Monday, August 13, 2012

Career Advice for New Grads

When we are young we ask advice from our parents, friends, relatives and everyone close to us that we believe may be able to offer a solution to our problem or dilemma. But, when it comes to career advice even though we ask the same people we can get one million different solutions that confuse our path even farther. That is why recent graduates are the best option for career advice whether they are complete strangers, friends, family or alumni they know how to get their foot in the door and can tell us exactly what to expect.

There are a number of ways that graduating students can reach out to recent grads and ask them for valuable advice:

  • Career websites
  • Blogs
  • Industry nights
  • Social media 
  • Networking events

Perhaps the  best way to meet recent grads and approach them about career advice is through networking events. These type of events allow soon to be graduates to meet people in their field that have already completed their job search, have their first job and can offer important insights into the industry. Humber offers soon to be graduates and opportunity just like this every year with 'Grads Give Back.'

Every March at Grads Give Back alumni of the Humber- Business Marketing program returns to offer words of advice to current students. This advice differs for each returning graduate but the important aspects remain the same:

  • What interested them during their time at Humber (classes, opportunities, clubs)
  • What area of the industry they wanted to get into (internet, digital, sales)
  • How they started and went about their job search (Monster, Talent Egg, referral, internship)
  • Challenges
  • Information about their current positions

Events like 'Grads Give Back' allow students to talk to other people who were just students and get honest feedback about the current state of the industry and workforce. Watch the video below or click on the link  to see some highlights from the event last year:


Friday, August 3, 2012


In marketing today it is so important to think of yourself and your clients in terms of an entire brand rather than just as individuals. Strong brands create an experience for the customer that creates word of mouth and customer loyalty, therefore increasing profits. My interest in how this experience is created led me to pick up Brandwashed by renowned brand consultant Martin Lindstrom.

In his book Lindstrom discusses nine tactics that marketers and advertisers use to help brands create experiences for current and potential customers that make them believe that they truly NEED a product. These nine tactics include:

1) "Buy Buy Baby:" marketing begins in the womb
2) "Peddling Panic and Paranoia:" fear and loathing can and will sell products
3) "I Can't Quit You:" smart phones, shopping addicts and brand addiction
4) "Buy It, Get Laid:" sex still sells in marketing and advertising
5) "Under Pressure:" the influence of peers
6) "Oh, Sweet Memories:" marketing using nostalgia
7) "Marketers' Royal Flush:" influence of fame and celebrity
8) "Hope in a Jar:" health has a price
9) "Every Breath You Take, They'll be Watching You:" privacy, or the lack there of

Having studied marketing for a while now I was no stranger to these tactics and had heard of many of them before so for me the most interesting part of the book was the social experiment that Lindstrom performed using a carefully chosen family, the Morgensons.

According to Lindstrom the point of the experiment was to determine the power of word of mouth marketing.This would be done by transplanting this family in "a real-life California neighborhood and then film them in every waking moment as they went about covertly persuading friends, colleagues and loved ones to buy a number of carefully selected brands."( Brandwashed, 238)

The experiment lasted one month and it proved that regardless of all the tactics that marketers use the most powerful influence by far is word of mouth. In fact, word of mouth holds more power than even traditional TV commercials. "In contrast to conventional TV or magazine event takes place in our brains the moment other people recommend a car, a band, a makeup or a wine." (250) The brain releases emotions such as lust, pride, empathy and guilt along with the feeling of craving a certain product.

Word of mouth marketing allows our brains to fire on multiple cylinders that cannot be reached by traditional marketing tactics. Toward the end of his book Lindstorm makes what some may consider a bold statement, but one that I agree with:

Eventually, "families' like the Morgensons will be in communities world wide, hired by marketing firms to sell products because, "if you can get word-of-mouth influence behind your brand that influence multiplies the power of your brand exponentially." (251)