Nashville, TN – A unique collaboration has been created for Tennessee State University (TSU) students interested in covering the automobile industry from a media and communications perspective. Dubbed The Driving Force (TDF), the Black Automotive Media Group (BAMG) sought out minority applicants from the Tenn.-established HBCU to participate in a 10-week, field-credit academic program that commingles virtual training, mentoring sessions, and in-person product experiences.
Supported by INFINITI, TDF guidance is designed to expose interns to opportunities as journalists, PR executives, and business professionals covering the auto industry.
“We thank INFINITI Motor Company and the Black Automotive Media Group for including TSU in this innovative partnership to benefit our students,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “The automotive internship program gives TSU students access and opportunity to establish a successful career path in a leading industry.”
Participants will be able to showcase their work within various multimedia platforms at the end of the program. More importantly, they will interact with INFINITI guest speakers ranging from designers to product planners.
“As the Director of Academic Career Pathways and Partnerships, we are excited that our scholars have an opportunity to participate in this virtual internship with the BAMG and INFINITI,” stated Antoinette Hargrove Duke. “Our goal is to prepare TSU students for the real world and we believe through this experience, they will receive the practical training needed to close the skill gap before transitioning from college to their chosen careers.”
For the Spring 2023 academic session, TDF wholeheartedly welcomes the cohort of HBCU students from TSU. The program would not be possible without the commitment and resources from INFINITI.
“It’s imperative for organizations to cultivate the next generation of minority leaders, and we are honored to be part of this internship program,” said Craig Keeys, group vice president, INFINITI Americas. “The Driving Force internship at TSU gives students important opportunities to develop their skills, and helps organizations like INFINITI to identify individuals who can excel within the company’s staff.”
TDF is led by respected media specialists Kimatni D. Rawlins of Automotive Rhythms Communications, publisher Randi Payton, and Greg Morrison from Bumper2Bumpertv, with additional support from an array of Black automotive journalists and publishers.
“The goal is to continue expanding learning opportunities for scholars focusing on paths steered towards automotive communications,” stated Randi Payton, BAMG member and publishing pioneer. “I extended my media career by founding African Americans on Wheels magazine, which introduced thousands of journalists to automotive career opportunities. I am happy to continue that legacy with The Driving Force.”
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About Tennessee State University
Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees. TSU is a comprehensive research-intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee. With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.
INFINITI Motor Company is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan with operations around the world including regional offices based in the Americas, China and INFINITI International Markets based in Dubai. The INFINITI brand of premium automobiles are assembled in facilities in Japan, North America and China. INFINITI design studios are located in Atsugi-Shi near Yokohama, London, San Diego and Beijing.
More information about INFINITI can be found at www.INFINITIUSA.com.
About the Black Automotive Media Group
The Black Automotive Media Group is a distinguished group of African American reporters and writers representing over 200 years of combined experience in automotive journalism within radio, television, print, experiential marketing, and social media. BAMG members either work for or own various automotive media platforms to bring equity to Black professionals working in the automotive industry. For additional details regarding The Driving Force HBCU, please visit AutomotiveRhythms.com.
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