Surprise! There is more to corporate communications than writing press releases. We showcased this with five Boston-based graduate students, who joined the MilliporeSigma Corporate Communications team for a day. As alumni from the Corporate and Organizational Communication’s program, we know how exciting it can be to apply classroom learning in the real world.

Yilei Zhao, a current student in the MS in Corporate and Organizational Communication, is seated on the far left

The mission of MilliporeSigma is to solve the toughest problems in life sciences through collaboration with the global scientific community.

Our team started strategizing eight months ago, our purpose was to determine how to inform the global scientific community that we wanted to work together to accelerate health access for people everywhere. With the new MilliporeSigma Life Science Center being opened just outside the major biotech hub of Boston, we had an opportunity to build our reputation and reinforce our commitment to customers.

What better way to raise our visibility than to invite key stakeholders to our new campus for a day dedicated to science and technology, known as the MilliporeSigma Scientific Symposium!

In addition to the 200 attendees, we invited a handful of graduate students, including our very own Northeastern student, Yilei Zhao. She is pursuing her master’s with a concentration in Social Media and Online Communities.

Yilei shared, “The day was so unforgettable and meaningful because it opened up a new door of the world for me! Before that day, I barely had a chance to learn about life sciences, and I was so impressed by the new ideas and future technologies under development. As a member of the communication team that day, my job was to collect information and write a post for the popular Chinese platform WeChat.” Yilei commented further, “I must say, I admire the services and technologies that MilliporeSigma provides to the world.”

Yilei is second from left

The MilliporeSigma Scientific Symposium, held on October 11, was led by world-renowned academic researchers, technologists and industry entrepreneurs, who share in our goal of pursuing progress for people everywhere. Alongside our executive team, Governor Charlie Baker of the Commonwealth kicked the day off by reinforcing the importance of science and technology for Massachusetts.

Offical kick-off for the symposium

Following the opening remarks was a day of encouraging discussions around science and technology advancements. Our graduate students communicated highlights to our key stakeholders by writing articles on exciting topics, creating multimedia social content, and engaging attendees.

Successful social media was a critical element for the MilliporeSigma Scientific Symposium, as we used it to create a platform that brought together some of the industry’s leading minds and ignited conversations around the changing healthcare ecosystem. Social media was used to foster collaboration, raise awareness of MilliporeSigma’s problem-solving culture, and measure engagement.

“This was the first time that I had a chance to closely see how a company utilizes social media to drive awareness of its reputation,” reflected Yilei.

Yes, we did issue a press release about the event, but that was only one piece of a complex communication strategy. We truly hope that all the students who participated, recognize that communications are a strategic business function.

Posted by Lauryn Granara, CPS’17 and Camille Dings, CPS’17

Editor’s Note: We encourage our alumni to emulate what Lauryn and Camille did to enrich the experience of our current students — if you are planning an event similar to MilliporeSigma’s and would like to involve one or more of our students, please contact Carl Zangerl: