Working as a WCG Corporate & Strategy Associate, I’ve spent my first year here not only digging into client work, but also familiarizing myself with all that our firm does, including our partnerships. When I came across the W2O Group Center for Social Commerce at Syracuse University, it stood out to me because it gives W2O employees the opportunity to connect with students twice a year about their various experiences in digital communications. Having graduated from college just over a year ago, the idea of being able to offer some “real world” perspective to students that I know I would have found helpful resonates with me.
In December 2013, an opportunity to work with the Center came up. I was asked, along with another Corporate & Strategy Associate Taylor Carr, to lead a research project with a select group of students from Syracuse about how global corporations have been adapting their businesses in today’s social and digital age. Aside from being given this topic, we were left to shape the project and direct the team of students on our own.
We kicked it off by setting research parameters to help focus the team’s effort and by giving them the support they needed to conduct informative interviews with Communication Executives from leading Fortune 500 Corporations. During the six-month project, we connected with the team on a bi-weekly basis and helped them overcome various challenges, such as access to company contacts. This experience has been the first project I’ve owned from start to finish, an opportunity I never expected to be given as an Associate.
What I’ve come to learn and appreciate about WCG is that we are encouraged, and to be honest expected, to share our perspectives and ideas every day. We are asked to take the initiative of our own careers. Levels don’t dictate what you are able to do, your ideas do. This freedom to own my path, and dive into any area of interest that can benefit our client, the company and/or my professional development, has helped me to grow more quickly than I believe I would have anywhere else.
Working with students and the Center as well as managing my own project from beginning to end has been a great experience. The team and I look forward to sharing our results soon. Keep an eye out for “Thriving and Coping in a Social and Digital Age: Lessons Learned from Corporate Communications” and please let us know what you think!