I was lucky enough last week to get the chance to Skype in to my friend Ken Mueller’s class at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. The class, which Ken, who is the brains behind Inkling Media, developed for the school, is called Marketing 360 and focuses on social media marketing. I got to play long distance guest speaker and address the topic of taking online interaction offline.
I shared several client examples of work that has gone from online social interaction to in person interaction, cementing relationships clients have with their customers. My favorite part of the class, however, was when the students took turns hopping in front of the camera to ask me a question. At the end of class, I asked about the future of the graduating seniors and got to hear that many of them have solid plans; jobs, even! It was fantastic.
Ken asked me to share some advice, which is funny to me sometimes because I forget how long it’s been since I was in college; that these 14 years or so of experience have added up to something. I told the class to write and to read as much as possible and to, above all, be patient in their new roles as junior staffers; that everyone has a few years of paying their dues and they will be no different; that they should take that time to think, build and develop strong portfolios and online profiles.
Afterwards, I kept thinking about that class and the other 20-somethings I know in marketing and communications and the advice I shared with one of them recently. I think the most important idea to think through is your passion. What is it that interests you most? I have a fondness and personal interest in health care and in education — I lean toward clients in these fields and find that my best work gets done in areas where I’m personally engaged. So my advice is this; focus on your passions and the rest will fall into place.
Thanks Ken, and thanks Marketing 360 class! It was great to be part of your evening.