one or more of Golin’s top accounts and actively integrated into their go-to-market strategies and DEI commitments. The inaugural fellows served a variety of agency partners including brands like Allstate, B/S/H, the California Association of Realtors, Cuervo, Ferrero, Grubhub, Hard Rock, Horizon, Johnson & Johnson, LEGO Group, Logitech, McDonald’s, Micron, NAPA, National Peanut Board, Pepsi, Thermadore, Tobacco Free Florida, Unidos and more.

“At Grubhub, we celebrate differences and believe that our diversity strengthens our success,” said Dave Tovar, senior vice president of communications and government relations, Grubhub. “We are committed to increasing diversity at all levels in our organization, as well as training and developing leaders that embrace all backgrounds and points of view. We proudly support programs like Golin’s PRep School to help open up opportunities and create pathways for talented individuals from diverse backgrounds, encouraging them to excel.”

GrubHub, LEGO Group and a few others also partnered with the agency as PRep School sponsors by financially contributing to the students’ training, lodging and networking activities. The graduating class gave each brand a specialized creative presentation at the end of their fellowship where they shared new ideas on how to advance DEI, impact social change and better reach young adult audiences in their own communities.

“The professionalism and poise that the students brought to their final project matched the output they pitched to us,” said Michael McNally, senior brand relations director, LEGO Group. “What impressed us most was the students’ ability to quickly understand our brand and bring us fresh creative inspiration that applied to our current business priorities. We’re grateful for their collaboration and look forward to seeing where some of those ideas could go.”

The fellows received hands-on experience in Golin’s major U.S. markets including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The training also prioritized career counseling that will continue throughout their senior year and college graduation as they prepare to job hunt across the industry.

To realize the fellowship, Golin developed and nurtured many diverse supplier and partner relationships, including support from ColorVizion Lab for recruitment, Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program (EICOP) to provide housing in Golin’s largest U.S. cities and StepAfrika! to educate the agency and its clients about the history of Black Greek Letter organizations and their values.

“PRep School is so much more than a DEI initiative for our agency, as it’s setting up the foundation needed to diversify our industry for years to come,” said Tiffiny Bolden, global head of human resources, Golin. “This program has forged and fostered relationships that will benefit the recruitment and retention efforts for the agency and students both as they finish school and in the longer term as they navigate where their PR careers will take them. While we aim to place as many graduating seniors as possible within our ranks or beyond, we look forward to continuing to support them in their individual career paths.”

More than half of this year’s Golin account teams reported that their embedded PRep School fellow was ready for hire now that the student had finished school and the account had a business reason to expand its staff. All graduating fellows have advanced to become Golin brand ambassadors, and they can leverage the agency’s resources as they search for entry-level positions within and outside of the agency prior to graduation next May.

“As a result of this experience, I’m more excited and confident than ever to pursue a career in public relations,” said Aniya Ray, 2023 PRep School fellow from Spelman College. “I look forward to applying everything I’ve learned in my studies and future career, and I feel well-equipped to enter this field with valuable knowledge, an open mind and a willingness to learn.”

Golin plans to continue PRep School in the U.S. in 2024, and applications are currently being accepted by qualifying college juniors. Accepted fellows will have the opportunity to work in Golin’s Atlanta, Chicago, Miami or New York markets next summer, and the program will accept applications until November 3 at midnight PST. Visit this link to apply.