For their capstone project, students in the MS in Corporate and Organizational Communication program must engage with a project sponsor to address a communication challenge. Over a 12-week period, students apply a consultative methodology and their communication knowledge and skills in an experiential learning process.
I recently asked Nicole Bernstein, an alumna of our program, and one of six Northeastern College of Professional Studies students recognized for the excellence of their experiential projects in the past academic year, about her capstone experience.
For her Fall 2019 capstone project, Nicole Bernstein worked with CareerAgility, a boutique Diversity and Inclusion consulting firm, which was founded, as its website notes “with a passion for ensuring women and people with diverse backgrounds have an equal voice and equal advancement opportunities in the workplace. We believe companies are more innovative, competitive, and financially successful when the work environment is diverse and inclusive.”
The challenge: Assessing the brand and developing a communication strategy
The CEO of the company, Julia Geisman, was seeking strategic marketing and branding expertise to help grow her business and was paired with Nicole for her capstone project.
The primary objective was to provide CareerAgility with a B2B brand assessment and recommendations to improve communication with key stakeholders, strengthen brand awareness and thought leadership in the diversity and inclusion space, and, ultimately, gain more business.
The scope of the project included analyzing the current state of CareerAgility’s branding, communication, and marketing efforts to determine the baseline. It also included conducting competitive research to better understand the ways in which competitors were marketing their services and the type of messaging used to attract new clients.
Another element of the research phase included a deep-dive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) analysis of CareerAgility’s website. This highlighted areas where improvements could be made to optimize performance in search engines.
Nicole thoroughly reviewed CareerAgility’s content strategy across all internal and external channels, as well as marketing collateral/materials. She provided recommendations on how to drive the CareerAgility brand forward by gaining visibility from prospective clients and establishing thought leadership in the diversity and inclusion industry.
Serving as a communication consultant, Nicole brought together her skills and knowledge to make a difference for this purpose-driven organization.
Listen to what Nicole has to say about her experience.
What the project sponsor had to say
“I had the opportunity and great pleasure to work with Nicole in 2019 when she served as a digital marketing and brand consultant for my company, CareerAgility, which was part of an experiential learning capstone project for her master’s degree at Northeastern University. I was looking for help with developing a digital marketing and communications strategy to help grow my business, and I could not have asked for a better marketing communication professional to be assigned to work with.
Nicole is a big-picture thinker, who was able to provide comprehensive, data-driven strategic recommendations that were practical and easy for me to understand and implement. Nicole is creative and thoughtful in her approach and is a very dynamic individual who is extremely organized and an excellent communicator. I found that Nicole was extremely well-versed in her craft and was a joy to work with. As a consultant, leader, or team member, Nicole earns my highest recommendation!” – Julia Geisman – CEO, Career Agility
Posted by Carl Zangerl, Faculty