Sarah Voiselle (left) and Taylor Bookstaff, who are both public relations majors, talk about their experience with the exclusive Omnicom-Grady Fellowship program.
Sarah Voiselle (left) and Taylor Bookstaff, who are both public relations majors, talk about their experience with the exclusive Omnicom-Grady Fellowship program.

Then and Now: The Omnicom-Grady Fellowship

The following is a special submission of the #GradyInternDiaries written by Julia Hemingway, a former Yarbrough-Grady intern and current account executive at Porter Novelli.

Life after college can be difficult to navigate, especially when you’re unsure about the exact path you want to pursue. That’s where internships step in. They’re an invaluable opportunity to test the waters in a specific industry throughout and after college to see what career you’re prepared to call your own. However, you might find yourself a semester out from graduation, thinking “what if I chose to apply for an advertising major instead of public relations?” and vice versa.

What is the Omnicom-Grady Fellowship?

Grady College and Omnicom Media Group partnered in 2012 to offer December and May AdPR graduates the opportunity for a six-month fellowship in the Atlanta area. Known as the Omnicom-Grady Future Leaders Fellowship program, the internship is designed for graduates to spend three months at BBDO and three months with one of Omnicom’s global public relations firms (FleishmanHillard, Ketchum or Porter Novelli).

Not only does the fellowship open the door to an integrated learning experience in both advertising and PR, but it also strategically pairs the interests of the fellows with mentors. Each  agency hosts an educational lunch and learn on a wide variety of topics throughout the duration of the program, as well.

Where are the Fellows today?

From personal experience, I discovered that PR was the path for me. I’ve been working at Porter Novelli for nearly three years now and to this day, I continue to apply what I learned at BBDO into my work. My colleague, Jennifer Linke, and I were not only both fellows, but we now lead the entire initiative as program managers, liaising with BBDO, Porter Novelli, Ketchum and FleishmanHillard.

Over the past five years, the program has helped to propel the careers of 15 Grady graduates. While Jennifer and I continue to thrive at Porter Novelli, several alumni have stayed on board at Ketchum and FleishmanHillard, with others in positions at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Jackson SpaldingMSL GroupNewell BrandsState Bank and Trust CompanyDigitasLBiAllscripts Analytics and The Wilbert Group.

The fellowship doesn’t guarantee a position at an agency you worked with over the six months, but it does point you in the right direction and opens the door to unique opportunities in the industry you’re passionate about.

Getting to know the 2017 Omnicom-Grady Fellows

I recently caught up with the 2017 fellows to learn more about them and why they chose to apply for the Omnicom-Grady Fellowship. Here’s what they had to say.

Sarah Voiselle recently moved to Atlanta and started with BBDO on May 15, before transitioning to Porter Novelli in August. She majored in PR and earned a New Media Institute Certificate. Her background includes internships with Phase 3 Marketing and ME Marketing Services and she was involved with Pi Beta Phi Sorority, UGA Miracle and PRSSA on campus. She attributes the Cannes Lions Festival (through Grady College) to her interest in the fellowship and is most excited to dip her toes into the realm of advertising to see how it contrasts with what she’s learned in PR.

“I quickly realized that in order to be successful in my career, I needed to become immersed and well-versed in the various facets of the industry.”

–Sarah Voiselle, ABJ ‘17

Taylor Bookstaff majored in PR and also earned a New Media Institute Certificate and a minor in Spanish. She’s moving to Atlanta in June to start her journey with Ketchum, before transitioning to BBDO in August. This past semester, she interned with Coca-Cola and held a variety of internships in her hometown of Houston, Texas. The fellowship stood out to her while applying to post-grad internships as a unique opportunity to enter the world of integrated communications. She’s looking forward to experiencing firsthand how a solid understanding of both advertising and PR industries can work together in communications.

"I knew the fellowship would give me the means to break down barriers and learn about each discipline as a whole, rather than separate industries."

–Taylor Bookstaff, ABJ ‘17

My advice to current Grady students is to not be in a rush when graduation rears its head in your direction one day. Instead, take a moment to sit back and think about what’s best for your future. Remember to lean towards finding out what you know you want and not what you think you need.

Lastly, follow the Grady Careers Listserv for news on the fellowship in January 2018!

Date: May 25, 2017
Author:  Julia Hemingway,