Education and training in the heart of the federal contracting industry.
From its inception, and owing to its home in the George Mason University School of Business, the Center included education and training as one of its core lines of effort.
Consider this: the School of Business is located in the heart of the federal contracting industry—an industry that provides 40 percent of the local GDP, with 10,000+ alumni working in government and business.
The Center is engaged in an ever expanding range of offerings for students, government agencies and business.
The first decision taken provided funding for a half-time career counselor in the School’s Office of Careers Services. This counselor’s task was simple and direct—connect undergraduate and graduate Business students to government agencies and government contracting companies as a resource for hires and interns.
From there, additional resources grew to include an undergraduate GovCon minor, graduate level accounting certificates, a Student Ambassador Program connecting Advisory Board member companies as mentors for undergraduate and graduate students. The purpose of the Ambassador program is to attract talent to work in the vital government contracting industry.
For students within and beyond the Mason campus, The Pulse of GovCon has shared a video, “Government Contracting 101” with the Center. This GovCon 101 video attracts attention for students from all of the academic areas—accounting, finance, information systems and operations management, management, and marketing— to work in an industry that fulfills a public mission. The video informs viewers on what the industry is, what it does, how they can contribute for the greater good, while taking advantage of higher salaries and career growth. Watch "Government Contracting 101."
The Government Contracting Minor offers:
- A focus on the fundamentals of government contracting
- 15 credits (five courses)
Building on the courses offered by faculty with the School of Business, a growing number of courses are being offered by “GovCon” practitioners. To further enrich the student experience, course instructors invite a wide range of practitioners to engage in the classroom.
Beyond the minor, discussions and activities are underway that provide additional training for business students by applying the skill sets in each of the six academic areas of the School of Business—accounting, business foundations, finance, information systems and operations management, management, and marketing—to the work of government contracting, because the GovCon industry is not just about contracts. It is workforce and supply chain management, innovation in technology and data analytics, and finance and customer service that enables and drives the industry to fulfill its mission. Applying academic expertise in government contracting will lower the cost and time for training interns and hires in a unique industry. There are careers to be made. Valuable, exciting, engaging careers that can last a lifetime.
Graduate Courses and Certificates
Several courses offered through the School of Business' MBA program focus on topics relevant to the government contracting industry. In addition, the School of Business offers two graduate certificate programs specific to the GovCon industry:
Student Ambassador Program
The Student Ambassador Program connects students to industry and prepares students for work on day one. The Student Ambassador Program provides George Mason University students an opportunity to work directly with the Baroni Center for Government Contracting Advisory Board members, giving each student ambassador the opportunity to engage with industry leaders and to participate in the following activities:
- Attend Center meetings and events.
- Participate in “mock” operational meetings led by industry leaders where Ambassadors will learn how to address real-world issues related to the industry.
- Participate in company site visits and tours.
- Opportunity to participate in job shadowing days with high level executives, academic and government leaders in a variety of companies and organizations.
- Attend organization learning and development seminars/lunch and learn events.
- Participate in Student Ambassador round table events where their input helps shape future programs, services and events.
Executive Development and Life-Long Learning
This effort fills the needs of agencies and business seeking to train and retain their workforce to keep pace with change and innovation in the marketplace. Individuals, too, who are seeking new career avenues to enrich their lives are eager to learn—whether close to the campus or remote and across the country—and to learn at their pace.
Center staff participate in the Executive Development programs of the School of Business, and George Mason University Continuing and Professional Education offers three certificate programs in Contracting with the Federal Government: