At Epsilon, we’re passionate and committed to building a future that is more inclusive and diverse. Part of this is considering new and different pipelines for our next generation of leaders and carefully selecting the right partners that are aligned with our goals.
For Epsilon, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is one of those partners. This fall, we had the pleasure of attending the TMCF Leadership Institute in NYC – an award-winning national program intended to develop students’ leadership skills, provide organizations access to a talented and diverse student population and help students make connections that lead to careers.
Students must apply to attend the Leadership Institute and undergo a rigorous interview process before being selected to participate. Hundreds of carefully selected students from the 47 publicly supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) attended to develop their leadership skills to compete in today’s very competitive global workforce.
A key component of this experience was the Recruitment Fair where Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and graduate program representatives had the opportunity to compete for the best and brightest talent by offering jobs, internships and continuing education opportunities to the student participants.
Empowering culture and connections
This was Epsilon’s first time attending the annual event and it was more than just a recruiting event for our team. It was truly a cultural experience. From the drumline at the opening ceremonies, to the Mocha Networking Sessions, to the closing Black Tie Gala, it was a true form of cultural expression from start to finish that left us all with an Empowered State of Mind (this year’s conference theme).
Through it all, one thing was clear: These students came empowered to compete. The stakes were high, the spots were limited, and the competition was fierce.
This moment in time – four days – is the only opportunity that some of these students have to prove to organizations what they are made of and what they are capable of. Eighty percent (80%) of the students attending the TMCF Leadership Institute were there on scholarship and rely on external factors to fund not only their education but their basic living essentials.
Creating your own experience
Just as the students were competing for their opportunity, Epsilon was competing against some of the most well-known companies in the world to convince students to start and grow their careers with Epsilon.
Our vision for the TMCF Leadership Institute was simple: help students understand the possibilities to create their own experience at Epsilon and interview candidates for various new grad and intern positions at the company.
Through compelling conversations, our teams fostered connections, celebrated our differences and embraced our similarities with over 150 unique and brilliant scholars.
If the talented individuals selected to attend the TMCF Leadership Institute didn’t know who Epsilon was when they came, I promise, they knew us when we left.
When I look back at our four days at the TMCF Leadership Institute, I’m proud to say, Epsilon got it right the first time out the gate. And the results speak for themselves.
We extended 15 offers to students at the TMCF Leadership Institute -- three times (3X) more offers than we thought we would make.
Developing our authentic selves
When I joined Epsilon in 2020, I knew the TMCF Leadership Institute was a critical event for Epsilon to be at to build a more diverse recruiting pipeline. But I didn’t want to attend the event until I knew we were ready.
It was important that our leaders and teams were ready to embrace not only what difference looked like, but what difference felt like. What was critical for our success at this event was our ability, as a team, to show up being our true authentic selves.
The key to acquiring, building and enabling minority talent isn’t about an organization’s ability to look a certain way – it’s our ability to stand on our moral ethics values, speak our truth and execute on what we said we would do.
Fundamentally, our mission at Epsilon is to create an environment of empathy, belonging and collaboration among our employees, clients and the communities we serve. Developing a diverse and inclusive talent pipeline is just one way we do this.