First Generation College Student Initiatives

Marketing EDGE FirstGen Initiatives support students who are the first in their families to attend college. Many FirstGen students do not have access to the same level of professional development as traditional students and FirstGen focused programs provide the environment, advice and resources they need to pursue their career interest in marketing and advertising. FirstGen programs also help to build an inclusive entry-level marketing talent pool that more accurately reflects the increasing diversity on campus.

FirstGen Virtual Mentoring Program

Marketing EDGE is launching the FirstGen Virtual Mentoring Program in spring 2020. This program will give FirstGen students, the first in their families to attend college, connections to company executives, meaningful career explorations into the marketing industry, as well as enhanced professional development.  The program opens doors to company mentors who may or may not be within the student’s geographical area thereby broadening their professional network.

Program Structure:

  • This program takes place over the course of a semester.  The inaugural program will be from  February – April 2020.
  • Mentees will meet virtually four times during the program at times determined by the Mentor/Mentee
  • Each student will be provided with a Mentee guide
  • Students will be given the opportunity to provide feedback to Marketing EDGE about their mentee experience

Participating Companies (Spring Semester 2020):

Anne Lewis Strategies | Collette | Illusive Networks | Sephora


Students are eligible to participate in the Virtual Mentoring Program:

  • FirstGen undergraduate students enrolled in an accredited 4-year college or university in the United States
  • Attending college at the time of the program

To Apply:

Applications will be accepted through December 30, 2019 and reviewed on a rolling basis.



Applications no longer being accepted

First 2 First

The First 2 First program was established to help connect FirstGen students with marketing professionals who were also FirstGen students for small group discussions about the unique journey of FirstGen students and advice on transitioning from college to career.  

The program helps students:

  • better understand their strengths, assets and goals
  • increase their knowledge of career opportunities in marketing and advertising
  • discover new sources for continued career exploration
  • gain clarity about what it is important to them

Recent First 2 First Programs

First 2 First | New York, NY | November 1, 2019

On Friday, November 1st, 24 motivated students representing 13 schools (including those from the 5 boroughs, Upstate NY, New Jersey,  Pennsylvania, and Maryland) sat down with 8 marketing professionals to share their respective FirstGen journeys, build their professional network and gain valuable insight on transitioning from campus to career and launching a career in marketing.

The afternoon kicked-off with a motivational speech from Rob Gearity, Executive Director, Spirits Marketing at Condé Nast, who shared his struggles launching his career and how he parlayed skills and customer service positions to land and excel at this first entry-level marketing position.

The students were also able to participate in “speed mentoring” where they rotated to different professionals for thoughtful discussions. Thank you to all who took time out of their busy schedules to share their stories and advice:  Claudette Archer, Illusive Networks | Phil Burrows, Verizon | Kerel Cooper, LiveIntent | Nick Dujnic, LiveIntent | Rob Gearity, Condé Nast | Alicia Harris, Ogilvy | Donte Ledbetter, Stash | Tatiane Sanchez, GroupM