News and Insights
FINN Partners Diversity & Inclusion Award Winner Spotlight: Ravneet Dhamrait
May 26, 2022
When Ravneet Dhamrait learned she’d won the FINN Partners Diversity & Inclusion Award at The City College of New York, she nearly broke down in tears.
“I think I was the last person to interview – I didn’t think I was going to get the scholarship,” she said. “But the interview went really well, and everyone was super nice. I remember thinking, ‘this is going to open so many doors for me.’”
Ravneet was awarded the internship and scholarship in the winter of 2019, joining the CSR & Social Impact practice as an intern-scholar in January 2020.
“When I told my parents that I got the scholarship, that it’s going to be paid and I’ll get all this work experience, it was a really great moment – especially as immigrants, seeing their daughter excel. I’m just really thankful it worked out.”
Navigating the Pandemic
Ravneet’s internship began shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States. In March, lockdowns were announced in New York, bringing Ravneet’s internship and education into question. As FINN Partners transitioned to a 100% remote workplace, her team worked quickly to adapt to the new, constantly shifting circumstances. There were daily Zoom meetings to ensure everyone stayed connected and on top of their work.
Working two days per week in the fast-paced world of PR, Ravneet felt like she was missing out on the rhythms of the workweek. At that point, she finished her junior year at The City College of New York, so she decided to transition from two days to four days per week.
“That’s when I feel like I really turned a corner,” she said. “I felt more deeply involved and connected, and when new employees joined the CSR team, they didn’t view or treat me as ‘just an intern’ – they treated me like a full-time employee.”
She proactively sought feedback from her team to understand what she should improve, and she was able to take on new, more challenging responsibilities as her internship extended into the summer. For example, she participated in new business meetings and was able to engage with clients during update calls.
“One of the most satisfying experiences has been to go from pitching a new client over the summer to working on that account and watching the relationship blossom,” she explained.
A Smooth Transition from Intern to Full-Time Employee
After graduating in the spring of 2021, Ravneet joined FINN as an assistant account executive in the CSR practice in June. She has thrived as client work has grown throughout the pandemic, when an increasing number of corporations recognized they need to address social impact and responsibility through meaningful action. She was also promoted to account executive position in March 2022.
More than two years into the pandemic, Ravneet still works remotely but has the chance to return to the office to meet face-to-face with her colleagues. She also has weekly one-on-one meetings with her manager to talk about bandwidth, professional development and strategies to avoid burnout.
“Everything’s laid out in the open and you don’t have to hide your feelings,” said Ravneet. “It’s important just to have these open conversations – and I do that with everyone on the team.”
Why Diversity Matters
For Ravneet, coming from a diverse background is another aspect of her experience that she sees as an asset. She’s been able to call out certain approaches that she sees as questionable or would make her feel uncomfortable and others didn’t necessarily see.
Coming from a diverse background serves as a key resource to not just help refine communication strategies overall but to guide the clients on external and internal messaging effectively in a DE&I focused climate. Especially now, having lived through the pandemic and multiple social movements, you’re just seeing the need for diverse perspectives, Ravneet added. People frequently get stuck in recycled viewpoints, which can be harmful.
“I think it’s a great step that FINN is taking by hiring diverse talent from the very beginning of their careers and helping them flourish. I also think it’s important to have diversity in leadership because then when you’re someone who’s in my position, you can see those individuals and say to yourself, ‘that can be me one day.’”
See how the FINN Partners Diversity & Inclusion Award got started.