Be Ready For a Digital Disruption

By: TJ Sheffer
20841820_1790501230961763_6950650802937056501_nIn a recent podcast “In Your Business”, UMSL Business talked with Rick Speakerman from Purina, Steve Bauer from FleishmanHillard, and our very own Professor Perry Drake about the disruption caused by modern technologies, how it is affecting, specifically, the field of marketing and communications and why it is imperative that colleges are properly preparing students for the new business world that is emerging ever so quickly.
Digital disruption is defined as the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services. As Dr. Drake mentions in the podcast, many people think of it as something negative because of the word “disruption”, which is in reality not a bad thing at all. To be more precise, it is even beneficial for both, consumers and companies.
The contemporary disruption is good because it keeps the company sharp by developing a new set of competencies and skills to keep up with the changing digital world. The landscape of business has shifted from the way companies communicate with consumers to where the product is sold, such as, for instance, e-commerce. Even if the product or service stays the same, the technology used in its production, promotion and selling may change dramatically.
Rick Speakerman, who has been the Lead of Digital Strategy at Purina for 27 years, states that the largest disruption in his industry is caused by the access to information which consumers have, which in its turn influences purchasing decisions. Steve Bauer, who has 18 years of experience in Social Media Strategy, believes that the digital disruption has made life easier for the consumer’s stand point. He also believes that the biggest disruption comes from the company’s perspective. For companies, the way they market, produce, sell, and interact with customers has fundamentally changed over the last ten years. Therefore, it is vital for these companies to stay ahead of the curve and rebuild from the ground up to keep up with the disruption we are facing.
For those who may be interested in taking courses that can enhance the knowledge of digital disruption and many other topics in digital marketing, UMSL is a great option to consider. Professor Drake is responsible for crafting and teaching courses, such as Digital and Social Media Marketing Strategy and many others.
Click here to listen to the whole interview.

5 Reasons Why You Should Get an Internship

By: Pablo Romero

Choose the first podcast listed to listen to this episode.

If you’re a junior or senior, you have probably been asked if you have had an internship yet. Every year as summer approaches, many students get ready to start their journey into the corporate world and gain experiences and connections that will help them get ahead. However, sometimes students are unsure about internships, the hiring process, benefits and tradeoffs. Do internships really give you an edge? Are they worth it even if you are not paid?
In Your Business”, the official podcast of UMSLBusiness, had a chat with a few people that have had different experiences with internships. Lisa Fikki, UMSL Internship Director with over 20 years of experience in the industry, talks about the help you can get at UMSL. Spencer Schmitt, a recent graduate who did not pursue an internship as an undergrad, talks about how that affected him. Finally, Taylor Ernst, a current student who has had multiple internships and is currently an HR intern with the St. Louis Blues, shares the experience he has had.
Even though they all have different views, all three agree that internships are really helpful and here are five reasons why internships matter.

  1. Gain formal experience

According to Lisa Fikki, internships provide students with the actual experience in their field. Most students only have the knowledge they have received at school, but they have never had experience in the office setting. Internships help students with this, and the more experience you have, the more confident you become, which helps you in the long run. The soft skills learned in the workplace can really give you an edge.

  1. Employers look for students

Internships are an opportunity for employers as well. Students tend to be open-minded and eager to get new experiences. This is why employers look for students for intern positions. They like to develop future employees while they’re “fresh”. Even though employers prefer students while they are still at school, it is fine if you get an internship post grad: It’s all about the experience that you are adding to your academic knowledge.

  1. Learn the little things

Spencer Schmitt talks about how he decided to skip an internship to make some money instead. He waited to just get a job after graduation, which worked out well for him, but he said he still feels that an internship would have added an edge to his experience. Internships help you get an insider look at the office life. There are many little things you learn as an intern, such as email and phone etiquette, formality, office life and even delegating and managing.

  1. Resume Builder

Students are always looking for ways to make their resume stand out. Having an internship on your resume does exactly that, as it shows you have had some experience under your belt, and you know how to act in the workplace.

  1. Confidence Booster

Not only do internships look good and give you great workplace experience, but they also build your confidence as a result. This confidence comes in handy during interviews, networking events, career fairs, etc. Taylor Ernst knows this first hand. He recalls how during his first phone interview with MasterCard he was nervous and couldn’t express himself the way he wanted. After some coaching from UMSL Career Services and going through a few interviews, he became more confident and was able to land a position with the St. Louis Blues.

  1. UMSL tools

Getting an internship while you are at UMSL is pretty easy if you really want to. Lisa Fikki highlights that the Office of Career Services offers everything from mock interviews and resume workshops, to etiquette banquets, which can help you get ready. They are a great asset if you are looking to land a summer internship.
Go here to listen to the full podcast.

UMSL Business Presents: Cyber Security Concerns Facing Businesses

By: Jordan DeMars

Please select the podcast “Cybersecurity Concerns Facing Facing Businesses”

In today’s world, everything is going digital and with that comes some security problems. With so much business done over the internet, on top of all the personal information people store online, it is important to have excellent cyber security. UMSL Business students had the honor of interviewing Dr. Dinesh Mirchandani, Chair of UMSL IS Department, and cyber security faculty members Dr. Maurice Dawson and Dr. Shaji Kahn for the podcasting series “In Your Business with UMSL Business”. They talked about the importance of cyber security and how cyber security aficionados work to protect your identity online. The podcast team did a great job in structuring their questions in a way that the answers would be beneficial to all listeners who are looking to strengthen their cyber security.
During the interview, Dr. Mirchandani, Dr. Dawson and Dr. Kahn discussed the importance of cyber security in the digital age. We consider our personal information to be the most valuable asset, so it is essential that people want to protect the confidentiality and integrity of that information. When it comes to the cyber security of companies, the difference is that individuals only really have to worry about themselves, but companies have to worry about everyone. They have to worry about every employee, and every device that enters their building, because every one of them could potentially lead to a breach in security.
Dr. Mirchandani talked about the cyber security certificate program that UMSL offers, which is accredited by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a center of academic excellence in cyber defense education. He went on saying that UMSL is the only school in St. Louis that has that form of recognition which is very impressive.
One of the most popular questions nowadays is if there is a need to use an antivirus on a smartphone or would that be a need in the future. Dr. Maurice Dawson highlighted that everyone needs an antivirus on a smartphone now. He went on explaining that since the size of a mobile device screen is much smaller than a computer’s screen, it is more difficult to investigate links in emails. Without the ability to investigate the links, you might click on something that might contaminate your phone.
These were only a few of the questions asked during this interview. Go here to listen to the complete podcast.