The Professional Development Center presents a unique opportunity for students in the Eller College of Management to meet professionals living and working in major US Cities. The 2016 Spring Break Study Tour will be in San Francisco, CA.
Last year, a group of 25 students visited Portland and Seattle. Below is a write up of one company visit.
by: Michaela Cook and Lauren Thorell
Waggener Edstrom is a Public Relations company that was founded as “The Waggener Group” in 1983, by Melissa Waggener Zorkin in Portland, Oregon. Their first major client was Microsoft in 1984, securing Bill Gates’ first Time magazine cover. Today, Waggener Edstrom has 19 global offices, representing a variety of companies, ranging from tech like Microsoft, Intel, and HTC, all the way to retailers like Safeway.
As a Public Relations company, Waggener Edstrom maintains its clients’ relationship with both the public and the media, by corresponding with journalists and producing press releases. Waggener Edstrom not only helps to promote its clients, but also performs damage control when a negative event associated with the company occurs. The company separates employees by which client they are working on, for example Microsoft department is located all together on one floor. During the Q&A Panel, the employee’s shared how they all had a learning curve for their writing skills. This allows them to learn and research all of the terms that they need to successfully write for the client. Waggener Edstrom also has an internship program for graduating seniors to come work during the summer months. This internship allows the interns to get a feel for the company and the other employees. Each of the members on the Q&A Panel was apart of this program. Another interesting fact about Waggener Edstrom is that they hire employees and interns from all majors. As long as you are capable of learning and adapting to a fast pace environment, you would fit right in to the company culture.
Overall, the visit to Waggener Edstrom went above and beyond expectations. From the tour of the office space to the Q&A Panel, we felt that we got to experience the company up close. Melissa Waggener and Pam Edstrom are truly role models for women in the business world and definitely for women in the Eller College of Management.