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Read about Communications Prof. Andy Porter's partnership with the International Association of Business Communicators Boston chapter in the article below, originally published in the IABC Boston May-June 2013 e-newsletter.
IABC Boston and Simmons College Partner Up!
By Brian Moore
IABC Boston understands that the communications professionals of the future are the students of today. And during a strategic planning session last summer, chapter Board members identified student involvement with the chapter as a significant area of opportunity in the Membership Development arena.
Target No. 1? The Simmons College Communications Department, home of former IABC Boston president Andy Porter.
The goal? To foster a mutually beneficial relationship between chapter members and Simmons communications students. Students could benefit from building relationships with IABC Boston members, and members could benefit from having a window into the trend-setting communication methods that students are bringing with them into the workforce.
And then there are internships and jobs. Students need them, and chapter members need a talent pipeline for their organizations. Put the students and the members together, and good things could happen!
So Porter and Brian Moore, the chapter's VP of Membership Development, began talking in the fall about partnership opportunities between the chapter and the communications department.
This led to a guest presentation by Moore at a Simmons class in December and another in April 2013 by Moore and chapter VP of Social Media Tracy Zimmerman. In both instances, Porter had prepared his students with an overview of organizational communications. Moore and Zimmerman presented case studies from their experiences, as well as an overview of the benefits of IABC Boston involvement.
"Brian's description of the association gave me the feeling that no matter where I am living, there will be a community of communications professionals behind me to lend their advice and support," Simmons junior Michaella Giorgio said. "I look forward to becoming a member in the near future and attending their networking event in [August]."
Junior Sarah J. Galvez enjoyed hearing about the presenters' career journeys. "It was great to hear Brian and Tracy speak candidly about the journey their career paths have taken as communicators," Sarah said. "It was especially important for us to hear this at a time when many of our students are just thinking about what field of communications to pursue after graduation."
Students were also interested in how communications play such an important role in an organization's culture internally and its brand and reputation externally.
"It was great to hear each of their unique perspectives," sophomore Amelia Cordischi said. "I found the idea that public relations can also be thought of as creating a culture very interesting."
IABC Boston and Simmons are discussing more ways to strengthen their relationship, and the chapter plans to extend its college outreach initiative to an additional college this fall. Chapter members will soon be invited through a survey to indicate their interest in hosting a communications student as an intern or a job shadow, or their interest in speaking to a communications class. IABC Boston members should contact Andy Porter to discuss filling internship or job openings at your company with Simmons communications students. And who knows? Good things could happen!
Brian Moore is IABC Boston VP of Membership and Internal Communications Manager at Ahold, USA.