Fall 2020 Greenlee Futures Forum: Drew Harden

Just another WordPress site

Fall 2020 Greenlee Futures Forum: Drew Harden

Good afternoon and welcome to the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s 2020 Futures Forum. My name is Michael Dahlstrom, and I’m the director of the Greenlee School Today I’m pleased to recognize Drew Harden, a 2003 Iowa State University graduate in advertising and art and design as our 2020 Futures Forum speaker. The Greenlee School’s Futures Forum is an annual event sponsored by William F. and Linda Z. Tubbs While we wish our audience could be with us in person this year for the Futures Forum, we are so glad that technology has allowed our speaker to connect with you in real time virtually as we follow safe Cyclones Care social distancing guidelines. President and co-founder of Blue Compass, Drew has grown and guided Blue Compass from a two-person startup in 2007 to one of the Midwest’s leading digital marketing companies today. He’s a published author, speaks at marketing conferences around the country, has been cited by publications like USA Today and has led web projects for clients like Spalding Sports Equipment, Napa Auto Parts and the NFL In today’s presentation, “10 Powerful Ways to Catch Employers’ Attention and Launch a Strong Career,” Drew will provide insights on networking, interviewing and social media practices to help students and early career professionals stand out in the job search and succeed in the workplace, as well as share his thoughts on where digital media is heading. Please welcome Drew Harden In 2007, I was working at a company doing graphic design and animation, and you know, it was a great job but I found myself sitting at my desk one day wanting something more. I graduated from Iowa State just a few years ago and when I was at Iowa State I took a great advertising class with Jay Newell as my professor and as part of that class we got some really good real-world experience. We were able to come up with┬ásome campaigns for Turner Classic Movies, and we were actually able to communicate with Turner Classic Movies, have conference calls with them We came up with directions that we felt they should go in their marketing and communications We presented it to them. It was such a cool experience that really made a big impact on me, and as I sat in my desk 13 years ago thinking about what I was doing I realized you know I wanted to do more of that. I loved the concept of giving a clear direction to an organization of helping them make a bigger impact and growing their organization and, in addition to that, I loved digital. I was doing a lot of video production work and video was great, but I just had more of a passion for the web, I just loved how dynamic it was and so I had the idea to start my own business where we would give a clear digital direction to different organizations and help them navigate the way of web design, development, digital marketing, but the problem was I knew I couldn’t do it on my own because I just didn’t have the experience It had only been a few years since I had actually been in the “real world” working on a job and so there was another guy that worked there that I had a great relationship with, and he was very involved in their web efforts and so I spoke with him one day and said you know this is a great job BUT wouldn’t it be great if we could spend all of our time doing web design, development and giving people a clear digital direction and he said that would be cool, but my wife is pregnant with our first child and so quitting this job right now would not be a good idea and I thought, “yeah I guess that’s probably a reasonable thing to say.” So, I kind of let it go for a while but I’m pretty persistent and I just kept asking him day after day and eventually, you know what, I think he had a bad day and I asked him and he said you know what, let’s do this. So, he and I ended up quitting our jobs Not only was his wife pregnant with their first child, my wife was pregnant with our first child We quit our jobs and, you know, we didn’t really have a business plan, we didn’t really have any clients, we didn’t have any funding or even really clear direction ourselves, but we were both incredibly passionate about what we wanted to do and so little by

little, we started to find some projects here and there. We were just working out of our homes and you know over the years I just think we were in the right place at the right time. I think we were blessed, but we also just did really really good work and we were able to grow a little bit We were able to get an office in 2008. We started working with some clients, a little bigger, and eventually, we were able to actually hire someone so not the two of us were doing all the work, and so I started having this great experience in an agency type setting helping clients figure out their marketing, their communication and helping point them in the right direction when it came to the web. Great experience. We started building a team and we grew little by little. In 2010 we moved into another office because we got a little bigger. In 2012 we moved into another office. In 2016 we moved into our fourth office and we are there today. So today we have 30 team members. We have a really incredible team of web designers, developers and digital marketers at Blue Compass and it’s really incredible each and every day to be able to go to this place where these people that I’ve hired that are smarter than me are able to do work better than I did in the beginning by far. So it’s been a great experience and one of the things I’ve really gravitated towards is just the culture. I love good company culture and you know a lot of companies claim they have great culture, and maybe some of them do and maybe many of them do, I don’t know, but I think culture is something that really pervades everything you do each and every day. It’s so important and so we pride ourselves on having a positive environment that’s supportive that’s fun and where people can go and not have to look over their backs, but just get great work done and take risks for our clients so that’s been a great experience as well. These are a couple office dogs. We have a dog-friendly office Running around all the time. Clients seem to like it pretty well and our team likes it as well we have a lot of laughter in our office, and I think laughter is one of the most telling metrics of a good work environment so as you look for a job especially at first you can’t always find the, you know, perfect exact job or work environment we want but as time goes on you can be more selective, but I encourage you to find an environment that’s supportive and that’s positive and where you can do your best work, meaningful work and so over the years I’ve interviewed dozens if not hundreds of people, had really really great experiences in doing so, and I’ve been able to build a really great team, and so I’ve learned a lot of things that work really well, I’ve definitely made mistakes and figured out some things that don’t work so well, and so I’m going to share with you today a few things that you can do as you enter your career as you look for a job to be more successful We’ve interviewed a lot of people straight out of college, we’ve hired quite a few people straight out of college either in internships or first-time positions and I hope you’ll find these really helpful so let’s jump into ’10 Powerful Ways to Catch Employers’ Attention and Launch a Strong Career’. Now as I talk about these the first five are really kind of focused on finding the right position as you do your job search and then the next five will focus a little more on having success when you’re actually in that job and the first one, number one is to know your industry. So my wife works at a tech company and she is working right now with a company, a really, really cool company called Fandom and I checked it’s the 26th most visited website in the world right now, so tons of visitors, tons of exposure and Fandom is focused on geek culture. Everything from Star Wars to the Legend of Zelda to Marvel ,all this geek culture So as she works with them sometimes she’ll be interacting with their wikis or their shops and she’s had to come to me, a truly geeky guy, to ask for some guidance. I never knew my knowledge of Pokemon or Batman would come in so handy so it’s been really cool to be able to share some of my geeky knowledge with her and actually help her in her job, and I think we all have that knowledge and that passion about something that we really love whether it’s like a sports team or a TV show something geeky like that, sports cars, we all have a lot of knowledge about things we’re passionate about and you know the industry that you’re interested in getting into should be the same for you. Do everything you can to learn about

your industry and the people in it. It will help you immensely as you look for a job and then as you move forward in your career. So, for instance, if you’re passionate about the ag industry and you really like a marketing and a communication job in ag, find out about the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Egg Council. Figure out who the CEOs are, the presidents are, the people who work there, learn about their relationships. Do everything you can to become more up-to-date in those things If you’re really looking for a job in the media look at all the local media stations. Check out the on-air talent. Again, figure out the managers, the presidents, the employees that work there If you can learn the industry terms and the people of the industry that you’re interested in that will put you one step ahead of the game because so many graduates don’t do the work to do that Extremely valuable to do. Alright, number two, don’t be afraid to ask, don’t be afraid to ask. So I was contacted a while ago by a young woman who was interested in a copywriting job in an agency setting, and she reached out to me via email I talked to her a little bit. She ended up coming into our office, and we spoke quite a bit. I helped her look at her resume, and I was actually able to give her a little advice and while we weren’t looking for a copywriting position at that time, I did know a different company that was open for such a position and so I was able to give her a connection and so that felt really good for me to do, but I am not unique amongst business leaders You’d be surprised how many presidents, how many CEOs, how many VPs or employees are willing to do the same thing for college students. Don’t be afraid to ask. If you ask, the worst thing that could happen is that you’ll get a no, that’s the same thing if you don’t ask at all, but if you ask you’re infinitely more plausible that you’re going to get some help, so reach out to people in your industry again, whether it’s a CEO or a professional, and ask them for advice ask them to connect, to go to coffee, to go to lunch, to exchange emails, whatever that might be, don’t be afraid to ask and a great step to do before simply asking is to make yourself known. So identify the organizations that you’re interested in having a career at, and go follow them on social media. You’ve probably done this already, but, if not, it’s incredibly valuable to do. It might not seem like a big thing but you’d be surprised how many of these organizations actually take notice of their followers and of course beyond that like their posts, even comment upon their posts. That makes a big difference and find the leaders of organizations that you’re interested in. Follow them, like their posts, comment on their posts as well now, especially LinkedIn. When it comes to leaders, I’m really geeky about LinkedIn. My team makes fun of me. LinkedIn is a great place for you to be. You probably have a LinkedIn account already, if you don’t go get one. But it’s a great place for you to connect with industry leaders, so get on LinkedIn and connect with people and you know I will have some younger people that connect with me, and sometimes they’ll comment on my posts, and little by little that starts to sink in. I start to notice their names and recognize them and if someone like that would come to me and ask for advice or ask for an interview they’d probably be a lot more likely to be able to get in the door just because they have some familiarity If you go to coffee with someone or lunch with someone or even on a date with someone you’ll like them more at the end of the coffee or lunch than you do at the beginning and the reason for that is you spent time together, you communicated, you talked with one another you listened People like people they spend time with and so the more exposure you can get, your name and your photo, or even your face in person with people who are influencers and who matter in your industry or in the jobs that you want to work, the better. It really makes a difference so don’t hesitate to do that and, of course, while we’re on the subject of social media, you’ve heard it before but everything you post on your social media is out there forever even if it looks like it goes away for 24 hours. And you know one thing we do is we check out the social media accounts of people that we’re looking to hire now. Not every job does that but that’s something that’s important to us at Blue

Compass and we want to see what type of person this is because we’re really interested in getting positive people who are going to be great team players and who are passionate about our industry and so remember it matters what you post of course. On LinkedIn everything you post should be extremely professional and of course on other social media platforms maybe not so much, but even on your Instagram remember you are only as professional as your last social media post Anyone can go out and see that. Your employers quite possibly will take a look at that and we’ve interviewed people before and had great experiences and then looked at their online presence and been unimpressed and not called them back again so I really encourage you You don’t have to have perfect squeaky clean social media accounts with everything just totally tepid and uninteresting but remember, people in your industry and your future employer can look at those at any time so connect with them, be positive in your posts, especially as you look for a job. Consider having a website if you don’t already, you probably do, but don’t just create it for one class and let it sit there. Go update that. That’s something that your employer is going to look at as well Really, really important to do. Here’s a post that a young graduate recently left for me. We had an online training, and she took the time and energy to go and watch it on YouTube, and I was heavily involved with that so this is a great compliment to me to see this, and it probably made it so that she’s more likely to get her foot in the door should we be looking to hire someone so don’t hesitate to reach out to the influencers in your future industry Alright, number three is to be yourself but be the best version of yourself I know that sounds kind of cheesy, be yourself, but it’s actually really important when you’re looking for a job. So a number of years ago my business partner was interviewing a designer who came in and was interested in being hired, and I wasn’t in the interview but he was and he had a pretty good experience and she ended up showing him her portfolio and so she had a lot of great design pieces in there and she had some animations she had done as well. So after the interview, he came and he talked to me about it and he said you know she seems really good, this could be a good fit for us, and he showed me some of the pieces of her portfolio, and I looked through them and I thought her work was pretty good. But then I found a digital Christmas card she had created for a company, and it looked really familiar to me, and then I realized that’s because I created it a few years earlier She had gotten her hands on the file and she was using it as her own work, so she did not get the job. That might be an extreme example, and I’m sure you would never do anything like that, but the point is she did not give an honest, authentic representation of herself. And, you know, if you go into an interview or a coffee or just have a conversation with someone you’re trying to impress a future employer and you’re very staged and you’re not acting like yourself that does you a disservice and it does your future employer a disservice as well. Be yourself, but be the best version of yourself When you’re in an interview, be yourself. I mean if you have a quirky sense of humor, that’s fine, let it come out. If you have a certain type of personality, that’s okay, let it come out, but of course, be incredibly respectful. Make eye contact the whole time, smile while you talk, speak clearly, and it’s of course really beneficial to think about the type of things that you want to say. Have an agenda in your head or in a notebook in front of you. Consider the questions you might be asked, and come up with answers but don’t memorize the answers. I met with a young person the other day and when he talked with me it was just very robotic, I could tell that he had practiced a bit before we talked He had all the right answers and everything said, and I appreciate the effort that he put forth but he just didn’t come across as authentic. It seemed like he was kind of trying to cover up who he was in his personality. So be yourself what I think that’s probably true for any situation in life but especially in interviews and interactions with others, be yourself. When you go into an interview too beforehand make sure you do your due diligence and research the organization with which you’re interviewing. Do your research. When we interview people we always ask, “What do you know about Blue Compass?” and most of the time

people will tell us some good things about our history, our services, and what we do, but sometimes someone will say I’m not, I don’t know a lot, and that’s not always very impressive because we want to hire people that love our brand and that are really passionate about working with us. Do your research, know who’s going to interview you, do a little research on them I won’t use the word creeping or stalking, but do some professional oversight into who these people might be, what they like, what their interests are, do your due diligence before you go into that interview. And lastly when your interview is over and when you’re at home. send a thank-you card Send a thank-you card to them. Really important. A thank-you email is fine too, but I think a thank-you card’s even better because it takes a little more time and effort when you send a thank-you note. It shows gratitude, it shows thoughtfulness and most employers want to see those things, so send a thank-you card We had someone come in and interview recently, and we thought he was pretty impressive, and we liked him quite a bit. But we waited a few days before scheduling anything else, and he never sent a thank-you email or thank-you card, and so it’s early on I don’t know if we’ll continue the interview process with him or not but that was a little disheartening to us because we love to see that gratitude and that thoughtfulness so always send a thank-you card. Alright, number four ask great questions and lots of them. Questions are an incredible tool to reveal truth, to figure out the back story, and to shed light on things. I love asking questions, and I found that if you ask enough good questions usually the solution to a problem will eventually reveal itself And when you go into an interview or if you ever have coffee with someone who’s in your same industry or a future employer, try to ask great questions to me. One of the most important things that I can hear from a young person in an interview is great well-thought-out questions Really important to do, so I love asking questions. My team members know I ask so many crazy questions all the time, sometimes too many. They probably get tired of it, but questions are so powerful. So just as an example, when I’m interviewing someone one of the questions recently that I’ve asked is what would your web browsing history tell me about you that your resume wouldn’t? Sometimes get some good answers. Another thing I ask lately is what does your future employer owe you? Sometimes that gets some revealing answers as well So, again, when you go into an interaction with someone bring some great questions So yesterday I sat down and I wrote out just a few just to inspire you, so I hope these are helpful to you but if I was interviewing somewhere, these are the type of questions that I would ask: What are your organization’s strengths and weaknesses? So this is a really famous question that gets asked all the time to people when they’re interviewing, but turn it around and ask the organization what are their strengths and weaknesses and I found sometimes that when people in an organization are talking about the organization themselves, sometimes they’re not maybe as truthful as they should be. They try to make themselves or the organization sound really good but when you’re sitting there in an interview remember that you’re of course the one who’s trying to answer questions and prove yourself but the organization should be as well. I mean you want to find out if this is a good fit for you as well. And, again, when you’re early on in your career you don’t always have the opportunity to, you know, pick the perfect job and that’s fine. But especially as you move on in your career, if you interview, make sure this is the right fit for you as well. So I thought that was a good question. Another one, what do you like most about your job here? I think that’s a great question to ask. Ask your interviewer what do you like most about your job here? What makes someone successful in this position I’m interviewing for? That’s a great question and it also shows the person you’re interviewing with that you are really interested in figuring out what it takes to be successful. You want to have success What’s the company culture like on an average Tuesday? Most companies are going to say they have a fantastic culture but I mean just on an average Tuesday when nothing special is happening what’s the company culture like here? That’s a great question to ask Most companies think that a good culture is having beers at four o’clock on a Friday,

but company culture isn’t just an event that happens every now and again, it’s what the culture’s like each and every day. And so ideally you want to select a job where the company culture is positive and supportive and hopefully fun and rewarding as well And one more here, how open are leaders and managers to new ideas? I think this is a good question too. We try to be really open to feedback and new ideas at Blue Compass, and that’s a great question that you could ask an employer as well. So remember when you interview sometimes this just makes you nervous, there’s a lot of pressure, you’re trying to get that internship or that job, but when you interview the person or people you are interviewing with want you to succeed, they are on your side, they are not against you because they don’t want to be there wasting their time. They are hoping that you’re the person they can hire when they walk into that room for the first time or dial up on that Zoom call, they’re hoping that you’re going to be a great fit. They’re rooting for you inside, so don’t feel 100 intimidated by them, they’re on your side. Just remember that. Alright and number five be positive, be positive. That sounds really simple I know but especially as you’re seeking a job or an internship be positive. Throughout the whole experience, we had an opportunity to get a great new project Last month a really large company came to us, and they wanted to build a number of websites They needed some digital direction, and so we were excited about it. We thought we were perfect for this so we put together a full deck, a presentation we practiced together. The presentation was over a Zoom call, but we ran through everything. We had four people who presented. We went through everything that they wanted to hear We put together a full proposal. We spent hours and hours and hours on this. We probably spent 40 to 50 hours on this, and we had everything perfect and everything right, this seemed like a great fit. We were excited for this, and so we got up there. We gave our full presentation, we felt like we did a great job, and the next day we heard, “You’re in the top two” This business had talked to six different organizations, six different agencies, and we made the top two. So we were really excited about it. We sent references out, and so they were going to call different businesses we had worked with already, and a couple days later we got the call. You didn’t get it. They selected someone else So gosh that felt really disheartening to us. That was a defeat obviously, and they told us that we they felt like we were a little too small to handle that project and that stung even more because we’ve handled projects way bigger than that. And the company that they chose was in a big city somewhere else in the country and they had like hundreds and hundreds of employees, and so they figured that they could handle it better so we’re like, oh this stings. This isn’t what we wanted, that was a really negative experience, and it’d be easy for us to say man, we wasted all that time. We didn’t get this opportunity, but instead you know what I heard my team members say was really encouraging. They said, “You know what, maybe they’ll come back to us later if it doesn’t work out with this company, maybe some of the people that work at that company now will eventually get new jobs and remember Blue Compass in the future and reach out to us.” We have this huge presentation of this huge slide deck all ready to go the next time we have a similar project come about so there’s a lot of positives that came out of that experience even though ultimately you could consider it a failure That is so important not only in your job hunt but in your career and in your life be positive, be positive. These are our values at Blue Compass hanging on the wall. We have five of them we are positive, we continually grow our expertise, we support one another, we give clients our best and we reject drama and gossip. These really fueled the direction of Blue Compass and obviously the very first one there is we are positive, really helpful and you know there’s so many failures that people have in life you will stumble, you will fall I’ve done that many times before because we’re human, but just remember that every time you have a stumble or a failure you’re just getting closer to that next success Always be positive. It can be difficult to find the right job at the right time, but you can and you will do it eventually. Be positive. Alright, so the next number six talks a little bit more

about when you do get that job or internship, ask what can I give instead of what can I get? Eight years ago we had a babysitter who was watching our kids. My wife and my two boys, and she couldn’t come one day, and so one of her friends came and she was watching our kids, and I was having a conversation with her, and my wife told me, you know, she’s really interested in social media. She’s really passionate about it, and we were looking for an intern at the time, so I asked her, you know, are you interested in an internship? And she said sure, and so she came and she started interning at Blue Compass and we realized right away, she has an incredible work ethic and she’s doing a fantastic job and she does whatever it takes to deliver the best work possible, and so we hired her once she graduated and she became a digital marketing associate. And after a couple years she got promoted to a digital marketing analyst, a couple years later she got promoted to a digital marketing strategist, and now she is our digital marketing manager. She ascended quickly and she did incredible work for us and continues to do so, and one of the things that really sets her apart is her incredible work ethic, and she comes to work every day not asking what can I get out of this? What credit can I get? What’s in it for me? She comes to work every day and she says how can I support my team members? How can I do a better job of helping this company? That’s an incredible attitude to have, and if you have that attitude you will succeed both on the job and in life in general. Really, really incredible. I love this quote it says, “You can have everything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want.” That’s a quote by Zig Ziglar, one of my favorite quotes, and I really think it’s true. The more you give, the more you get. Help other people on the job, don’t try to take credit from them, don’t be out there for yourself, support your team members once you get on that job. It will be noticed. Believe me. Number seven is show humility, show humility This can be difficult to do as well on the job because a lot of us get out there and we’re hungry and we want to stand out and we want to be important. But humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less, so be humble on the job, don’t expect to get promoted within the first six months, that doesn’t happen very often, be patient Continue to do great work and focus on doing your best for your employer. There’s really a couple things that I’ve seen that help emphasize this humility on the job and the first one is just listening. I was at a client meeting last year and I was asking them questions and when I was done they said, you know, you’re a really great listener and that was kind of cool to hear. I don’t hear that every day but just listening to people is really powerful, so I’ve learned over the years listen to my team members, listen to clients and the problem is, probably the biggest communication problem today, is that we listen to respond. We don’t listen to hear. Have you ever had the situation where someone’s talking to you and as they’re talking you’re kind of zoning out what they’re saying because you’re formulating in your head what you’re going to say next? If you can avoid that, it’s so important to do so Listen to understand and then you can respond afterwards. Listen to understand, and the second thing I think you can do to show humility is to say three really powerful words: I don’t understand. I’ve gotten really comfortable over the years saying I don’t understand, and sometimes, maybe especially, when you’re earlier in your career or you’re an intern that can be an intimidating thing to say because it feels like an admission of not being intelligent but it isn’t If you say I don’t understand, you’re showing humility, you’re showing a willingness to learn It’s a really powerful thing to say, so if I’m in a meeting sometimes I feel like other people are getting what’s going on, and I don’t. That’s okay. I’ll say I’m sorry I don’t understand Don’t be afraid to do that People appreciate the humility These are some of the management offices at Blue Compass and, as you can see, there’s no doors, so a lot of places talk about an open door policy and we feel so passionate about that that we have a no door policy. We want to listen to our team members, and we want them to feel comfortable coming to us with ideas at any time. The power of listening Nnumber eight, number eight is to continually grow your expertise, continually grow your expertise

Now that was one of our values too when I showed you the values on the wall at Blue Compass, and one of my problems I think when I started out early in life, you know, I graduated from Iowa State and I think after that in some ways I thought, you know, my education is done now Time to go into the working world. But, of course, as you probably know, your education never ends, and you should never stop learning, and I think, both for organizations and individuals, if you’re not learning you’re falling behind. So, I love watching Netflix, I love playing video games, but over the years and especially as I entered my 30s, I realized I have to keep learning and I have to keep growing because your career won’t get much farther than your knowledge base, than your wisdom and your experience. So if someone has 30 years of business experience and they write a book about it, and I can gain a lot of that 30 years of experience in just three hours of reading the book it would almost be foolish not to do so So get really serious about identifying books that you’re interested in that have to do with your industry or positive thinking or leadership or whatever that might be, podcasts. Dedicate yourself to at least spending 15 minutes a day of growing and learning. It doesn’t stop once you’re here at Iowa State, I would say there’s so many incredible wonderful things that will help you on the job but be diligent about doing so once you graduate as well Number nine is to reject drama and gossip Unfortunately there’s something really attractive sometimes about drama and gossip to humans And it’s a social bonding over negatives that attract people to that, but I think bonding over positives is even more powerful than that but sometimes it’s hard for us to see that. So again here’s our values and the last one down there is we reject drama and gossip. We reject drama and gossip. As you look for a job and in your career and of course in every area of your life, don’t give in to that drama and that gossip That gossip especially can be really toxic, so we’ve had people in our office before, years ago, that unfortunately, were bad apples to the rest of the team, and they spread some of that gossip, and we had to get rid of them, unfortunately Don’t be that person on the job, don’t be that person on the job. I think sometimes gossip is a little vague when you hear that term so this is how we define it: gossip is any negativity passed to someone who can’t do anything about it Any negativity passed to someone who can’t do anything about it. So an example would be if, you know, in our office two people sitting next to each other, we’re working, and one of them says, “Gosh this computer is so old and slow, I can’t believe they make me work on this. This is a horrible experience, I can’t believe my manager is so thick as to make me work on this all the time.” That’s gossip. The person that you’re complaining to can’t do anything about that computer. Instead take that to a manager, someone who can do something about it So rejecting drama and gossip that is something we seek when we look for team members and your life will be a lot more positive and your job search and your career or internship will be much better if you do the same and try to surround yourself with people that also don’t gossip and don’t indulge in drama because we become who we spend time with Alright, number 10, be a leader, be a leader So years ago some team members and I went to New Orleans for a marketing conference, and we got to the conference having a good time and when we were out on the floor there were a lot of different booths where different companies were trying to sell their services. And I recognized that there was an agency there and there were three employees of this agency that were at the booth, they were talking with people, they were engaging with people, they were trying to get their point across, they were trying to sell their service, and I noticed their boss was there too, but their boss was sitting a little ways away head down on the phone the whole time. I thought that was kind of interesting. I walked away, I went to a session, I came back, I walked by, and I looked and the same thing. The boss was on the phone every single time I walked by When the conference was done, we started to board the plane

and as I got on that plane I looked over in first class and the boss was sitting there And as I walked towards the back of the plane, I looked and literally in the back row those three team members were sitting. That made a big impact on me and I learned from that that bosses sit in front of the team and leaders sit with the team, and that really made me want to be a leader, a servant leader. I love this illustration here. You can see a boss versus a leader and that is the type of leader I want to be And, ideally, if you choose a job your boss or your manager whoever is that type of leader as well but a title doesn’t make someone a leader, so start to be a leader right now. An intern at Blue Compass can be a better leader than I am, the president, based on their behavior, so I always want to be the best leader I can but a leader is not dependent on a title, a title does not make you a leader. Start by being a leader now, and the way you do that is to be positive to inspire your co-workers, to give people a positive direction to go in, and to show service to them. You can do that now and you don’t need the title to do so One more quote here I really like great leaders to take a little more blame and a little less credit That’s hard for us to do as humans because just naturally we want credit, but if you can discipline yourself to take a little more of the blame and a little less of the credit to celebrate your co-workers’ victories, to give them praise, to honor them, and often to put them first you will stand out in your job and you will be noticed by the leaders of in the company and you will have great success, not only in your career, but in your life. I encourage you to do that and for all of us to be that positive leader to take a little more the blame and a little less of the credit Thank you so much those are my remarks today, I think we have a few questions now Thank you very much Drew for this insightful presentation and all your wonderful advice. Thank you. We have about 15 minutes for questions. I’m going to move back here and watch the chat, we also have a few questions that were sent in early so Ill start with one of these and I will watch what comes in. So, Drew, first question, when seeking a job, how can recent grads overcome their lack of experience in the job market or industry? Great question, so how can you overcome that lack of experience? All of us, when we graduate, have that. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, that’s nothing unique, and it can be hard to stand out sometimes when other people looking for the same job have a few years of experience. So I think it goes back, you know, some of what I said earlier. Instead of just sending in a resume and having that be the first point of contact an organization has with you, identify those places that you really want to work ahead of time and then connect with them on social media Reach out to someone there via phone, give them a compliment, ask for advice. Leaders of businesses more often than not actually want to help college students or want to help recent grads On LinkedIn, I have a lot of people who will ask to connect with me and generally if I have no idea who they are, if I think they’re going to sell me something, I will ignore it. But anytime a college recent grad or someone who’s in college asked to connect with me, I always hit accept because I remember when I was there and I want to be able to help those who are seeking jobs for the first time, and I think a lot of people are like that, not just me. So making that initial contact beforehand I think that’s a really great thing to do, and then do what it takes to stand out, do something unique. There’s a lot of job applicants out there, do something unique to stand out, have a unique resume, make sure that they hear from you multiple times, make sure you send a really great thank-you card Do what it takes to stand out and don’t have your resume be the very first contact with you Excellent, we have a question from the chat How can students find an entry-level job or internship during covid and all its accompanying chaos? Great question. So obviously things are a

little different right now and the job market isn’t as good as it was because of covid, unfortunately. So the thing is there are still opportunities out there and it just takes a little more work and diligence, but be positive and stick with it and keep looking Keep looking around, there are organizations that are hiring right now. I know there are Many businesses and industries have been negatively affected, but some of them are doing even better than they were before, it just depends on the situation in the industry So do your due diligence, go out and look at job boards, be really aware of them, go on websites, send an email to someone who works, the hiring manager maybe, who works at a job that you’re interested in and say hey would you foresee any openings coming up in this area for a recent grad in the near future? The more you try, the more success you’re going to have, so be diligent about it. There are lots of opportunities still out there, it’s harder than normal, don’t give up and be diligent. You can find a position out there. Wonderful, thank you this next question is actually two parts. The first one is what’s the most difficult obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your career? And then the second one that goes with it is, in general how do you handle stress? Lots of obstacles that I’ve had in my career, we all have obstacles and one of the great things about life is overcoming them because it gives you experience and confidence. I think one of the biggest obstacles I’ve had, if not in my career, at least lately is probably self-pity. As an example you know when all this covid stuff hit, we moved a lot of our team home to work, you know, we have 30 team members and almost all of them were at home working. They had the option to work home or in the office nearly everyone was working at home starting in March. And I’m surprised how much that impacted me. I love our team, I get so much energy and inspiration from them, and it was very difficult for me, especially those first few months, not to be able to work in an office every day with them. And we got along fine, we’re a technology company, it wasn’t too difficult, but that was difficult for me and I found myself really indulging in self-pity And we all have those moments in life when you hit something that’s really difficult, you feel bad for yourself, and you want sympathy and I spend a lot of time feeling bad for myself And finally, after a while, I realized what a waste of effort and energy just thinking about how sorry I am for myself. What if I took all of that self-pity energy and I put it towards just trying to do my very best and move the company in a great direction? And, thankfully, I’ve been able to do that since then, but I think multiple times in my career I’ve been really guilty of self-pity As for stressors, one of the ways I help deal with stress is running and exercising That’s really important for me. That’s nothing new, but that is really beneficial just to be on an exercise regimen, I think. Family and friends of course, spending time with them is always really important. Just laughing and looking at the good side of things is always good for me, reading is another thing I love to do, and I love playing the occasional video game as well. Thank you much We have another one from the chat. What resources would you recommend to a graphic designer interested in marketing as an industry? Oh, okay, graphic designer, well that should be, I should be able to give a good answer to that because that’s how I started out, I was a graphic designer as well. And as I mentioned you know I did graphic design and animation and, eventually, I just really got passionate about the web and just more into marketing as well. So, first of all, I would say there’s absolutely a place for graphic designers, for web designers, for animators in marketing industries. Every agency has designers, media industries, so many businesses have designers so I think you’re in the right place And of course I would say hone your design skills that goes without saying, but master Photoshop and Indesign. If you can get into things like AfterEffects, I think that’s really beneficial as well. Maybe into Premiere, Adobe Premiere is good to do as well and just continue honing those skills because the better you get at design the more opportunities will become available for you. And as you progress in the the first job you get, in the role you’re in now, it opens up more opportunities in the future. So there’s so many places that are looking for designers and again agencies are always looking for designers I feel like

and as are publishers, insurance companies, I mean financial companies, there’s a lot of opportunities out there for designers. It’s a good industry, it’s a good job to be in So one of your points was to be positive and the next question actually gets into that very clearly. Jobs in this career field often come with disappointment and being told no What advice do you have on taking the negatives and turning them into positives? Yeah every no you get, you’re one answer closer to that yes. So of course it goes back to being positive again You know if you really identify an organization that you want to work at, and if they tell you no, I mean you have to make ends meet, but what if you told them, let me work here for a free internship for the next few months. That might stretch you a bit, you might have to work extra hard at another job in the off time, but I’ve heard of people doing this before, working incredibly incredibly hard, impressing people and then being able to be hired after that. If you have a great work ethic and if you’re passionate, if you really want to get into that business, be creative about how you do it. Offer them some alternative things, say I will work here for free for the next two months. After that time let’s sit down together, if you feel like you know the effort I’m putting forth is beneficial, then I would be happy to talk about staying on in a paid position, and if not, no problem. So don’t be afraid to say things like that, you don’t have to take no for an answer and and never talk to that place again. And don’t take it personally when you you get turned down for a job, don’t take it personally you will find one eventually if you are diligent and you keep looking Alright, the next question talks about what students can do while they’re still here in college, so what student activities or organizations were you involved with during college that have benefited your professional career? I suppose we could flip it the other way, what did you wish you would have done while you were in college? Well I probably wish I would have done more, I mean one of the greatest things I did when I was in college was get a great internship. I mean and that that’s not that’s not an incredibly motivational thing to hear, but yeah an internship. Getting a job in the real world is important, again even if it has to be a free internship, I mean great exposure but obviously there’s a lot of clubs around, being involved in things like the student chapter of the American Marketing Association is a great idea Anything like that can be really beneficial, you know for us at Blue Compass, when we look at people’s resumes one of the things we really like seeing is people who take the initiative on themselves to learn and to grow and to progress. And so, for instance, if we’re looking to hire a digital marketer and we see that they have a Google Ad certification, that’s impressive because that’s something you have to study for on your own and you have to take a test with Google online to get. Any of you could get that. A Google Analytics certification is also impressive so I would suggest looking around for certifications that you can acquire that are relevant to your industry for us again in the agency world, like a content marketing certification with Hubspot would be a great one or, again, these Google certifications are really good, a social media certification. Take it upon yourself to be involved with organizations that are relevant to your industry, but also to get some good certifications. That impresses us Wonderful thank you much. Another one of your points was to ask questions and so the next question says do you have any recommendations on how to best research a company or industry that you’re interested in interviewing for? Yeah how to research a company, okay so if you identify a company you’re really interested in, spend three hours on their website, read some of their blogs that they’ve posted recently, become familiar with their team, understand who the president is, who their CEO is, who their VPs are Watch some of their videos they put on Facebook or YouTube just soak in some of that culture It might take some time, but it’s worth it and it will give you insights into what you can do better in an interview or how you can better connect with them. So spend a lot of time on their website Go to their social media accounts, go to Facebook, go to Twitter, go to LinkedIn, go to YouTube, go to their Snapchat account, go to their Instagram account, spend time within their world and learn what they’re all about, and look at some of the awards they’ve won. Become really familiar with

their people and then if you’re doing that you should be able to eventually, be able to identify maybe some of the decision makers, maybe some of the people in the department you’d be interested in joining, or some of the people who would be involved in interviews or hiring Follow them on social media, see some of the things that they’re saying and try reaching out to them, compliment them on some of the things that they’ve done via social media like some of their posts, and then if you are able to score like a Zoom meeting with them or a coffee with them or a lunch or something like that, that’s really powerful as well. And if you get an interview with this company, do your homework beforehand, make sure you really understand who’s going to be in that interview contact them beforehand and say, “Hey can you tell me, you know, who will be in this interview. Is there anything I can bring, that you would like me to bring? Do your due diligence and understand exactly who it is that’s going to be in your interview. Always become comfortable with their names, and say their names in the interview, and when you’re done, say their names again. One of the most beautiful words in the world for people is their own name People like it when you say their name, say their names, and make sure that it’s very clear you know about their organization The more research you can do the better Very good, great advice. Another one of your points was to always continue learning and so the next question is what are some of the books or other resources that have helped you the most in your career? Yeah, so off the top of my head, some of the books that have really benefited me, um you know, I read a book a few years ago by Dale Carnegie and it’s called, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living,” and it was written like a hundred years ago, but it really, really helped me. It helped me overcome some stress and some worry, worrying, some anxiety that I had dealt with I think it was a really good experience, so that’s a book I really liked. I read a book recently called “The Happiness Trap,” and it’s all about the negative thoughts that will plague our mind, and the concept of not necessarily trying to ignore those negative thoughts, but recognizing which thoughts are helpful and which aren’t, and if you have a thought that’s not really helpful in your head just letting it pass and focusing on something else. So I think that was another really good one as well. John Maxwell wrote a book called “Good Leaders Ask Great Questions,” another great book that I really loved and benefited from Off the top my head those are a few great books that I really enjoyed Thank you very much. I think looking at the time, we have time for about one more question. One more question sounds good. And I think one that came in does a nice job of kind of wrapping everything up and boiling it down to whatever you think is the most important. So when searching for your first full-time, right-out-of-college job, what do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind? What’s the most important thing to keep in mind looking for your first job out of college? I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that you will get this job, you will succeed and you will get this job There might be some roadblocks along the way There might be some stresses. You might stumble and fall, but it will happen, so resolve amongst yourself to know that you will succeed and you will get your first job And after you get that first job you’ll progress, you’ll grow, you’ll get better maybe you’ll stay at that same company organization maybe you’ll get another one but you will grow as a person you will learn and get better. It’s maybe feeling like a difficult process as you look for that job, but it will happen so stay tenacious stay positive about it Keep looking and let your work ethic shine Don’t hesitate to do what it takes to get people’s attention, to do your research and to keep looking. You need a great work ethic to succeed in your job and in life so make sure you use that work ethic in your job search as well Drew, a sincere thank you for coming today and for giving your wonderful advice I’d love to shake your hand, so let’s do a quick elbow bump Thanks, Michael. Thank you very much. Thank you all for joining us today at the 2020 Futures Forum. We thank Drew Harden for joining us to share his thoughts, and we thank our sponsors William F. and Linda Z Tubbs. This presentation will be available on our YouTube channel. Have a wonderful afternoon everybody and thank you again. Thank you