FGCU Students Collaborate with Arthrex on Senior Projects


With graduation only a semester away and project deadlines looming, Florida Gulf Coast University public relations students tackled what was, for many of them, their most lifelike assignment to date: presenting mock public relations campaigns to local companies.

The Arthrex Corporate Communications team has been partnering with FGCU Communications and Public Relations Professor Mike Kennedy, MBA, and his senior capstone classes for eight consecutive semesters.

“It's the closest we can get to giving the students the real-world experience of what it's like to be part of a PR firm that has to pitch their own original ideas to a client,” said Mike.

MountainsAt the beginning of the fall semester, the students were split into groups and each assigned a different public relations campaign from Arthrex, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore or Artist Bay. Four student groups were tasked with the campaigns suggested by the Arthrex Corporate Communications team: brand recognition, employee relations, education and awareness of the Synergy product line and recruiting.

“I hope the students gained a true understanding of the public relations field and the knowledge of what it's like to put together a PR campaign from scratch,” said Mike. “I also hope they recognize how the theories, strategies and specific tactics we've discussed in other classes all come together to solve problems and that they understand the importance of working as a team.”

MountainsAfter a few weeks’ worth of research and brainstorming, the students were invited to visit Arthrex Global Headquarters to better understand the company. They were blown away by the campus, the product showroom, the history and patent walls and the mock Synergy OR.

The students presented their completed projects to members of the Corporate Communications team on Wednesday, November 28, after a semester of preparation. The projects incorporated several original ideas, including hosting “Interview Arthrex” events at job fairs, where job seekers can ask actual employees what it’s like to work here, and starting a patient-focused blog on OrthoIllustrated.com that explains what pre- and post-op patients can expect.

Some other ideas presented by the teams are even underway at Arthrex already, including launching a text messaging informational campaign and offering Synergy products for lease as a more affordable option for hospitals.

Mountains“Being able to work with actual organizations helped the class understand business processes and the real-life problems that companies face on a daily basis,” said Patrick Maguschak, marketing operations support intern at Arthrex and a student in the class.

Patrick’s group worked on a public relations campaign for the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

The Corporate Communications team is looking forward to continuing this partnership and offering feedback for students as they prepare to enter the job market.

“Our team always looks forward to the student presentations. Their enthusiasm is contagious and we love seeing what they come up with. Working on the campaigns the students present on, it’s nice when their suggestions validate or build on things we are doing, and we really listen to their suggestions on how we can improve,” said Kate Albers, lead corporate journalist.

Congratulations to all of the students for putting together such innovative projects and getting one step closer to graduation.


Category: In the Community