We consider it an honor when a University of Wisconsin Oshkosh student marketing, public relations or journalism groups drop the IMC team a call, email or Tweet and asks a member to share some perspective, career tips, war stories, recipes… you name it.
Invariably, the conversations reassure me the work we do in our shop is with it.
I had the chance this week to chat with students in the UW Oshkosh student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. It was a small gathering of about seven or eight. But was a neat opportunity to reaffirm with folks who could be future colleagues what most of us in this broader biz know to be vital these days: Make media; If you can creatively, confidently and with authenticity write, speak and tell/shout out stories in print, online, audio, video and social media formats, you’re golden. You can get hired. Your talents will be deployed. Be a storyteller and Swiss-Army-knife-of-media while remaining open to opportunities, and you will land a cool job.
One or two of the students I talked with are preparing to graduate and jump into the roiling sea that is the current job market and economy.
They seemed confident. I hope I didn’t change that.
What’s great about working in an integrated marketing and communications shop is that we truly live that multimedia, storytelling reality day to day. We are, at all times, dabbling in University news video production, juggling multiple print marketing projects that advance campus programs and events and tailoring our web presences. Our little wing of UW Oshkosh has all kinds of irons in the fire, and success requires a melding of the make-media talents of a band of former shoe leather news reporters and photographers, once-private-sector magazine marketers and (we say this affectionately) tech geeks.
The good news is our UW Oshkosh public relations, marketing and journalism programs get it.
While students are burning the midnight oil to crank out that ol’ weekly campus newspaper, they are also revamping its website, using Twitter to hook in more readers and, in their classrooms, delving into video production and social media marketing strategy, working alongside faculty members to promote the very programs propelling them.
You really know these students are primed for the modern media maelstrom, however, when, within minutes of wrapping up a career-advice chat, a guest speaker gets a thoughtful thank you in the form of a Tweet, graciously dropping his Twitter handle and a strategically placed @UWO_SPJ.
Right back atchya, @UWO_SPJ.