On Wednesday, 21 October 2020, the PR industry was bolstered by the launch of the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s (PRIA) first University Mentoring Program in New South Wales, adapting the traditional face-to-face program to a virtual format for the first time.
In collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), the PRIA NSW Young Guns Committee kicked off the first-of-its-kind Mentoring Program with a ‘Speed Mentoring’ event, specifically designed to support final year students in the transition from university to workplace.
The program boasts nine of the industry’s best and brightest professionals including Brian Chase Olson (new PRIA NSW President and Director, Blend Public Relations); Maya Ivanovic (Co-Chair, PRIA NSW Young Guns and Senior Account Manager, Palin Communications; Robbie Purcell (Account Manager, Edelman Australia); Rachel Zarb (Communications Manager, NSW Trustee & Guardian); and Keiran Mannion (Senior Account Executive, Stark Matthews) among other talented in-house and consultancy communicators.
The intimate virtual event had a speed-dating feel with prospective mentors and mentees each given five minute bursts to get to know one another and explain what they wanted to achieve from the program. This was followed by mixed networking with the broader group. The next step for the Mentoring Program – supported by the PRIA NSW Young Guns – is to pair participants before commencing their official six-month commitment from November to April 2021.
Rachel King, Co-Chair PRIA NSW Young Guns, stated, “The NSW Young Guns is committed to supporting young communications talent. Making the transition from university to workplace can be unsettling enough. However, current students are experiencing the added pressure of leaving university to face the current job market amid the uncertainty of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are so pleased to offer this unique program, providing one-on-one support and an exclusive competitive edge for final year students in communications at UTS.”
“A mentor relationship can be invaluable and I’m so thrilled to see such support for the new program. We hope to roll out this program to other Universities in 2021, as PRIA looks to build engagement with tertiary institutions and bridge the gap between industry and academia,” said Rachel.
In other news, the PRIA NSW Young Guns are delighted to announce a new ten-strong committee ahead of 2021. The Young Guns have welcomed Danielle Veivers (Account Manager, Honner); Caitlin Stevens (Account Executive, Wells Haslem Mayhew); and Anastasiia Nazarenko (Account Executive, Palin Communications).
The three new members join incumbent team; Rachel King (Co-Chair, PRIA NSW Young Guns); Maya Ivanovic (Co-Chair, PRIA NSW Young Guns and Senior Account Manager, Palin Communications); Georgie Quigley (Founder and Director, GQPR); Jenna Green (Senior Communications Associate, Bayer ANZ); Laura Panarello (Communications Coordinator, Casella Family Brands); Rhiannon Kenyon (PR and Content Manager, JDRF Australia); and Rosy Lone (Project Officer, Communications Murray-Darling, NSW Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries).
“The NSW Young Guns exists to provide meaningful support and development opportunities for emerging communications professionals. We are thrilled to welcome our new committee members as we gear up to launch an exciting calendar of events for 2021. Our tailored program aims to strengthen industry engagement, drive education, and connect like-minded young professionals,” said Rachel.
Brian Chase Olson, newly-elected PRIA NSW President said, “Coming up through the Young Guns ranks myself, I know firsthand how important this committee is for emerging PR talent. The NSW Young Guns provides a supportive community for those in the early stages of their PR careers while giving the greater PRIA network a fresh perspective on the challenges facing the industry. I’m thrilled to see the level of talent in the 2021 committee and look forward to the many fresh and dynamic programs they plan to execute in the year ahead.”