Communication Department Seeks Partnerships with Local Businesses

Posted: March 1, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

Not content to rest on its laurels, the Department of Communication is actively seeking to build more relationships with corporations–committed partners that want to build a foundation and grow. “We are always trying to keep doors open, to get more opportunities for our students,” says Mike Dickerson, communication professor. “This semester we have the highest number of students with internships–53–and we want to keep that number growing.”

The campaign to network with local companies and organizations is something practical and beneficial for students and faculty in the Department of Communication, Dickerson says. By building relationships with companies, both the department and the business benefit. The business can get academics to help train their employees or conduct workshops or seminars in their workplaces. In turn, the Communication Department can network for good internship opportunities or possible scholarship funds for its students.

One recent partnership involved two communication professors, Sheryl Friedley and Peter Pober, who held a seminar on presentation skills for mid-level executives working for the City of Fairfax. In addition, the department has been reaching out to other companies such as Gannett, Hill and Knowlton Inc., and Jefferson Government Relations.

Because of George Mason’s location in metropolitan Washington, D.C., many outstanding real-world opportunities are available for students, says Dickerson, who coordinates the internship program. Students have been placed this semester in internships with all of the major television and radio stations, and newspapers. Other placements have been with the National Zoo, USA Football, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Booz Allen Hamilton, the French Embassy, Raytheon Company, U.S. Congress, U.S. Secret Service, and the Washington Redskins.

For more information, contact Dickerson at 703-993-3776 or mdickers@gmu.edu.

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