Prudential's Newark, NJ Headquarters (AP Images)

A group of select freshman and sophomore underrepresented students in a four-year undergraduate program that are majoring in Business and have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA are currently in Newark, NJ at Prudential’s headquarters for the Prudential Peak Leadership Conference that runs through May 17.

Prudential Financial (NYSE: PRU) is hosting the inaugural event to further develop upon one of the company’s central values: creating a diverse pipeline of talent.

Although there is often a dour jobs picture painted for college students because of an economy and a regulatory environment in upheaval, the program hopes to give some candidates an internship that would eventually lead to a career.

“We want to be competitive in identifying talent early in the campus recruiting process to increase the flow of diverse talent into Prudential. Early identification programs like these not only attract the best talent, but also expose pools of diverse talent to career opportunities that have traditionally been unknown to them,” said Ebony Thomas, director of campus and diversity recruiting for Prudential.

The two-day program, which has picked students from targeted colleges and universities, allows them to network with Prudential employees at every level, including senior leadership.

The process of identifying and cultivating talent is most effective when commenced during the early college years, says Thomas. Prudential hopes to foster an environment of loyalty between the students and the company while giving them professional experience early in their college careers.

“We’ve designed this program to attract some of the best and brightest young people and to give them a first-hand look at the kinds of career opportunities available to them  at Prudential,” Thomas continued.