The Advertising Media Forum (AMF) has funded seven final year communication strategy students at the University of Johannesburg as part of its Future Fit programme.
The programme bridges the financial gap for high-performing students, and each will be awarded an internship at agencies that are members of the media agency industry body.
“Our 2019/20 investment is geared to enable the near graduates not only to complete their studies but to gain valuable in-agency experience to kick start their careers,” said Koo Govender, chairperson of the AMF.
The education initiative was designed to provide a new generation of media strategists and planners with a practical foothold in the industry.
“We have many people to thank for helping us bring this first chapter of the AMF’s Future-Fit to life,” Govender said.
While it was steered by managing director of The MediaShop (Johannesburg), Kgaugelo Maphai, and driven through the non-profit’s Education and Training Board Committee, it was made possible by collaboration in the media and agency community.
Twenty-nine percent of the funding was donated by media and public relations leader, Sandra Gordon. A further 25% took the form of a donation from Sonya Patterson, wife of the late Gordon Patterson, a media role model and leader of the AMF in his distinguished media career. The balance of the funding was provided by the AMF as made possible through membership fees.
“Partnering with industry to assist committed and deserving students is a winning formula. UJ is proud of its strategic communication students and grateful of the support AMF offered in ensuring that several students could pay off their outstanding fees and graduate,” said Dr Rene Benecke, senior lecturer in the Department of Strategic Communication.
Govender said the industry collaboration had enable the AMF to start giving students “the fast track into our fast pace world of media strategy, planning and buying”.
The AMF wanted to make a sustainable impact in business, she added. This includes making a positive contribution to how media is viewed to enabling the sector to have a good influence in society. Key to this is the AMF’s drive to futureproof media agencies.
The AMF is deeply committed to recruiting previously disadvantaged students and helping them by funding their studies, as well as giving them much needed on the job experience so that they have are able to contribute to and grow the media industry.
“To enable companies to thrive into the future, we collectively need the next generation of mathematically-minded individuals – critical and creative thinkers – to enter and embrace working in agencies,” said Govender. “They are our next generation of leaders.”
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