Brenda Morris: Corporate Relations Manager

Brenda Morris is the new Corporate Relations Manager of the Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department at Georgia Tech. She succeeds Ms. Sally Gerrish, who retired last semester. Ms. Morris has been at Tech for over 20 years, and she last worked for the School of Building Construction for 11 of those years.

As the BME Corporate Relations Manager, she provides support to students in preparing for, identifying and pursuing job opportunities. This includes sending daily internship and position announcements to students in BME. She sends those out the day they are announced. This is because those companies may be working with other universities as well, so she wants to make sure Tech students have a fair shot at the positions. She also sends out information about various industries, meetings with alumni, and summer opportunities.

Other aspects of her job include managing corporate industry relations (which includes coordinating company info/visit sessions like the Biotech Career Fair), managing a database of alumni information, assisting those alumni with their job searches, and coaching and mentoring current students during their job searches. She keeps in touch with them for both setting up these appointments and maintaining long-term relationships.

Ms. Morris has received a lot of requests for critiques on resumes and other things related to job searches. She meets with four or five students daily to discuss internships and the like.

She recommends that a student send her their resume prior to meeting her so that she can go over the resume ahead of time and discuss her edits with them; this is a good time saver for both of them.

Most students are focused on discussing summer internships with her during Spring semesters, but when they get closer to graduation, they search for full-time positions; the type of employment students aim for is entirely dependent on the student level and time of year. She often points students toward the Biotech Career Fair, which occurs each Fall semester in September. In the spring she encourages the students to attend the all majors career fair.

Ms. Morris generally acts as a middleman between the students and the companies they are pursuing; she prefers to let the company itself handle the actual hiring process because they have a stronger understanding of what they want in a potential employee. However, there are certain companies with special criteria that require her to carefully manage the interactions between student and company; some of those criteria include only electing to see five resumes or applications, limiting the number of students, only hiring United States citizens, CDC/government agency/special clearance, and security issues. In general, she is mainly happy to facilitate the job hunting process without interfering much in the company’s business operations.

Most students that she has assisted are eager to keep in touch with her and let her know how their job searches have gone; in fact, she requests her students keep in touch by asking them to report where their new jobs are.

She also keeps in touch with alumni and their placements. As previously mentioned, she keeps a database on these alumni so she can ask them to hold information or visit sessions about their work and companies, as well as possibly recruit other Tech students into their company. She maintains a LinkedIn account, which she uses to keep in touch with her students as they search for jobs. In fact, she recommends that all students get LinkedIn accounts of their own.

In her own words, the most gratifying aspect of her job is having “personal connections in a professional world”.

This comes to a head when students that she has helped tell her they received their dream job. They are naturally quite eager to inform her, since she assisted them in the process of getting the position. She enjoys seeing students go from freshman to senior years and how the capstone project at the end of those four years reveals their growth both as students and as aspiring professionals.

As a result, she has kept in touch with alumni over her 20 years at Tech, and they often email her just to update her on how they’re doing in life. For instance, she recently received an email from a former student in the School of Building Construction that depicted photos of his wedding day and he and his bride’s subsequent success in finding jobs. She believes it is especially important to maintain strong connections out of the many students and colleagues she has met over the years.

Her advice when it comes to searching for summer internships and full time positions is that “the best time to start is right now; it is never too early to begin your career exploration”.

BME students searching for internships or full-time jobs should be on the lookout for Brenda’s emails each day. She recommends that they save her emails in a file or folder of some sort so they can compile a list of interesting companies. Students who want to get a jump start on career discussion are encouraged to email our new Corporate Relations Manager, Brenda Morris and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.