Hear from one of two first-ever MDMC Scholarship Recipients!
My name is Sam Craig, I am a senior marketing major at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. I am honored to be a recipient of the MDMC Scholarship. I applied for this scholarship because out of all the available grants, the MDMC Scholarship aligned almost perfectly with my academic and professional aspirations. During my first semester at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, in my digital marketing class taught by Professor Perry Drake, I discovered the scholarship and the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference. Dr. Drake spoke frequently and highly about the conference and the strength of the MDMC network; this made me excited about the possibility of entering that network. Since I became an MDMC scholar, I have been exposed to numerous opportunities for my career and education; without this scholarship, I would not have had these opportunities. The scholarship gave me increased pride and confidence in myself as a marketing student and professional. I hope to carry this pride and confidence forward throughout my career. I would love to expand my creative skills, as I have experience working for a marketing agency as a video producer and editor. I also enjoy producing music in my spare time. I hope to advance to a creative director position at a company in the near future. I value company culture and significance in the community, so I hope to achieve that goal at a company that aligns with those values. The MDMC scholarship has greatly enhanced my time here at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, and I am beyond thankful for the opportunities I have received and will continue to receive down the road.
I encourage any student who is interested in this scholarship to pursue more information on it by visiting the website or contacting Dr. Drake himself. Students can greatly benefit from this scholarship and many others like it!
Hear from one of two first-ever MDMC Scholarship Recipients!
Hi, my name is Gabby and today I’m going to be talking about my experience with MCMC, Professor Perry Drake, and my MDMC scholarship. I applied for the MDMC scholarship because it was a scholarship that I qualified for and my degree is focused on Marketing and Digital Marketing Communications. Being one of nine kids, my parents do not have money lying around to help pay for my college. Since enrolling at UMSL, it has been my goal to graduate debt-free and without student loans. I’ve worked very hard in the past few years to make this happen. When my last semester was approaching, I was trying to figure out a way to pay for my last semester of college to no avail. I already work more than full time, so I was at a loss. This scholarship was a Godsend for me. Without this scholarship, I would not have been able to reach this goal, but little did I know that my hard work was paying me back.
I found out about the scholarship through my professor, Dr. Perry Drake, whose classes I took in the Spring of 2018 and am currently taking in the Fall of 2018. I heard about MDMC when Dr. Drake gave us the opportunity to attend the conference as a volunteer. I was hesitant to volunteer because I have never worked at a conference before, and to make it more daunting, it was a huge conference. A couple of weeks before, I had a meeting with Dr. Drake and he asked if I would be willing to do a little more than a regular volunteer. He mentioned that he noticed how hard I work and that I’m a good student and would be capable of handling it. Trusting in his opinion, I agreed. I thought to myself that it couldn’t be that much more than a regular volunteer because I’ve never done this before…man was I wrong. The first day of the conference I arrived at 6:30am to help prep, and I was one of 5 people who was given a walkie-talkie. Instantly after taking my walkie, I assumed I was given the wrong job. I oversaw several volunteers as well as the ballroom floor where there were at least 4 to 8 sessions happening at a time for the two days. I am so grateful for this opportunity because it helped me realize the type of leader I am. It also gave me the chance to attend some sessions and learn a lot about marketing. MDMC and the scholarship it provided has given me a chance to further invest in my future. I hope to one day help a business be able to expand and reach their clientele through social media with the business and marketing skills that I have acquired.
For more information on this, and many other scholarships that UMSL has to offer, check out http://www.umsl.edu/services/finaid/scholarships/. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
It doesn’t matter who you are right now: a student pursuing a business degree, a recent graduate making first steps in the professional world, an entrepreneur owning a business, or a high-level executive having a solid working experience – everyone will benefit from attending a conference. Conferences offer plenty of opportunities for both – professional and personal development, so get the most out of your experience as a conference attendee.
Do your homework
There is always plenty of things happening at a professional conference, so it is easy to get lost. Especially if this is your first time attending such an event. The key to success is being prepared and knowing your goals.
Before going to a conference, check the conference website. Know beforehand which sessions are offered and at what time. Read about the speakers and learn about their background. Check the ticket options and what they include. Is there anything else offered to attendees? Is there an exhibitor hall to take a look at? Are there any fun activities planned? What are the food options? So, be prepared.
Big conferences have many sessions running at the same time. Thus, MDMC18 offers about 100 concurrent sessions across such tracks as Data, Digital Strategy, Career, Entrepreneurship, Technology and Innovation. Check the schedule beforehand, mark the sessions that are most relevant for your career and make sure you attend them. You are going to the conference to learn something new, so know exactly what you are there for and be strategic about it.
Expand your network
The power of networking in the contemporary world cannot be overestimated. Not only can you meet your peers from other companies, who face the same challenges as you do in your daily work, but you can get some valuable advice from the industry experts. Building your social capital is important, both for your present and future, so set you goal to get as much as possible from your time spent at a conference.
Make specific plans
Yes, there will be a lot of speakers from all the big agencies and media talking about cutting-edge technologies and new apps, sharing insights about new industry trends, giving advice on how to deal with certain issues, and providing specific examples on how to achieve your business goals. There will be even more people attending the conference. It is going to be a few busy days, but make sure you get to know people you need. Approach speakers after the sessions to introduce yourself. Exchange business cards and invite for a coffee or lunch. See who else is attending the conference and get to know other attendees. Be proactive in many ways, and the time and money you spent on the conference will soon pay off.
Do not rely on your memory. With so many things happening during a few days (attending sessions, meeting speakers, talking to other attendees, visiting the expo), it is too easy to forget everything that you have learned there. Always carry a note book, a pen, an organizer, a tablet or a phone (whichever you prefer) to write down your comments, key takeaways and contact details. You will thank yourself for doing that a few days after the conference.
In a nutshell, it is all in your hands. Attending a conference might be a bit overwhelming, but it is totally worth it. Just follow the tips and make sure you make the most out of your time at the conference.
We are looking forward to seeing you at the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference, which is going to take place at St. Louis’ Union Station on March 27-28, 2018. Learn more about the conference.
*Photo VIA UMSL Daily
By: Kat Ridler
Hakuna Matata is said by people in Kenya to mean “no worries.” Pura Vida is a common phrase said by the people of Costa Rica and means “pure life” or “this is life.” It is things like these that PMBA students are able to learn first hand while visiting another country.
The PMBA program is a 21-month program where students with a professional background can get their degree in a time schedule that works for the student. Students are in the same class or cohort through the program. All students go on an international trip together in their second year to learn about international business and culture.
Jan Carrell, PMBA coordinator, described the difference between the UMSL Masters of Business program versus the PMBA program, “The Professional MBA program requires three years of professional work experience, so the students generally are more mature and focused. The PMBA is a lock-step, cohort program, so the same group of students are enrolled in the same classes throughout the 21-month experience. This structure fosters a sense of camaraderie that is difficult to replicate in the FlexMBA program.”
The PMBA trips out of the country have only been around for three years. The first trip was to Germany and was organized by a University of Missouri- St. Louis professor Peter Falk. The second trip was to China, and the third to Costa Rica and Cuba. The next trip will be to Italy and take place in 2017. Students do not know where they will be going their second year when they first apply to the program.
For many students it was their first time out of the country. Traveling to Cuba was exceptionally unique since Cuba was not open to all travelers until March of this year, under President Barack Obama’s administration’s negotiations which started in December 2014. Previously there was a travel ban from the United States to Cuba unless for educational purposes. Jackie Schlarman, PMBA student, said, “Cuba is our neighbor and it had been closed off for so long. To have this opportunity to see this place before it opened to the rest of the United States was really special.”
Darryl Curry, PMBA student, said, “Not only was it fascinating to learn about Cuba from a cultural perspective, but I was also learning about Cuba from a business perspective. The whole point of this journey was to help us learn more about business and international business in particular.”
There were several places that the group visited while in Cuba and Costa Rica. From cemeteries to fortresses, to coffee plantations, the group was amazed at all they got to learn about. Timothy Burgess, PMBA student, said, “In Cuba we actually visited Ernest Hemingway’s mansion. It was originally preserved with everything that he left it in the 50s. It was really cool.”
If you are interested in learning more about the PMBA program at UMSL, check out mba.umsl.edu or email Jan Carrell at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
By: Kathrin Hanke
MDMC16 speaker John Schmitt is the Operations Coordinator for the Digital Media Program at the Center for Visual Technology (CVT) at St. Louis Community College, Meramec. The CVT is a component of the Digital Arts and Technology Alliance and provides professional level facilities, Continue reading “#MDMC16 Speaker Feature: John Schmitt”
By: Elizabeth Snowden
Technology Partner’s Director of Emerging Markets, Betsy Mack, is a networking ninja. A master of connection. As the United Way of Greater St. Louis’ former Major Gift Manager, and former Director of Marketing at her current company, Betsy has built a career on understanding community needs, aligning company goals, and building support. Continue reading “#MDMC16 Betsy Mack Blends Tomorrow’s Marketing Trends with Community Advocacy”
By: Kathrin Hanke
Let me introduce you to MDMC16 speaker Travis Estes, the Web and Social Media Manager of the GRAMMY Award winning St. Louis Symphony– the nation’s second-oldest orchestra. Travis Estes has more than 16 years experience as a marketing professional, working in the digital realm. He has developed digital presence for Black Cat/Phantom Fireworks, HFC, Strong Funds, and the museum tours of King Tut, Princess Diana and America I Am, as well as strategic planning for the Chicago Botanical Gardens, Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio and the American Marketing Association. Continue reading “#MDMC16 Speaker Feature: Travis Estes”
By: Sarah Dalton, UMSL Digital Mindshare Editor-in-Chief and UMSL MBA Student
As a 2009 graduate with a degree in Business Administration, a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Communications, I really thought I was ready to take on the marketing world. Or, maybe I had just drank too much of the liberal arts kool-aid (#GoBulldogs).
The first few years of my career were great. I started as a Marketing Analyst, learning the ins-and-outs of the client experience, calculating MANY a cost-per-sale analyses and making recommendations as to which campaigns needed to be accelerated and which needed to be trashed.
As I progressed into marketing generalist roles, all things digital quickly became part of my daily responsibilities. I was creating banners, landing pages and social assets on the fly. Even though YouTube and blogs proved to be fantastic resources for learning more about my new responsibilities, I felt like I had a GAPING hole in my skill set and education in regards to all things digital marketing. Yes, I could brief a designer on how to create an appealing banner, write a clever social post or develop drip email campaigns… but what did this all mean? How did this all work together, and what the heck were we really spending our resources on?
I realized that even graduating in 2009 (wow – less than 7 years ago) was still TOO EARLY to have any formal education on digital strategy. I knew all about consumer behavior, retail marketing and integrated campaigns, but there wasn’t a single digital course or project to speak to from my undergraduate transcript. And not at the fault of my alma mater – this digital takeover just happened so fast.
After a lot of research and networking with the best minds in St. Louis digital, I discovered that Digital Marketing Certificates from universities are starting to be “a thing.” They usually landed in the Professional Studies or Schools of Continuing Education in my research experience. In true Sarah fashion, I jumped right in and decided since I was starting a Digital Certificate, I might as well just complete a full-on MBA in the process since many of the classes could be credit toward an MBA anyway.
This education has completely changed both my skill set and overall confidence in digital tactics. There are still things I don’t know that come up, but I now feel like I have the right base level understanding to attack these issues head-on. Here’s a sample of the coursework I recently completed to acquire my certificate:
-Digital Media Marketing Strategy & Measurement
-Clinical Study in Digital and Social Media Marketing (this was like a mini-internship to help non-profits with their digital strategies)
-Social Media Strategies
-Blogs to Buzz
-Digital Media Buying
Going back to school or fitting in classes on the weekends is definitely not the answer for everyone. It’s about timing. Here are additional non-school resources I have used to round out this new knowledge:
1. Digital Marketing Conferences | Here’s a sample of ones I attend in St. Louis and one I attended in New York this year. Google what’s happening in your city.
Social Recruiting Summit
Digital Marketing Conference
2. HubSpot.com Blogs | One of my best and most visited friends. Search for anything social or digital, and you’ll find very tactical descriptions and tips.
3. Lynda.com | Did you Lynda.com is now a LinkedIn company? Great (and cost effective) resource to pick up more “formalized” training.
4. Hootsuite University | I cannot say enough about how much Hootsuite makes the lives of social media managers easier. As an added bonus, they now offer an entire suite of classes that teach you not only how to best use their platform, but also how to effectively build, target and deploy social campaigns.
5. Networking | Meet with the best digital talent that will reply to your emails. Is there a local Social Media or Digital Marketing Club? I know St. Louis has several. Admit you’re clueless and talk to the experts about how they “figured it all out” in the city you are in. And, these are awesome connections for later when you “get it.”
Digital and social are not only here, they are speeding away. It’s part of our jobs as effective marketers to keep up.
How do you stay ahead?
By Breanna Menendez-Phillips
Brand building is not just for businesses or corporations. Branding can also be personal – this type of branding is all about YOU. Personal marketing is not just about the way you present yourself, but also the way you behave within your networks.
Continue reading “Personal Branding Checkup”