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Fatima Osborne [View Image] After interning at the Greater Richmond Partnership last spring and summer, Fatima Osborne landed a full-time job opportunity with the organization this fall. (Kevin Morley, University Marketing)

Class of 2021: Fatima Osborne is using a love of storytelling to bring business to Richmond

The mass communications student and intern-turned-administrative coordinator at the Greater Richmond Partnership enjoys working in social media and ‘letting people be heard.’

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Fatima Osborne loves being able to tell a story, which is what led her to study mass communications in the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

“I feel like that's a big responsibility, to tell [someone’s] story and to tell it correctly,” said Osborne, who is graduating in December from the Robertson School — part of the College of Humanities and Sciences — with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with a concentration in public relations and a minor in entrepreneurship. “I just really love that aspect, letting people be heard through social media. Social media is huge as far as sharing, communicating and getting information spread out to people.” 

Osborne’s interests led to an internship from January to May 2020 with C. Miller, an online clothing boutique, where she made graphics and online flyers, helped the owner with her brand and promoted the products on social media platforms.

Building on that experience, Osborne then landed an internship last spring and summer at the Greater Richmond Partnership, a nonprofit public-private economic development organization. The organization’s mission — “to aggressively generate economic opportunities that create quality jobs for residents in the region and increase the tax base for needed community services” — drew Osborne to the position.

As an intern, Osborne kept learning ways to tell stories about the organization and its efforts. With her supervisor, she made changes to the Greater Richmond Partnership’s social media to better convey messages to help people understand the organization’s services. 

“That was memorable for me,” Osborne said. “I love my experience [at the Greater Richmond Partnership and] the environment. I love the people that I was working with.” 

When Osborne returned to campus this semester, she started looking for a job and asked the Greater Richmond Partnership staff she had worked with if they knew of any openings around the city. Shortly after, they gave her a tip about an administrative coordinator position with the organization. She was hired and started in the full-time position in October.

Jennifer Wakefield, president and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership, said the skills Osborne acquired during her internship prepared her for the role.

“Working full time is different than when I interned as the marketing intern, of course,” Osborne said. “I had different roles and responsibilities, but my current role still has some relation to my major in marketing. I do scheduling and help plan events.”

The Danville, Virginia, native is glad to land a position with the organization and remain in Richmond. Based on her experience as an intern and now working full time, Osborne said the most impactful courses for her at VCU were the ones that involved group work, even though they always posed a challenge. 

“They definitely play a role when you get into a job and you have to work with others and work with a group,” Osborne said. “I find that's a really big thing for me because I was one of those who didn’t like working in groups, or I felt that I could do the projects on my own, but that's not [the way it is] in reality.”

She looks forward to expanding her role at the Greater Richmond Partnership and using more of her public relations and marketing skills. One day Osborne hopes to put her coursework in entrepreneurship to use and pursue her own business, which she thinks will involve her interests in makeup and fashion.

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