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September 2013

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Dynamic Web Solutions Offers Scholarship for Outstanding SEM Student

Brian Forrester, owner of Dynamic Web Solutions LLC in Richmond, recently contacted the College of Business to discuss the possibility of beginning a new $1,000 Internet marketing scholarship for the Outstanding JMU Internet Marketing student.

Brian began recruiting summer interns from JMU last year. He says, “This idea came about from an interview with a 2012 JMU marketing graduate, Cheryl Jones, who explained that she had taken an Internet marketing class that Theresa Clarke had put together.” He went on to say that one of the company’s biggest challenges is finding talented team members who have search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) skills, people who really understand how the Internet works.

Brian did hire Cheryl for a full-time position. Prior to that, his most recent hire relocated from San Diego. He notes that it’s been difficult to find talented people locally. More dollars are spent on online marketing these days, yet it’s hard to find people who know how to effectively maximize those online marketing campaigns.

Brian heard about the class at JMU from other recent graduates.  He has since begun talking to other Virginia universities, suggesting that they add SEO/SEM classes. He says, “I feel it’s a sought after skill set post graduation. There is a shortage of graduates who truly understand search engine marketing.”

His company, Dynamic Web Solutions, has experienced a 754% growth spurt in the past three years. The need for people with excellent Internet marketing skills continues to grow. Many companies have in-house marketing departments, and they need graduates with the same skills.

Brian adds, “I want to encourage students to pursue education in search engine marketing. Students with an understanding of SEO and SEM are more marketable and can command a higher salary.  It also offers the chance for upward mobility. Plus, the work atmosphere at SEM companies is more fun!”

Brian started Dynamic Web Solutions in 2009.  He attended JMU, then transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University, where he studied music and business. He also worked in Hollywood as an audio engineer for two years before moving back to Richmond and starting his company.

His objective in starting this scholarship is to encourage students to get involved in this field of study. He is also trying to create a virtual bench of people with SEO expertise.  His primary desire is to shine a bigger light on this emerging field, which holds lots of promise.

This annual scholarship will begin in the spring of 2014. Eligible students must be enrolled in MKTG 477, have a GPA of 3.0, and do well in MKTG 477. Please contact Theresa Clarke, clarketb@jmu.edu, with questions.  

The College of Business thanks Brian Forrester and Dynamic Web Solutions for this generous outreach effort.