Posted At: October 22, 2013 8:04 a.m.
by Kyle Borland
I recently attended the Out for Undergrad Business Conference in New York City. The conference is put on by Out for Undergrad, a national organization devoted to job seekers in the LGBTQ+ community.
The conference focused on the financial industry so I was slightly out of my element as a public relations student, to say the least. But as I walked around the job/internship fair on the last day of the event, I couldn’t help but think what amazing PR this whole conference was for every sponsor involved.
The financial industry, possibly more than any other, comes off as a cold and heartless sector of our economy. Wall Street is synonymous with corruption and evil for a lot of Americans. OUBC not only put faces to these corporations but also showed how dedicated to their employees – specifically, LGBTQ+ workers – these companies are.
Public relations students and professionals alike are told from day one that our organization’s internal publics are just as important as its external ones. By using OUBC, the key players in Wall Street are able to make an annual commitment to both publics at once. They show a continued dedication to their current LGBTQ+ employees but also to possible future hires.
What is so amazing about an organization like Out for Undergrad is that it doesn’t stop at the business conference. Since OUBC’s inception, Out for Undergrad has started technology and leadership conferences that serve the same purpose for the tech and public policy sectors as OUBC does for Wall Street.
Events like OUBC are fantastic PR for the companies involved because it doesn’t come off as forced or contrived. None of the companies has to be a part of this conference, and they certainly don’t have to go out of their way to hire LGBTQ+ employees but they do. It feels organic.
OUBC even got me to seriously consider working in the financial sector, which is something I never thought I would say. Changing mindsets and behaviors is the ultimate goal of PR. Out for Undergrad has achieved just that.