The Covid-19 pandemic presented many challenges for global and local students who had to adjust to and navigate through online learning. As third-year Diploma PR students at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), we took it upon ourselves to mentor and assist first and second-year students during the pandemic through the #AdoptFirstYearPRStudent Initiative. #AdoptAFirstYearPRStudent Initiative is an initiative by PR students, for PR students and graduates. This campaign focuses on mentoring for 1st and 2nd year students; advocating for career mentoring to benefit current students and graduates, as well as engaging scholars, industry-experts and students in thought-provoking conversations about education, industry and overall youth development. As part of the online engagements, we engaged with various PR professionals in the Africa continent and international. In South Africa we engaged with Mr. Mabine Seabe, who is a professional communicator with a vast of experience in the communications industry; and beyond the SA boarders, we engaged with an award-winning and accredited Publicist based in the New York, USA, Ms. Sandra Nnaji. Mr. Thandolwenkosi Nkomo, who serves as a member of the Zimbabwe Public Relations (ZIPR) and lecturer and Strategic Communications Consultant at the National University of Science and Technology in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Furthermore, we recently hosted a ‘round-table’ discussion on MS Teams, to discuss inter alia ‘Should the PR and Communications industry be regulated?’. The panel consisted of academics from the UJ and Vaal University of Technology (VUT), as well as the student leaders from the PR & Communications students’ association from UJ and University of South Africa (UNISA). Part two of the ‘round-table’ will be hosted in due course and will include academics, PRISA, GCIS, students and graduates.
We are appealing to all PR students, graduates, and academics in public and private institutions as well as PR Industry professionals in the PR and communications field to rally behind this initiative and mentor the students
Oprah Winfrey said, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” Those who are interested can contact us on our social media platforms on Facebook: @AdoptAFirstYearPRStudent, Instagram: @AdoptAFirstYearPRStudent and Twitter: @AdoptAFirstYear.