Develop Your Network

“If you wish to become part of an amazing, supportive and creative group, look no further than MCDM. The network in the program is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.” –     Maren Higbee, MCDM alumna

The Communication Leadership graduate program has cultivated an invaluable network of community partners, industry contacts, and thought leaders. We strive to connect students and alumni to these valuable resources while they’re in the program and after they’ve graduated.

First Fridays

Our monthly First Friday events are an excellent networking opportunity, where students can learn about different organizations, interact with prospective employers and bond with their cohort in a casual setting. Comm Lead’s contacts within the Seattle business community are far-reaching so past and future hosts have included: Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Tableau, Weber Shandwick, WE Communications, Edelman, REI, KUOW, Simplicity Consulting, Revere, Avvo and UW CoMotion.

Whether the event is held in offices or on UW campus, our hosts do everything from throwing Cinco de Mayo parties to recruiting students for open positions. Naturally, First Fridays are well attended, averaging 70 to 80 people. We encourage students to keep an eye on our Events Calendar and RSVP to the events on Facebook so they don’t miss out!

Is your organization interested in hosting a First Friday? Please contact to get the networking ball rolling!

Mentor Program

The Comm Lead Mentor Program is designed to connect current students with industry professionals who can provide professional and personal development, support, and encouragement for future communication leaders. The program runs annually from November to May. Mentors are matched with one to two students depending on the specific interests of the mentees. The form and frequency of the interactions between students and their mentors vary, but most groups meet three or four times virtually over the course of the academic year. 


The Comm Lead program frequently partners with and contributes expertise to conferences in Seattle and beyond. Our involvement ranges from sponsorship and “conference takeovers” (wherein our faculty speaks at the podium and our students fill the seats) to funding individual attendance so students can participate in far away conventions.

We are regular participants at IN-NW, SXSW, Seattle Interactive Conference and TEDx events, and are always connecting to new ventures and seizing on those valuable professional development opportunities. Ultimately, Comm Lead citizenship helps our students to extend their reach well beyond what they may have been able to accomplish on their own.

Alumni Network

We have Comm Lead alumni working in all corners of the region and our alumni network is active and strong. From the day students step into class, their cohort of like-minded professionals becomes an invaluable resource—after all, relationship building is part of the curriculum! And that support doesn’t end at graduation. The people they collaborated with on that project will become their gateway to organizations like Weber Shandwick, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, EMP, and Facebook—all of which employ Comm Lead alumni.

Our Alumni Fellows program is yet another testament to the lasting nature of a Comm Lead membership and to the generous spirit of reciprocity that underpins the program. From teaching workshops to providing one-on-one mentoring, Alumni Fellows serve as resources for current students.

To learn more about how to stay connected as an alum, click here.

Bonus Networking Tips

NikaDevelop Your Network