Syntax Strategic’s diversity scholarship partnership with Algonquin College

Ottawa-based Syntax Strategic specializes in media relations, strategic communications, marketing, design, policy, and public affairs. The company works with domestic and international clients in the public, non-profit, academic, and private sectors on various topics, including social impact, health advocacy, science, cleantech, and governance.

Following the mass exodus from the workforce due to the Covid-19 pandemic, CEO Jennifer Stewart decided the time was right to try a new strategic approach to get new ideas and up-and-coming talent into the business of public relations communications marketing and broadcasting. When it comes to diversity in agencies, Steward said, “We need to invest in it. We can no longer sit back and hope that the right candidate with the right skills and background falls into our laps. We are building the future workforce we need, and we hope other businesses do the same.”

Syntax Strategic is walking their talk. The company has announced a new five-year $50,000 scholarship initiative in partnership with Algonquin College.

The program will offer two students in their final year of study at Algonquin college a $5000 scholarship plus a paid internship opportunity during the summer. Priority will go to Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) students—communities that are currently underrepresented in the overwhelmingly Caucasian communications industry.

An Ottawa area institution for over 50 years, Algonquin College is recognized as a leader in educating and training post-secondary students. The college is ranked as one of Canada’s innovation leaders by Research Info Sources Inc. Algonquin is also Eastern Ontario’s largest Polytechnique school, offering more than 185 different programs that focus on providing students with up-to-date training to succeed in their career paths.

College CEO and President Claude Brulé knows that employer partners will be looking to them post-pandemic for job-ready graduates able to adapt and grow. Brulé’s excited about the program. “We are pleased to partner with a company that is building its workforce on a foundation of diversity, something we also highly value at Algonquin College.”

The college was an easy choice for Stewart. Syntax Strategic has hired many alumni from Algonquin College’s professional program and engaged with students through work, including presentations.

By partnering, Syntax and Algonquin college are making it possible for underrepresented minorities to show their full talents and potential.

The scholarship program will help foster representation in the communications industry for all Canadians. It is a trend that will need to expand across the country so that marketing, broadcasting, and public relations professionals reflect Canada’s diverse multi-race society.

With the end of the Covid-19 pandemic insight, the time to make bright changes to Canada’s economic future, for all Canadians, is now. Syntax Strategic is getting ahead of the curve.

Interested students must have a portfolio with two examples of their work and a one-page essay on how they will apply the skills they developed in their program in the workforce. It must also state their career goals and the steps they will take to achieve them. Applicants need to obtain two references, one from a teacher and another from a peer, employer, or volunteer lead.

Full details are available at