Journalism and PRCC Students Visit Jubilee Jobs


Miguel Marcia; Mercedes Henriquez, Director of Job Placement; Terry Flood, Executive Director; PR/CC Student Laura Barbier Viera, PR/CC Student Maria Payan Jiminez; Journalism Student, Amel Guetattfi

by Amel Guettatfi

photography by Rachel Ghadiali 

Alumni and students from the Strategic Career Planning and Management class from the Division of Professional Communications at Georgetown SCS recently attended a career event at Jubilee Jobs, a workforce development nonprofit. The evening celebrated those who have been able to overcome barriers to employment such as learning disabilities, drug abuse and former incarceration.

Gregory Cooper, PR/CC Student Kristin Oberlander

Rejoicing in song and prayer, many members and their job counselors celebrated their one year milestone in employment. For many, this has come after extensive counseling and job preparation to reach economic self-sufficiency. Fourteen students and alumni from the PR/CC and Journalism programs volunteered at the event by serving dinner and sharing their own career journey with job candidates and staff. Everyone from the Georgetown team looks forward to further contributing to Jubilee Jobs’ efforts to help job seekers rejoin the workforce and reach financial self-reliance.


Back row (l to r): PR/CC Students Andrea Alfaro, Joie Tolosa, Andrea Beron, Rachel Ghadiali; Professor Sondra Levitt; PR/CC Aluma Zane Bundy, PR/CC Alumna Brittany Henry. Front row (l to r): PR/CC Students Maria Payan Jiminez, Laura Barbier Viera, Madeline Harrington



PRCC Students Visit Weber Shandwick for First in Series of Center for Social Impact Communication Field Trips

Social impact. Corporate social responsibility. Shared value.  These topics were a few of many covered by the Weber Shandwick Social Impact team at the Center for Social Impact Communication’s (CSIC) first Social Impact Career Field Trip on April 7.

“CSIC works hard to be an open, accessible, and fun professional resource for students interested in advancing social change in the world through the power of communication,” said CSIC’s Deputy Director, John Trybus (G’12). “The first stop in our career field trip series was an overwhelming success and we look forward to continuing to directly connect students with practitioners to better understand how innovative nonprofit organizations and socially responsible businesses work.”More than 25 students in Georgetown’s Public Relations & Corporate Communications (PRCC) program received an overview of working for an agency with a strong commitment to social impact at Weber Shandwick’s beautiful LEED Silver offices in downtown Washington, D.C.

After receiving a tour of the office, students were treated to a discussion of Weber Shandwick’s guiding principles, which left a lasting impression on Elyse Rudolph (G’15): “It was fascinating to hear how Weber Shandwick and their clients take risks, by encouraging partnerships with competitors and pushing audiences outside their comfort zones.”

CSIC Field Trip

Following the discussion, several members of the Weber team shared their personal career journeys with the students. A great assortment of pathways were revealed to students during this conversation and McDonough School of Business alumna Kate Olsen (B’09), Vice President of Weber Shandwick’s Social Impact team, advised students to “throw away the map” as she described her own career journey that brought her from a Georgetown degree to her current position.

After the formal agenda concluded, students had an opportunity to network one-on-one with members of the Social Impact team. Caroline Gould (G’15), who stayed for the networking and spoke with Paul Massey, Executive Vice President of Weber’s Social Impact group, was delighted that he “took the time listen and engage with several of the PRCC students.”

#BehindTheScenes: 4 Blog Writing Tips

by Wanda Barquin

Until recently, I had written about exporting to Latin America and Africa. Since I had just started focusing on exporting to the Asia-Pacific region, I had to re-assess what to blog about. First, I set a few rules of engagement. Second, I inventoried my skills. Third, I listed my interests.

#BehindTheScenes, I established four rules for blogging:

  • Write about things that are meaningful to me or useful to others;
  • Develop own writing style, be authentic;
  • Post at least once a month, even if entries are short; and
  • Focus on exporting, but explore other topics.

I then took stock of my skills using map minding techniques. This self-reflective exercise resulted in unlocking my “value proposition,” clarified my core beliefs and reminded me of my purpose. My first few LinkedIn blogs focused on practical issues and ethical values. I had read Ghandi’s “Seven Dangers to Human Virtues” a long time ago and he summarized some important corollaries such as “knowledge without character, business without ethics, science without humanity.”

Knowledge without character seems meaningless to me.

His wise words inspired me and helped form the fabric of my leadership.

The list of my abilities included some skills transferable to the Asia-Pacific region. I had negotiated trade agreements at the outset of my government career and had written about their benefits a couple of years ago. I updated an old article on how to take advantage of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) and shared it on LinkedIn.

Having gained experience with foreign government tender processes in other continents, I quickly realized that my new region offered interesting infrastructure business possibilities. While not for the faint of heart, the Philippines and Indonesiahave some good prospects for companies with competitive architectural, engineering and building products and services. As international businesspeople, we are all keenly aware that learning about different idiosyncracies, and adapting to unfamiliar circumstances, are a “must” to operating globally. Great material for blogging!

Working with our private sector associates is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. These “multipliers” range from trade associations, international banks, universities, think tanks, U.S. transportation and logistics companies, to chambers of commerce (AmChams) overseas. Teaming up with foreign partners establishes a stronger “U.S. brand presence” overseas and develops more trusting business relationships. These strategic partnerships promote exports on six continents and help connect buyers and sellers worldwide.

I was enthused by the prospect of getting to know some of the players at the AmCham in Japan (ACCJ). While visiting Tokyo recently, I met Ethan Schwalbe, a brilliant Georgetown University, my alma mater, alum, who manages the Office of External Affairs of this prestigious organization. The ACCJ has three offices and represents over 2,700 members from more than 1,000 companies. I blogged about that trip a few weeks ago.

In the case of Singapore, its AmCham (ACCS) has a membership of only 750 U.S. companies; however, most of them have regional oversight and those firms are actively recruiting staff for their operations.* Another famous AmCham, and one of the oldest in the world, is China’s (ACCC), with more than 1,000 members. The latest trade figures indicate that U.S. exports to China have increased by more than 75 percent since 2009, reaching a record USD $122 billion in 2013. Their growing middle class has helped create a remarkable increase in certain products such as auto exports. The ACCC has been key to enter the market and to voice the members’ concerns when facing non-tariff barriers such as lack of transparency doing business. A recent ACCC‘s survey indicated that 60 percent of those U.S.-based businesses that responded said that “they feel foreign businesses are less welcome in the country than before – up from the 41 percent of respondents in a previous survey conducted in late 2013.”** I will be attentive to the private sector’s feedback and examine the trade and investment environment of selected Asian markets.

The best news of all is that I am working again with an extremely talented colleague, Knowledge Content Management Strategist Doug Barry. We are looking at creative ways of communicating business opportunities in Asia. It often is not “what you know,” but “who you know!” I will be sharing our progress in developing, implementing and evaluating digital marketing strategies to engage U.S. companies interested in doing business in the Asia-Pacific region.

Do I have any other interests? Fortunately, I am intellectually curious and passionate about sharing issues I believe are important with others, whether it is animal ethics, competing worldviews, impact finance or advice from my experiences from nearly three decades living and working overseas. It doesn’t have to be all about exporting!

What are your main hopes and concerns about doing business overseas? What keeps you up at night? What brings a smile to your face and heart? Looking forward to reading your comments here soon! 

Best regards, Wanda

Singapore ranks #1 for US companies to staff overseas operations, September 4, 2013, Brain Gain Asia LLC Blog.

** AMCHAM Blasts China’s ‘Opaque’ Investment Rules, September 22, 2014, Global Trade.

Images courtesy of and Ogilvy & Mather.

This article originally appeared as part of LinkedIn’s #BehindTheScenes series.

Part 5, The CSR Career Path: Hilary Connelly

by Hilary Connelly

This is the final interview in my blog series (read my firstsecondthird and fourth posts) on researching the CSR Career Path and what better way to tell you how I landed my dream job then to “interview” myself and share my career advice and profile. I ended up where I am today via a winding path through NFL media relations, managing a nonprofit and working for a tech startup in Silicon Valley. But despite the varied industries, I knew early on I wanted to use my career and abilities to make a difference in the lives of others. I know this sounds cheesy, but to me the perfect job is to tell the story of organizations making an impact on the world, work with people I’m inspired by, and be a part of building something that I believe in. I waited a year to find the right fit and had several job offers, but it was worth the wait. When I interviewed with the company’s founders, I knew in my gut this was where I was supposed to be.

I’ve landed back in San Francisco to join Shout, a tech startup that launched an app in March 2015 that measures and illustrates a person’s values, character and how good of a person they are – as affirmed by those who know them best. Shout changes the way we judge each other by scoring a person’s positive social impact and the cumulative good they see in others.

I hope by reading this blog and the interviews of other CSR/Social Good professionals, you are encouraged to go after your dream job and never settle for anything less. A special thank you to those who have encouraged and helped me in this research – the Center for Social Impact Communications team, Dean Keyes, Georgetown instructors, classmates and all of the CSR professionals I spoke with along the way.

Connelly-HilaryName: Hilary Connelly

Title: Director of Marketing and Operations, Shout

Graduate Education: Master of Professional Studies in PR and Corporate Communications | Georgetown University

Previous Positions

  • Alumni Instructor, PR/CC Capstone Course | Georgetown University
  • Project Manager & Executive Assistant to CEO | Reply!, Inc.
  • Executive Director | The Quentin Jammer Family Foundation
  • Public Relations & Events Manager | Octagon Football
  • Media Relations Assistant | Baltimore Ravens

Hilary’s Role

I’ve only been at my new job with Shout for a couple months now and I’m thrilled to be a part of a team that is contributing to improving how we interact with others both online and offline. It is not what I originally envisioned when I thought of a CSR role, but I am still part of an corporation that is working to improve society. As the Director of Marketing and Operations, I’m part of a small team building a mobile app that measures the strength of your character with a simple score. In my day-to-day role, I wear many hats and help out wherever I can to get our product launched and in the hands of all of you! Currently, I’m building a communications strategy for our app launch targeting college students and young professionals, writing messaging and positioning statements for our overall brand and managing the operations of the development and design of the app.

It’s exciting to be part of a startup where I get to create a product that others can enjoy.

How I got here

When I graduated from Brigham Young University with a communications degree – I was offered the opportunity of a lifetime… to work in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens. I had no idea what I was getting into, but during that first year of working in media relations for a professional team I definitely got my feet wet in communicating to fans on a national scale. But it was my work with the team giving back to the community that I found most rewarding. Not sure what was the right next step, I ended up working at a sports agency helping athletes promote themselves by coordinating media and promotional appearances as well as helping them with their charitable foundations. I loved helping them volunteer in their community and host special events to raise money for causes they cared about. Despite all of the negativity surrounding some players in the NFL, I got to work with some really caring guys. One of them actually hired me to start and run his nonprofit foundation supporting foster youth in San Diego.

I worked at the Jammer Family Foundation for several years building the brand, coordinating volunteer programs and raising money for the first-in-the-nation residential school for foster youth. Then the economy tanked in 2008 and I was suddenly back to the drawing board. I explored several jobs as a personal assistant to both individuals and CEOs. While I liked a lot of the organizational aspects of that role, ultimately I missed being strategic and being able to use my communication skills to help a company tell its story. That led me to graduate school at Georgetown where I was able to hone my communications skills and learn about the digital media technologies that were new to me as a PR professional. The classes I took helped me better understand my strengths and the direction I wanted to go in my career.

I knew that ultimately I wanted to do something with a social good mission, but I just wasn’t sure what that position would look like. I got some great advice from a friend who told me to visualize the place I wanted to work and what it felt like. I wasn’t that comfortable using my imagination, but I figured I had nothing to lose. I met up with an old boss of mine over the holidays this year and he told me about a company he was starting and asked if I’d be willing to meet with his team the following week. I thought this might be a consulting opportunity, but much to my surprise after meeting with his team and having an informal interview with his cofounder, they offered me an amazing position as director of marketing and operations at Shout, a new tech startup based in sunny San Francisco.

Must Have Skills

  • Be able to tell people who you are and what your unique offering is by being prepared with an elevator pitch as well as a unique fact about yourself that will make you memorable.
  • Being a skilled writer will get you far in your career. People in any industry, but especially communications and CSR appreciate a concise and skillful writer. Of all of the skills I use on a daily basis – this is the one I use that propels my ideas forward the most and allows me to prove my impact.

Career Highlight

I’ve had several career highlights where I’ve been extremely satisfied with the work I’m doing. Most of it revolves around meeting really inspiring people and overcoming the fear of doing something that’s new to me.

One memory that stands out was during my work as the Executive Director of a nonprofit foundation in San Diego that worked with foster youth. As part of my job, I partnered with the San Diego Chargers and hosted ten local youth to a football game each home game as part of a reward program for academic all-stars. Sitting in the sun, watching football with these teenagers who had gone through a lot in their lives was incredibly rewarding. I had taken on this role with hesitation because I had never worked for a foundation let alone run one – but I took the leap of faith and it was one of the greatest learning experiences of my career. I still am involved in foster youth advocacy today because of my introduction to this amazing group of kids.

My Advice

  • Network! I can’t say this enough. We hear this often, but I am proof. Almost every job I’ve ever gotten has been because of someone has referred me or even former colleagues and bosses. Referrals are the best way to find a job. It gets easier the more you do it.
  • Find something you’re passionate about and find a way to get involved in that arena. You can always volunteer or attend conferences for an industry you’re interested in. It’s a great way to meet people in the field and learn whether or not this is a career you might want to pursue.
  • Ask a lot of questions. When interviewing, I know it’s a nerve-wrecking process, but always ask as many questions about the person interviewing you as you can. Let them talk about themselves and learn how you can connect with them in some personal way – like you both love to golf or have a trip to Australia coming up, etc. This really makes you a memorable candidate and people hire people who they LIKE and would want as a coworker.

Potential Challenges

I’m not in a traditional CSR role, but one of the aspects of communicating social impact that is a challenge with any brand is getting through the clutter and getting people to care about the work you’re doing.

Sometimes it can be hard to get buy in from management when its not tied directly to sales or isn’t measurable.

And as consumers are increasingly concerned with supporting brands and organizations that have a positive social impact, it will be essential to be able to really tell an organization’s story in a compelling and visual way.

Practitioner Profile: Sherry Ettleson, Professional Search Consultant

by Kimberley Carlton

sherry1-e1355761593391Sherry Ettleson is the founder and president of Ettleson & Associates, a professional independent headhunting organization for progressive nonprofits and foundations in Washington, DC, New York and San Francisco.  To learn more about current opportunities Sherry is recruiting for or to submit your resume for her consideration, visit the Ettleson & Associates website.

[Editor’s Tip: Sherry is currently recruiting for a Communications Associate at Venture Philanthropy Partners!]


Center for Social Impact Communication: Describe your career path and your current position.

Sherry Ettleson: My career started when I was a young lawyer/ lobbyist in Washington working for nonprofit organizations and then as a Senate Hill staffer for many years. While taking time off to raise my family, a good friend and former colleague asked if I could help with a few searches for his firm. As a result, he began referring other nonprofit clients who needed help finding talented new staff. After receiving publicity from the Washington Post in 2009, I acquired some new clients and built up my own firm over the last ten years. I work alone with a little administrative help as needed. My work affords me the opportunity to stay connected to the great organizations that I worked with earlier in my career.

CSIC: What do you enjoy the most about your work?

SE: What I enjoy most about my work is collaborating so many terrific organizations. I enjoy learning about the really important work they are doing and helping them find the right talent to carry out their mission. The other part I enjoy is the talent search. I love hearing about people’s career paths. It is fascinating to see how a person’s career evolves. I like knowing the thought, the focus, and the passion that people put into their careers.

CSIC: What are the top the 5 traits that attracts you to a candidate?

SE: The five traits or characteristics that attract me to a candidate are:

  1. Passion
  2. Drive
  3. Creativity
  4. Problem Solving Ability
  5. Looking at things from a different perspective

The other qualifications I look for are good writing skills. I always look for good writers.

CSIC: What is your best piece of career advice for seeking opportunities in social impact space?

SE: I give all job seekers the same career advice: work for and with great people. Work for people that will give you opportunities to grow and develop. Work for someone that will give you opportunities to take on responsibilities and someone that you can learn from. People in Washington are always looking for jobs down two different paths. One path is looking for a job where they can work on a particular issue they are passionate about. The other path is skill related – what are you good at? Advocacy, communications, raising money, etc. However, often people forget the people side of of a job search. You may find the perfect job, but if your boss does not allow you to grow and learn, it will ruin the experience and the opportunity for you. My best career advice is to work for great people.

CSIC: What is your go to source to stay relevant and up-to-date with industry trends for the organizations you recruit for?

SE: My clients are my go to source for staying relevant and up-to-date with industry trends. I learn a lot through interviews and conversations with my clients and potential clients. I always learn a lot from those conversations.

CSIC: If life had dealt you a different hand and you never spent a semester in Washington while in law school, what do you think you would be doing now?

SE: This is one of my favorite questions. First, if I had grown up in a different era where being a chef held a different connotation; I might have been a chef. I love to cook for my family and friends. More seriously, if I had not come to Washington for my law school internship I probably would be working in state government. I would be in Chicago working in State government. I love government work. It is important to me that government works for everyone.