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“We’re do­ing a lot of out­reach for all of the ma­jor uni­ver­si­ties through­out the re­gion and to­day it’s Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton,” EDC Pres­i­dent and CEO Jim Cole­man said in an in­ter­view. “We’re look­ing at talk­ing to their in­ter­na­tional stu­dents who are in the grad­u­ate pro­gram and they’re look­ing at the dif­fer­ent op­por­tu­ni­ties in the re­gion. We’re a ma­jor em­ployer that’s fo­cused on ex­pand­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally and what bet­ter way to be able to look at tal­ent. … It gives us a chance to check them out and see if there’s a good fit.”

For 18 years, the El­liott School’s Grad­u­ate Stu­dent Ca­reer De­vel­op­ment Of­fice has co­or­di­nated an­nual em­ployer site vis­its to in­tro­duce in­com­ing grad­u­ate stu­dents to some of the most in­flu­en­tial and rep­utable or­ga­ni­za­tions and pro­fes­sion­als in the field of in­ter­na­tional af­fairs. As part of the EDC’s ef­forts to bridge the gap be­tween col­lege stu­dents and jobs of the fu­ture in Prince Ge­orge’s County, the site visit was in­tended to give stu­dents an in-depth view of how the corporation ful­fills its mis­sion to main­tain the tal­ent pipe­line through so­cial me­dia and high-pow­ered events, as well as its en­gage­ment in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity through the county ex­ec­u­tive’s in­ter­na­tional busi­ness de­vel­op­ment plan, ac­cord­ing to an EDC press re­lease.

“This area is very unique sim­ply be­cause we’re very lucky to be so close to [Wash­ing­ton] D.C. which is con­sid­ered the nerve cen­ter in terms of global af­fairs by all ac­counts,” said Martin Ezemma, di­rec­tor of in­ter­nal busi­ness at the corporation. “I think it’ll be a great idea for th­ese stu­dents to come and see, in real time, what busi­nesses are do­ing, the di­rec­tion they’re head­ing and what it is that we’re pro­vid­ing to cre­ate jobs here at EDC.”

Cole­man said the in­ter­na­tional grad­u­ate stu­dents are an­other step the county is tak­ing to build bridges to the fu­ture. Their ea­ger­ness and de­sire can help the corporation cre­ate more em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers, he said.

“They’ve got a great in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment pro­gram and we’re look­ing for­ward to see­ing how good th­ese stu­dents are,” he said. “[Prince Ge­orge’s] County Ex­ec­u­tive [Rush­ern] Baker wants to have sev­eral trade mis­sions and mu­tual brief­ings with Korea, China, Nige­ria, South Africa, Mex­ico and Canada. So we’re ramp­ing up and build­ing our team out. Hope­fully we can see some tal­ent and maybe they can join us as in­terns or maybe long term as full-time em­ploy­ees.” EDC Hu­man Re­sources Di­rec­tor Rox­anne Rush and Se­nior Hu­man Re­sources Gen­er­al­ist Tif­fany John­son spear­headed the site visit as part of the EDC’s ef­fort to bring the best of the best to the county, the press re­lease noted.

“The way to do that is to cre­ate aware­ness so that they know who we are and may want to come back,” Rush said. “We’re go­ing to be do­ing this with other col­leges in the area as well. We have a tem­plate now to use for the other schools.”

“There are a lot of ex­cit­ing things go­ing on here at the EDC,” added John­son, a new staff mem­ber at the corporation. “I’m ex­cited to re­ally be a part of this whole pro­cess.”

As an in­ter­na­tional stu­dent from Bei­jing, China, 22-yearold Zhong “Ryan” Li said he is very ex­cited to learn about all the in­ter­na­tional busi­ness de­vel­op­ment go­ing on at the corporation.

Li said work­ing with the EDC would be an ideal ca­reer be­cause it will not only help him be­come a more valu­able em­ployee, but also ben­e­fit his home coun­try in the pro­cess.

“What I learned is that there are a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties … and how in­ter­na­tional stu­dents can find a job in the United States,” said Li, a for­mer Gates Foun­da­tion in­tern who is now study­ing in­ter­na­tional trade and pol­icy in his sec­ond year as a grad­u­ate stu­dent. “They have so much to do with the lo­cal agen­cies. I was amazed by … their [am­bi­tious] plans in look­ing to do busi­ness with Korea, South Korea and South Africa which is very fit- ting for my ideal pro­vi­sion of the job [I’d like to have here]. I re­ally en­joyed com­ing here and learn­ing about all the good op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

For D.C. na­tive Joan Lindo, an alumna of the Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton El­liott School, she was im­pressed at how the corporation looks be­yond jobs to the mar­ket and trade, some­thing that re­ally res­onates with her as she is con­sid­er­ing a ca­reer change, Lindo said.

“I’m greatly im­pressed. I didn’t know so much was go­ing on in Prince Ge­orge’s County,” Lindo said. “I like the pic­ture they have here of over­all job cre­ation and look­ing to­ward other mar­kets and tak­ing di­verse routes to do it whether it’s trade mis­sions or net­work­ing events. The team of peo­ple here are eth­ni­cally di­verse and they come from dif­fer­ent back­grounds so ev­ery­body brings some­thing to the ta­ble. I’m look­ing for­ward to see what this means for me.”

“In this coun­try, the op­por­tu­ni­ties are lim­it­less,” said EDC Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent Pradeep Gan­guly. “What they took away from this event to­day is that even at the lo­cal level, there is a whole lot of busi­ness op­por­tu­nity and in­ter­na­tional op­por­tu­nity that ex­ists. … This was, in my view, the most tal­ented and di­verse group of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents we’ve had here. To­day, they got a good feel of what the EDC does and how the EDC is try­ing to make a dif­fer­ence not just lo­cally, but glob­ally.”


EDC Hu­man Re­sources Di­rec­tor Rox­anne Rush in­tro­duces her­self and wel­comes the group of stu­dent vis­i­tors as she is joined by a panel of other staff mem­bers.

From left is Jim Cole­man, pres­i­dent and CEO of the corporation, speak­ing with the group dur­ing an in­for­ma­tion ex­change as Rush and Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent Pradeep Gan­guly lis­ten be­fore tak­ing ques­tions.

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