Sunday, April 22, 2012

Almost A Year Later ...

Its 3 o’clock in the morning, the bar is shutting down, and the servers are kicking you and your friends out. You then stumble down the street to Mickey D’s and wolf down a handful of cheeseburgers before you go home to pass out... Sound familiar? We’ve all been there before, and someday we’ll all be there again - just not quite as often as we once were.

Just over a year ago, like many of you, I had no clue where or what I would be doing in 2012. I didn’t know if I was going to be a business owner, a university student, a Humber student, or a “nobody” working for a “somebody”.

Now, thanks to the hard work and dedication of many, I can say that I know who I am, what skills I hone, and I have a clear picture of where I want to be in 5 years. As someone with a passion for marketing and communications, finding the right mentorship to guide those skills towards success is what I truly lacked. Humber proved to be a valuable resource for me. I was able to create strong relationships with many industry professionals, and I was able to get the support and mentorship of a few professors that would be instrumental in finding me opportunities when I graduated.

There was one course in particular that helped me to raise the bar more than ever, and that was the Internet Marketing course that so many students are excited to take. Whether it was providing special pricing at major marketing events or engaging in real life projects that build valuable experience, the Internet Marketing course pushes even the least motivated students to get their hands dirty. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without it!

Working with many of Canada’s largest corporate institutions has proven to me that the skills that I picked up in this course are incredibly valuable – skills that are really a “need-to-have,” not a “nice-to-have.” Skills that I am using everyday to stay current and to develop in my career in digital marketing.

In today’s rapidly changing environment, those plagued by FUD (fear, uncertainty, and denial) do not succeed. In the digital world, we are preparing to enter a dynamic period in time where hardcore developers are going to get an opportunity to showcase their talents like never before and as marketers we need to stay on top of these trends and opportunities.  As creative marketers, it takes a strong knowledge of new technology, communication channels and of course people to be successful.

With this being said, I hope many of you decide to make the right choices, and respect the right people. Because, you will find that as you get older, your life can change pretty quickly after a year goes by. I wish you all the best of luck in your ventures – and look forward to seeing you at future Humber marketing events. Cheers!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

My final thoughts

Two years ago I enrolled into the Marketing Diploma program at Humber College. At the start of the program I was completely undecided upon what I wanted my future career path to be. Now, nearly two years later and it’s hard to comprehend that my time at Humber is coming to an end. Within this blog I am going to share some of my final thoughts and experiences that I believe could be beneficial to future Humber students.

The transition from growing up in a small town in Northern Ontario to living and attending College in Toronto was one of the most difficult aspects to deal with. I never thought that I would face culture shock only three hours away from home. The entire experience has been extremely valuable. Not only have I developed a sound set of business and marketing skills, but I have networked and created an array of opportunities and strong contacts throughout various industries.

So what now?

Two years ago if you asked me what I wanted to do after college, I simply wouldn’t have been able to give you an answer. Now, I can tell you with ease that I want to work within Digital Marketing. However, I don’t want to start working just yet. A few months ago I began exploring my options for after I graduate. I thought about working, volunteering, and travelling and then I came across Humber’s transfer options that they hold with various Universities. As soon as I saw it, I knew that it was for me- Griffith University in Gold Coast, Australia. I immediately contacted KOM Consultants and sent in my application. In January of 2013, I will be living and going to school in Australia, working towards my Bachelor’s Degree. 

Whats next?

As you can imagine, the cost of continuing my studies overseas in Australia is fairly expensive. I spoke with a few of my teachers and reached out to some of the contacts that I met while at Humber. As of now, I have secured an internship and I have valuable leads for two possible jobs, all without ever looking at a job search website.

My advice

If I could offer one piece of advice for current or future Humber students it would be to GET INVOLVED AND NETWORK! Two years may seem like a long time but before you know it- it will be over. The professors at Humber have an immense amount of knowledge and contacts, the one thing that I learnt is that it never hurts to ask for help and advice! The key is to get involved; here are a few examples of how to make the most out of your Humber experience:

  •  Attend the events that the business school hosts and makes available to students such as: Grads Give Back, IAB Conferences, and Marketing Now
  • Join groups and teams such as: OCMC and Toastmasters.
  • Attend job fairs and information sessions
  • Pay attention to the Humber Student Federation- They host some amazing events.

Writing blogs and managing the social media for Marketing Humber has been a valuable learning experience. I would like to extend a very special thank you to Christina Clements and everyone else at the Humber College Business School for making this opportunity possible.

Before I sign off I would like to leave you with some proof that networking at Humber actually works. A few weeks ago Humber hosted the annual Grads Give Back event, the final speaker Steve Lorini offered students to apply for an internship with the radio station Z103.5 in Toronto. I spoke with Steve after the event and he shared some insight into the position and helped me set up an interview. Earlier this week I found out that I will be working on the Z103.5 Summer promotions street team!

So remember to get involved and network, but most importantly don’t be hesitant to ask for help!  


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Humber Students attend the IAB Mixx Conference

Last week students from the Humber College Internet Marketing class were invited to attend the IAB Mixx Conference downtown Toronto. The annual conference welcomed the students to learn about the trends within Digital Marketing from respected industry professionals. The full-day conference focused on the areas of: innovations in efficiencies, creative ideas and consumer experiences within Digital marketing.

The event featured innovative and insightful information from six industry professionals covering all areas of digital marketing. The presenters included:

·         Jeff Rosenblum, Documentary Filmmaker "The Naked Brand", Co-President and co-founder, Questus
·         Geoff Ramsey, CEO and co-founder, eMarketer
·         Randy Weyersberg, Vice President Marketing, Canadian Tire
·         Steve Mykolyn, Chief Creative Officer, Taxi
·         Sheldon Owen, CEO, Unified,
·         Wendy Robertson, CEO and Co-founder, Kneebon

Throughout the day, all of the presenters touched upon key areas within the world of Digital Marketing. The importance of transparency, social responsibility, trust and creativity were highly stressed by each presenter. In order to touch upon all of these areas I would like to refer to the presentation from Randy Weyersberg on the Canadian Tire House of Innovation.

The House of Innovation

Last year Canadian Tire purchased a four-bedroom, two-bathroom fixer-upper home in Toronto. The purchase made Canadian Tire the first major brand to ever own a home in Canada. Upon purchasing the home, Canadian Tire launched their ‘Bring it on’ campaign, which focused on trying to better understand the struggles and duties that typical Canadian homeowners face. The campaign kicked off with a large banner advertisement on the homepages of Youtube and Facebook along with a micro site, which contained twenty videos featuring various products that are available for sale at the massive Canadian retailer. The goal was to feature the various products as they made everyday repairs and replacements to the home. Canadian Tire pledged that once the home was completely fixed up, they would sell it and donate all of the proceeds to their national charity ‘Jumpstart’.

I wanted to share this example as I feel that the House of Innovation covers all of the key areas of: transparency, social responsibility, trust and creativity. Not only did Canadian Tire make their brand truly transparent and trustworthy by replicating a level of similarity between the average Canadian homeowner and the brand; but also they were extremely creative in their approach to target and educate the average homeowner. In addition, they even pledged to be socially responsibility by donating all of the proceeds to their charity.

The entire conference was filled with extremely valuable and insightful information. The House of Innovation was only one of the many examples that helped unify all of the main points throughout the event. Again, I would like to extend a very special thank you to the IAB Mixx Conference and Humber College for not only inviting the students but for also making opportunities such as these available. I truly believe that keeping up-to-date with industry trends is an essential ingredient for success; I highly encourage all students to take advantage of the various networking and conference opportunities that are available to them.

Check out this video for more insight into the Canadian Tire House of Innovation: