(Major thanks to Nicole at WE and other marketing folks for supplying the kids with network-branded gifts. Another blog about that later.)
One of the students sent me a follow up note asking for recommendations in pursuing a marketing career or deciding on a career path in general.
In writing back, I realize that the thoughts I shared with her are good reminders to MYSELF:
Thank you for the nice note. I'm glad you found the panel discussion helpful; and your courteous response is very impressive!
With regard to your questions:
"What would you suggest as a high school some things that i should look out for now to better prepare myself for the future?"
- For any of the areas you mentioned, I believe keeping on top of new technology will be very helpful. Try to learn about new media areas -- from interactive advertising to broadband video. If there is a student media group, whether it is a radio station, Web site, or TV station you can get involved with, that would be great. Explore volunteering in many areas for them, such as writing or production.
- Go online and read as much as you can from media publications that are posted for free, such as http://publications.mediapost
.com/or maybe http://www.brandweek.com/bw /magazine/current/index.jspA lot will be over your head, but some will sink in here and there, and you'll either be "in the know" or at least be able to recognize some terminology when you need it.
- Intern in whatever media company or ad agency you can, too.
- Take classes in typing if you haven't already (and SPELL CHECK everything you send out professionally.)
- Keep trying to be as well-rounded and exposed to new ideas and professionals you admire as much as possible.
- Keep a journal! (I still have mine that I started when I was 16!) Picture yourself succeeding. :-) Make a note about the jobs you think are cool, and WHY you think you are drawn to them. Make a note about the people you admire and WHY you admire them, or may want to emulate them. (Was there an air-traffic controller who showed confidence under pressure, and you would like to have more of that quality? Was there a TV executive you saw on the news with a great sense of humor and you think you would like the opportunity to come up with creative entertainment ideas?) You don't have to decide anything right now except to decide to stay open and observing and interested in gaining experience. All the rest will come to you.
"can you please describe for me what exactly it is that you do at your job such as responsibilities and etc. ? "I invite you to visit my Web site (www.mossappeal.com) and look at my bio, and some of the work I've done. I started as a radio copywriter and a newspaper reporter at the same time, while I was a senior in college. I was pretty busy, but I learned a lot about two different areas of media at once. I still use my writing skills today, but I also discovered that I am a good "project manager" -- overseeing all the steps needed to make a project come to life. I oversee designers and other (better) writers, Web masters and printers. I speak with clients about what their OBJECTIVES are (see the first paragraph of my home page), then I try to come up with a creative way to help them meet those objectives.
"also do you enjoy it?"I am self-employed, which means I am always having to land the next assignment or win the next project. It keeps me on my toes! But you can't beat it for creativity. I do miss having a team around me all the time to bounce ideas off of, and am looking to work with others on a more regular basis. It also allows me the flexibility to also do work that is important to me, like helping produce environmental marketing messages for companies trying to do the right thing!
I hope you'll drop me a note here and there and keep me posted on your progress and the path you choose.