Sitting on the other side of the recruitment table.
This past October, students from local universities traveled to Howard University's Cathy Hughes School of Communications Job Fair with their resumes and business cards in hopes of being considered for open job positions at D.C.’s top media firms and PR agencies — including Clyde Group. As the first historic black university, Howard has long helped to break down the barrier between black applicants and corporate career opportunities by connecting minority students with recruiters who value diversity and are seeking talent. Students at various levels use the job fair as a chance to speak to their dream employers and showcase their skills. Meeting with the students at this season’s fair was a chance for Clyde Group to introduce ourselves to the next generation of leaders in PR and communications. This industry benefits from a variety of perspectives and expertise when it comes to offering the best solutions and recommendations to our clients. We take pride in our efforts to employ a diverse staff of people who represent different races, religions, sexualities and political views. As a junior associate, I loved having the opportunity to represent Clyde Group at Howard’s job fair and share interesting projects I am working on. I’ve had so many eye-opening experiences while I’ve been with the agency. Having graduated from college only a few months ago — and for the first time sitting on the other side of the recruitment table — I was able to relate to the attendees’ uncertainty and anxiety about what they will face after graduation. The most common question I was asked was whether there was a place for them in PR if they did not have a degree in communications. The simple answer is YES. I was happy to reassure them that there are avenues to success in PR for students of all disciplines. A government and politics major may have the knowledge to conduct government affairs research and counsel clients on how to craft messaging on policy issues that may affect their industry. A psychology major may have the skills to create campaigns that would generate responses from different audience demographics. But it was not just about what the applicant could do for Clyde Group. It was also about how our agency could contribute to their professional growth. Our agency is unique in offering the junior associate position, and it is catered toward helping recent college graduates transition into agency life. As junior associates, we have access to working with professionals who have been in the field for decades and coworkers who have climbed to managerial positions early in their careers. The expectations at Clyde Group are not determined by the employee's age or level of experience. We all strive for excellence. Junior associates complete client-facing tasks and are exposed to account planning and strategy. For example, last month, I helped design a deck and presented at a pitch for a new client, which is rare for entry-level employees. I have become more confident as a professional and have extended my skill set with time spent using essential PR software such as Cision, TrendKite, and NewsWhip Spike. Many students visited our table eager to hear about Clyde Group’s unique management structure and family-like office culture. They were shocked to hear that in our office, an associate sits next to our founder Alex Slater. Our culture is built on collaboration and the belief that no task is too small for anyone. We often have agency-wide brainstorm sessions to come up with the most innovative, creative and efficient ideas for clients. We have fresh-baked treats on Warm Cookie Wednesdays and intense ping pong matches on Fridays. We’ve found that ultimately, our culture is a big plus both for us and for our clients. When making post-grad plans, I encourage applicants to choose a company where their interests are acknowledged, their ideas are appreciated, and their goals are invested in. That’s why I chose Clyde Group.