Making It Real

Reflecting on Five-Year Journey with Syracuse University and the W2O Group/Newhouse Center for Social Commerce; And Second-Year LAGRANT Foundation Fellowship Program

This November we will celebrate the five-year anniversary of the W2O-Newhouse Center for Social Commerce at Syracuse University. It has been an incredibly fast five-years and I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to all the W2O folks who have participated in the Center’s activities and interacted with students and professors during this time.

All of us at W2O Group should be very proud of the Center for Social Commerce (CSC) as it has become one of the most successful industry-academic partnerships in the profession. When Audra and I decided to establish this program our only goal was to offer students the opportunity to better understand the changing communications and media landscape so they could make an impact on day one of their careers.  To date, the Center has enabled more than 1,000 students to immerse in the thinking, models, methodologies, and approaches inherent in today’s digital and social marketplace.

Each year, the CSC:

  • Conducts twice annual “Social Commerce Days” immersing students and professors in the latest thinking on social and digital strategies, tools, techniques and models
  • Welcomes keynote presentations by major thought leaders from automotive, energy, financial services, medical technology, consumer brands, and technology
  • Leads interactive workshops, classroom visits, and career guidance opportunities with students

In addition to “Social Commerce Days,” the CSC:

  • Spearheads several initiatives and opportunities to help students gain an edge, including a year-round Student Ambassador program, wherein two SU students are selected to represent the CSC and intern with W2O Group
  • Publishes notable research in the field
  • Sponsors a trip to the firm’s digital-focused SXSW events in Austin, TX
  • Provides a Newhouse student for an internship at W2O client, Medtronic, working in both the firm’s Minneapolis office and the company’s headquarters on its business providing a dual experience.

Both the Center along with W2O Group’s second-year relationship with the LAGRANT Foundation, which is a first-of-its-kind healthcare communications fellowship for ethnic minorities, are making it real in terms of ensuring the next generation of leaders are ready for the challenges ahead and the organizations themselves are creating diverse workforces and inclusive cultures to provide maximum value to customers and employees.

The W2O Group LAGRANT Foundation Fellowship in Healthcare Communications is a three-year commitment to support ethnic minority candidates pursuing careers in healthcare communications.

The Fellowship:

  • Exposes candidates to careers in healthcare communications with major pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and digital health companies via a 10-week paid fellowship each year in one of our offices – San Francisco, New York, Boston, Austin, or Minneapolis
  • Promotes a diversity workforce in a truly meaningful way

We often talk about the need to give back and reinforce our purpose throughout the business and marketplace. Supporting students in their career development and providing opportunities for young professionals in an important field such as healthcare are excellent examples of making a difference.

On behalf of Audra, thank you for making these initiatives the “Best” they can be!

“BUILD. Yours!”

Jim

Jim Weiss
Jim Weiss
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