Saturday, September 27, 2014

Panel Participation at UMSL

 Pursuing a Marketing Career UMSL Panel Discussion 9-25-2014

My friend Professor Perry Drake convinced me that I might have a nugget or two to offer as part of a panel discussion at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Drake has done an incredible job in connecting the dots between students, faculty, administration and the community. This is just one example. So, on the afternoon of September 25th the Summit Lounge was alive for a panel discussion with some industry executives around the topic: The Reinvention of Marketing. Organized by the Marketing Club the event attracted more than 100 people to the the session which lasted about just about 90 minutes.

The panel included Matt Coble (Fleishman Hillard), Lisa Keller (Purina), Amber Fox (Momentum Worldwide), Dana Biermann (Creative Circle), Carlos Gil (Save-A-Lot), Dan Stubbs (Condé Nast), Christine Brennan (Famous Footwear), Emily McNew (United Way) and myself. Patrick Eberle the UMSL Marketing Club president did an expert job as panel discussion leader/moderator.

The audience heard a variety of insights on what it means to be a marketer in an age of disruption and change. It is clear that college students still have a justifiable fair share of anxiety about landing a dream job after graduation. It is also painfully obvious that the roadmap to a successful career in marketing is an elusive one.  The panel represented marketers, agency personnel, talent acquisition people and human resources specialists. This cross section of expertise, it would seem, might have widely divergent views on the study and practice of Marketing. However, on this early Fall afternoon in St. Louis, the audience is treated to a tremendous amount of FREE advice. I hope, the net take-aways included a reasonable mix of fundamental wisdom, a bit of inspiration and healthy dose of motivation. Of course there was a flurry of tweets during and immediate following the event.

Some highlights that deserve mentioning: 1. Be committed to being a lifelong learner – especially with regard to digital media 2. Get connected on LinkedIn 3. Manage your social media accounts – It is becoming more common for employers to review of your social presence 4. Be true to your brand and follow your passion – the lines are blurring between marketing and other business areas 5. Pursue meaningful experience (e.g. internships, pro-bono, volunteerism) 6. Participate in trade and industry events.7. Sharpen your skills – particularly your ability to write well.

By the way – I did have a few things to offer this conversation but, as is often the case, I may have learned even more in doing so. Note: Kim Wells and Pier Alsup were not able to participate due to schedule conflicts. 


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