By Tonya Dixon

The Black Automotive Media Group (BAMG) and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University have collaborated on a unique partnership, offering expansive multimedia internships, sponsored by Audi of America.

In its second year, the BAMG internship program “The Driving Force (TDF)” exposes students to career opportunities in the automobile industry, including automobile manufacturers, automobile multimedia, and other automobile industry suppliers and businesses.

“We are grateful and thrilled that our students have the opportunity to learn, practice and grow in such an important industry. We are forever indebted to the BAMG for their vision and inviting us into their fold,” said Robbie R. Morganfield, Ph.D., interim chair of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication.

TDF is a 10-week, virtual, field-credit program comprising training and mentoring sessions. While the course is supported by automobile manufacturers seeking diverse talent pipelines for future employment within their companies, participating students also learn about auto industry career opportunities at the multimedia, sales, marketing and supplier levels.

Ten N.C. A&T students were welcomed to TDF for the Spring 2022 academic semester:

  • Seniors: Lela Whitener, multimedia journalism; Jerry Humphrey, mass media production; Jamille Whitlow, multimedia journalism
  • Juniors: Charlee Major, multimedia journalism; Tyler Cross, mass media production; Amiya Griffin, multimedia journalism
  • Sophomores: Tania McClary, public relations; Kamryn Jackson, multimedia journalism; Christin Kitchings, public relations
  • Freshman: Caulin Avery, mass media production.

“Our collaboration with North Carolina A&T State University and Audi marks the sixth academic curriculum with HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities) that allows us to extend new opportunities to minority students,” said BAMG founding member Kimatni D. Rawlins. “The Driving Force will continue to help shape career pathways for talented interns while offering more perspective on the automotive industry’s various fields.”

TDF evolved following a series of discussions between automakers and BAMG members in 2020. While those conversations began with an effort to improve the diversity and inclusion of African American journalists covering the industry, the opportunity presented itself to help prepare the next generation of automobile industry professionals.

“Audi of America is proud to partner with the Black Automotive Media Group in support of these incredible students at North Carolina A&T University,” said Tara Rush, Audi of America chief marketing officer. “We believe our commitment to an inclusive and equitable workplace means not only increasing awareness for career opportunities within the automotive industry, but also building additional pathways for diverse student talent to gain experience in the industry through programs like this.”

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