Like most areas in life, the COVID-19 crisis has upended Adland’s internship ecosystem this year. Sadly, it’s a very challenging year for most 2020 graduates trying to build a career out of the starting gate.
Now independent ad shop Pereira O’Dell and agency veteran Rebecca Rivera, currently a professor at the City College of New York’s undergrad Ad & PR program have teamed to create the “Save The Internships” initiative to showcase high potential students at New York’s public universities.
The main idea is to connect these students with advertising & PR agencies for a remote-based internship this year. Candidates are nominated by their professors and the new platform is designed so that nominees can share their talents and connect with agency talent managers. Nominees can be undergraduates, graduate level or even recent grads. Once the nomination is accepted, the student’s profile will be posted for agencies to consider for a virtual internship.
In addition, the program is partnering with The Ad Club of New York, the G.R.O.W.T.H. Initiative and other partners that will offer opportunities to mentor students and invite them to participate in their education and development programs.
“Now is not the time to cancel internships,” said Rivera. “It’s time to reinvent them and to hire the diverse and inclusive intern talent the industry needs.”
Mona Gonzalez, managing director, New York, Pereira O’Dell, added, "Internships might feel like a small part of the larger pandemic picture, but this is a real opportunity where we can make an investment in these students' futures and in the future of our city, and the industry needs their voices."
Agreed—fresh young talent needs opportunities and the industry constantly needs to replenish its talent pool. My guess is other agencies are teaming with university systems this year in similar ways.
At least they should be.