Wednesday, October 26, 2011
NIU's Interactive Marketing Program Career Panel
We had a great career panel last night in Barsema Hall with three outstanding former students. We asked them how they found their job, how long it took, the process, did they have any advice for new grads and a number of other questions. They all took advantage of NIU resources to find their jobs and emphasized the projects from their classes in their job interviews. I was so proud of our recent grads and all they are accomplishing in their careers.
All of these companies are looking to hire recent college grads for entry level positions.
Kevin Cunningham, Marketing Solutions Consultant, 2011: works for Covalent Marketing a boutique consultancy working for the Fortune 500 and has done social media scans and database work. Kevin found his job through networking with a frat brother. From the ELC project where students act as junior consultants he learned he did not want to be pigeonholed and to be a liason between IT and business. The Interactive Marketing Technology course MKTG 470 and the Restaurant.com project were key to his obtaining his job and he wishes he had taken more coding, html or SQL.( COMS 359 is a good fit for learning HTML and the more technical aspects of web design). Kevin constantly learns and uses the netvibes.com dashboard site to organize his information.
Will Johnson, Advertising Specialist, 2010: works for Uline, a b2b shipping supply company in internet advertising, moving to catalogue area and a DM focus and is searching for a replacement so he can move up. Will found his job through 'Meet the Firm' night in a way because he had met the company at that event and when he applied they remembered him. Will delayed graduation to take a search internship at Zebra Technologies and then parlayed the experience into an offer at Uline. Will recommends the OMIS database applications course OMIS 352 for an understanding of how to put databases together from a technical view and how to learn SQL. He found the Google Adwords challenge classroom experience helped him in interviews as well as following up and getting some of the Google certifications. All the guests panelists stressed the importance of looking at data, knowing, how to understand, manipulate and speak intelligently about the company information.
Thorne Washington, Search Specialist, 2011: works for Leapfrog Online, an affiliate marketing, SEO firm that is moving toward agency model. Thorne is a Search engine specialist on the automotive side and writing ad content for Mazda and AutoNation, soon, Kia. He got his job through an Email through the IM Program listserv. Thorne got two offers this way and Leapfrog was a better fit. What really helped Thorne in interviews was stressing the projects he did in his classes; everyone who interviewed him was really interested in the Restaurant.com project and his having had a chance to apply marketing technology tools to a real business. The direct marketing project and its emphasis on Excel was also a help as Thorne manages very large, 8,000 plus rows, spreadsheets for keyword bidding. Thorne has done the Google Adwords certification and pursued that on his own, which impressed his future employer that he was the extra mile and had a passion for the field. Both Thorne and Will read the Google Analytics blog to stay up to date and Thorne has also pursued the Adwords certification on his own.