News and Insights

How FINN’s mentorship program helped launch some young professionals’ careers

January 6, 2022

In collaboration with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), FINN Partners will be hosting its ​​”Partners for Diversity: The Internship Preview” for a second year. This year, the program will pair 75 PRSSA members with a FINN mentor that will guide them through the week-long program. 

We had a chance to hear from some of last year’s program participants who have since come on as permanent members of the FINN team. 

Caleena Sugiharto

Intern 

The “Partners for Diversity” mentorship program was one of the most rewarding experiences during my time as a PRSSA member. Last year, I decided to apply to meet more members and professionals in the PR industry. The moment I was paired with my mentor, he took note of my interest in travel PR and scheduled a one-on-one with a colleague in the travel sector. I had an opportunity to join an internal meeting, participate in a brainstorming session with other mentees, and learn more about agency life from other professionals during panel discussions. There was also an optional mock campaign writing assignment that was reviewed by current FINN associates.

A couple of months after the end of the program, my mentor reached out with a remote internship opportunity in FINN’s San Francisco office. I felt amply prepared thanks to the important lessons I learned during the program. Now, three months into my internship, I’ve had the privilege of working on three major consumer accounts providing daily media tracking, creating weekly coverage reports, researching for awards and speaking opportunities, and participating in meetings. There has never been a moment where I felt like I was “just the intern.” I feel so lucky to work with so many kind and supportive people who make me feel like I’m a part of the FINN family. I’ve learned and grown so much thanks to the help and guidance of my colleagues. Students who are looking to learn more about what it means to be a PR professional and how to navigate the industry should definitely apply to the “Partners for Diversity” program.

Giselle Galagos

Partner in Training, Consumer 

When I first learned about “Partners for Diversity,” I immediately jumped on the opportunity to learn from practicing public relations professionals. Through the program, I was paired with a professional from the travel and tourism sector of FINN Partners and truly felt like I was able to ask any questions about working in a public relations agency and how to start off my career. Throughout the week, I participated in one-on-one mentorship chats, shadowed client calls, attended several panels with diverse professionals, and collaborated with other mentees during campaign brainstorms. Each of these experiences gave me invaluable insight into what it is like to work at an agency; something that came in handy once I started my full-time position at FINN!

It was in the last panel of the program that I learned where to find open positions at FINN Partners and subsequently discovered an opening for a Partner in Training at the Los Angeles office. Throughout my interview process, I was able to talk about my experience going through the program and had even met one of my interviewers (and future boss) in the brainstorm I participated in! Currently, I work with the consumer team in the Los Angeles office and am a part of three account teams, not to mention assisting on several other accounts and new business projects as needed. In the past 8 months, I have learned and gained experience in a wide variety of public relations and social media practices. Not only did PRSSA help prepare me for my role, but the “Partners for Diversity” program allowed me to arm myself with the knowledge and networking opportunities to apply for a role at a large agency. I would highly recommend that any student who wants to set themselves up for success and learn more about agency life should apply to the program.

José Acosta 

Account Coordinator 

During the “Partners for Diversity” program, I was enrolled in my second semester as a public relations student. I was new to the public relations field, and I wanted to gain all the experience I could so that I would be more prepared to enter the workforce when I graduate from college. The program has made me feel more comfortable with what public relations practitioners do in their jobs. My favorite part of the program was meeting with my mentor; it was great getting to know him, and he always made sure that all my questions were answered. I was able to meet with another employee from the consumer team and had the opportunity to see their past campaigns and learn more about their future goals for their practice. I also enjoyed the panels that were part of the program. It was great getting to hear the stories of the FINN Partners employees talking about their advice on how to become successful in the public relations field and how to prepare for interviews. These are the important lessons they don’t exactly teach you in undergrad. 

The public relations and social media summer internship opportunity in the Fort Lauderdale office was posted on their website in April and I immediately applied for the position. I will always remember the day when I received a phone interview from the recruiter and was selected for a Zoom interview with the supervisors from the Fort Lauderdale office. When the interviews ended, I knew that I belonged at FINN Partners. I was blessed to receive an internship offer and had my internship extended for the fall semester. During my internship, I helped with accounts such as Aviv Clinics, Avalere, MTF Biologics, Visit Virginia Beach, and Seatrade Cruise Global. My tasks include daily social media engagement, creating monthly reports, researching information for the media lists, drafting social media posts, updating the monthly social media competitors’ section, pitching journalists, and attending meetings. Due to my hard work, I received a full-time job offer to become an Account Coordinator! I am thankful for the opportunities the “Partners for Diversity” program has given me. The program will give you a behind the scenes look at working in a public relations agency and the opportunity to network with people across the United States.

Kiara Hartmann 

Assistant Account Executive, Earned Media

As a senior in college, I applied for the FINN/PRSSA “Partners for Diversity” program with the intent to network with other students and industry professionals. Through the program, I was able to do both of those things. Within the program, I got paired with a Managing Partner at FINN and got to spend a week alongside her. I was able to observe FINN pitch a new client, attend Q&A sessions, network with industry professionals at FINN and work on my resume and skill set. I was delighted when this opportunity turned into a mentorship but was especially ecstatic when my mentorship turned into a job offer, which I happily accepted. 

At FINN, I started as a Partner in Training and was then promoted to an Assistant Account Executive. I get the privilege of working across multiple accounts and alongside remarkable colleagues. I currently work on a plethora of different accounts including notable consumer brands, healthcare tech companies, and food service and landscaping providers. My day-to-day life always looks different, from building media lists to pitching reporters.  If I hadn’t joined the FINN/PRSSA “Partners for Diversity” program, I wouldn’t have been blessed with the opportunity to work with such amazing people here at FINN. The company culture is supportive and provides a great environment for me to learn and grow. From hosting happy hours to providing professional development opportunities to continue to learn and grow, FINN shows their investment in their company culture and growth. I am extremely grateful to be able to be a part of a company that cares and I hope to continue to grow in my role here at FINN Partners. 

From great experiences with their mentors, the ability to shadow client calls, attend Q&A sessions with FINN staff, and network with PR pros and budding young professionals, the mentorship program strives to provide an unparalleled view into what day-to-day life is like at the agency. We are excited to be welcoming up to 75 PRSSA members into the program this year and bring this unmatched opportunity to another round of PRSSA students.