Similar to the roundtable session in the second All-Hands Meeting, the Digital Summer Clinic hosted professionals to aid in advising the more than 40 interns participating in the internship. This meeting was to, “learn about pathways into digital marketing, industry trends, and tips for career success,” said Jamie Ward, one of five mentors this summer. The four guest speakers of this session
- Ryan Dixon, Marketing Integration Analyst at GRO
- Melissa Foster, Sr. Manager, Public Relations at The Henry Ford
- Drew Patrick, Owner at Skidmore Studio
- Taylor Nash, Paid Media Analyst at Career Now Brands
The four faced a curious crowd in front of SPARK East Innovation Center’s meeting room. Ward had curated a list of questions that also featured questions proposed by interns. The room positively swelled with honest and down-to-earth responses. Some of the answers simply reinforce positive life skills we exercise every day. Here are some highlights of how the meeting unfolded.
Question: What are some tips for generating new ideas and content?
Dixon suggested looking at things from a technical stance, breaking things up as much as you can, and emphasizing keywords. Nash elaborated with an example. If you have an article about 10 places to travel, you can then write 10 new pieces of content on each individual location. She also encouraged reading books for inspiration.
The group also brought up the benefits of brainstorming with a partner. When you collaborate with other creative with different skillsets, you see so many different thoughts. From there, you can apply the expansion method to come up with even more content.
Question: What skills from your past internships do you feel have transferred to the current positions you have now? Originally asked by intern Grant Bradley.
Dixon responded that some good habits to have are to be involved and ask questions. When you get comfortable asking questions, it is also good to “Have something to take notes,” said Foster. “Always bring your notebook.”
“What are you trying to tell me? What do people care about?” Nash highlighted the importance of having effective communication skills with multiple audiences. Patrick followed up by saying this is beneficial when it comes to presenting as well because you need to communicate quick, informative, and precise information.
The last skill emphasized was to have the confidence that you belong. It’s natural to be nervous, “I was scared as hell, too,” said Patrick.
Question: What are some networking tips?
“LinkedIn is really powerful. Definitely grow your LinkedIn,” said Foster. All speakers agreed that the website is a great resource.
Patrick also stated that it’s important to network with people in a physical setting. “There’s a different connection in person than digitally.”
Question(s): How do you stay up to date in your current marketing positions? Are there specific people/organizations you follow? Originally asked by intern Farha Zindah.
“I look at blogs,” said Dixon, “You can find out a lot of information.”
Similarly, Patrick follows food and drink blogs but not for the purpose of finding a good place to eat. “We know our stuff, but we need to understand our clients’ space,” he said.
Foster looks to the Public Relations Society of America and their social media platforms. “Association fees can be offputting but it’s worth it.”
Finally, Nash stated that you should follow your passion.
Question: What are the most important things you learned as you entered the digital marketing professional world? Originally asked by intern James Cason.
Nash opened the conversation with the statement, “never burn a bridge.”
Foster called attention to the point, “it’s not a life or death situation. We’re people, we’re human. It’s so easy to freak out but it’s important to stay calm.”
He stated this earlier in the meeting as well and emphasized that one of the most important things Dixon has learned is to get comfortable asking questions.
In concluding this portion, Patrick stressed the significance of soft skills. Soft skills include things like teamwork, critical thinking, and your attitude in the workplace. “You can’t teach people to not be an asshole,” he said.