Career Conversations: Marketing
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Career Conversations: Marketing


Good afternoon and welcome. Thank you for coming. Thank you for coming to Career Conversations with marketing grads and for professionals working in marketing My name is Liz Cook and I am the Employer and Alumni Liaison at the Career Centre here at York. We have Raj Balasubramanian. He is Global Marketing Manager Program Delivery with KPMG and next to Raj, we have Steve Toth He’s Director of Internet Marketing with Techwyse Internet Marketing and in next to Steve we have Aleena Mazhar. She’s Director of Experiential Marketing with Fuse Marketing Group and next to Aleena is Mya Imtiaz and she’s Loyalty and Partner Manager with Suncor Energy Petro-Canada and on the end of our panel, we have David Wan who is Manager Analytics and Insights with shop.ca network My name is David Wan. I’m Manager of Analytics for shop.ca. Really my role is to help a lot of the marketing team and marketers within shop.ca make better decisions, make better data-driven decisions So my role is you know a lot of statistical analysis married with technology and at the end of the day, a little bit of finance in order to kind of come, you know, paint that complete picture of we have a campaign, did it work out? Did it perform the way we expected it? And if not, then what can we do better next time? My name is Mya Imtiaz. So within my current role with Petro-Canada, I work specifically on our Petro Points Loyalty Program and what that entails is basically jade of all trades so we do everything from the front and strategy future state, short-term strategy development, figuring out how to execute certain programs and strategies and partnerships. So for example, we have our partnerships in place with CAA discount car rental, iTravel2000.com, anything that you see in terms of implementing our loyalty program, any guest facing strategies, I pretty much look after them from beginning to end and then also a little bit of the analytics piece when it comes to how our programs and campaigns perform and how we can continue to improve and really tackle the community and loyalty landscape My name’s Aleena. I work at Fuse Marketing Group. So we are a marketing agency and we essentially work with clients like Petro-Canada and other big brands to help them build their overall marketing strategy. So I work mostly on the creative side of things as – I’m the Director Experiential so I work with our internal teams and our clients to build experiences for their consumers. So those experiences can be as big as launches and creative stunts and campaigns and can also be as tactical as in-store sampling and getting product into consumers’ hands so anything that has to do with consumer relationships and 1-on-1 engagement with consumers, that’s where my team has sort of come in and built creative solutions to problems that our clients may have. All right, my name is Steve Toth. I’m the Director of Internet Marketing at an agency called Tech Wyse and what we do is primarily search marketing, so things like Google AdWords, SEO, organic search rankings. Those are sort of two main core competencies and the type of client that we service mainly our lead generation type clients So you know, something like let’s say a dentist or plastic surgeon or you know company that renovates windows and doors throughout Ontario. These are you know companies that where one lead can, you know, mean big like a fair amount of business for them. So we try to basically you know, initiate our program so with a goal in mind and that is cost per lead and then measure all of our efforts towards that and you know, try and hit a goal where we said okay, we’ve spent our budget of twenty thousand dollars and we’ve netted this client 200 leads. That’s what our bread and butter is really. It’s not marketing you know, mass marketing to consumers or anything like that. It’s more about helping small to medium-sized businesses which I actually get a lot of satisfaction from. I’m Raj, I’m Manager of Global Marketing Group at KPMG as you guys probably all know, KPMG is an accounting organization so we have audit, tax advisory, and my role in the organization and specifically in the group is to look at campaigns that span across different regions, different industries. Give you an example, the recent campaign that I worked on was the World Economic Forum and to Davos, Switzerland where we talked about sustainable development goals set by the UN and how that would apply to our top 30% of our clientele. So looking at the global picture and looking at what campaigns our clients are involved in and what we can help them beyond the regular riveting audit and tax. Well funny enough, my journey started in this room specifically. My first event that I attended, I graduated the BAS marketing program in 2010, late – early 2011. My first event that I attended was in this room Well, I came here for free pizza to be honest. I spoke to the lady who works for CPA. Now she works for CPA. She’s the marketing director and you know, I kept in touch with her over the course of like a year and a half and I reached out to her, you know, I saw a role online and I reached out to her and I interviewed for the role and I got it So funny enough, like you know, you never know where you’re gonna make a connection right? It’s all about following up and making sure you follow the path that you want to go with so I ended up at CMA, CPA as a social media manager and from there, one of my friends from the same program, the BAS marketing program, we took a course together and she ended up at KPMG and we were trying to figure out a role that would interest me over there because as you know, it’s a very riveting topic KPMG tax and stuff, but this role specifically interested me because it was more of a global nature and not specifically focusing on one area. So I wanted – I just didn’t want to audit, tax or advisory. I wanted to do all of them and because thinking ahead, let’s say in 10 years, I’ve become – I go somewhere else in a different organization, I want to have transferable skills to take from KPMG I’m one of those few York students that thought he was graduating in December and then found out he had one more credit to do so – that happened to me too – during that semester, I took that credit, finished off my degree I actually took a job driving and just delivering meals to people like they were diet meals and I would go from nine at night til three in the morning and this was sort of like just a job to do while I finished my degree and then when I graduated, I noticed an ad where I could use those skills to actually work for a word-of-mouth marketing company who would go around Toronto and basically qualify people who they thought to be influencers for a certain brand so there were brands like like Fat Farm cologne or energy drinks for Coca-Cola and we’d go around Toronto and actually like, we drive around Toronto and qualify these influencers and make them a part of this word-of-mouth marketing campaign. So that kind of opened my eyes up to sort of a new field, something that was interesting to me and I actually ended up going to do a one-year post-grad at Humber College for advertising copywriting and I really enjoyed that and then I parlayed that into a job working in the music industry where I manage social media for to sign bands for EMI Uiversal. Money was not very good but it was – it really social media was such a new thing at the time. This is around 2008-2009. It really hadn’t been monetized I think you know, there were no such thing as sponsored posts or really any paid component behind Facebook. We’re all sort of doing it by the seat of our pants and it was a lot of fun and then I did that for a year and then I moved on to a web-development company where I did copywriting primarily and I also did a little bit of user interface design but that was a small component of my job and then after that, I ended up at the current agency where I have been for about five years now which is Tech Wyse and I started as a social media manager there as well. I was actually the first social media manager at the company, then grew that department to the point where we could hire somebody else so I started up a content marketing division of the company and then I did that for about a year and a half and then at that point, we hired another person to do that and then I became the director there. So I’m sort of in our team which we call the Guru Department, all the subject matter experts, I lead up that team so that’s where I am now in my first year, I went to a career fair here at York and there was a – they were recruiting for people to start working at an experiential agency. Pretty big one, it’s called Mosaic, they do a lot of stuff here at York and I sort of fell into it because the summer after my first year, I moved home and back to my parents’ place in Mississauga after being at school for a year and you know, realized that it’s really not a lot of fun sitting at home doing nothing all summer and I wanted you know, I had a job but I wanted something that was interesting and different where I could meet a lot of people. I wasn’t really looking for a career, I was just looking for something fun to do in the summer and I remember these people I’d met at York halfway through the year from this agency called Mosaic and they seemed like a fun group so I applied for a job there. Literally that’s kind of how it went. And I got a summer job with them and I just sort of kept in touch with the recruiters at that agency and kept doing random event work. So you know, I’m going to be dating myself but when the Rogers home phone launched, I did the launch for Rogers home phone and then we did a bunch of stuff here at the Rexall center for the Rogers Cup. When the Rogers Cup came here, I worked for a few things for Coca-Cola, so I just got really excited because i was getting paid to go to events and talk to people and once I was finishing off university, and I had to actually think to myself what I wanted to do with my career, I had one of my managers from Mosaic sat me down and said hey, did you ever think about going into this field? And to be honest, I hadn’t thought about it because while I was in school, I was always kind of taught to go to one path and back then you know, experiential marketing wasn’t really a thing and nobody really knew what it was and it had a very loosely defined category in the world of marketing. So I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into and it wasn’t you know, everybody kind of went into the brand world. They became assistant brand managers and Procter & Gamble and then brand managers and then senior brand managers so I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. But you know, I thought the people were nice and I was having a good time so I decided to interview. I got the job. My entry-level job is managing a team of 20 people in Toronto and these 20 people went and did samplings at liquor stores across Ontario. I’m sure you’ve seen them go into a liquor store. They offer you a sample so I was the one who managed all of those people and it was you know, a bit of a slap in the face of realizing what managing people was like. Very rewarding but very challenging thing to do and I sort of kept going from there. I grew to a bigger team, a national scale, moved to another agency where I did a lot more strategy and development for clients and now I’m at Fuse where essentially where we’re starting up an experiential division. We have one client and we need to get many, many more It’s a lot more of the business development and startup nature with a lot of the creative work that I love in this field. So experiential marketing is really – it’s it’s kind of a new age term When I was in university, it wasn’t being taught in school and the kind of rebellious nature that I have that really drew me to it. It’s essentially marketing experiences. So what we do is we sit down with clients and understand what their objectives are as far as reaching consumers. I mean that really layers back to their overall marketing objectives so as far as you know, I’ll take a brand as an example, Brita water. We’re talking about the Brita water client team and determining what their overall marketing objectives are, where they want to spend their money and usually you know, they’re trying to reach consumers in a certain way whether it is talking about their product, whether it’s you know, giving out samples, whether it’s being in store in front of their customer and so what we do is we help brands identify the best possible way for them to reach consumers. Sometimes that’s through us with one on one engagement, building experiences for consumers Sometimes it’s us strategically redirecting them to a digital or social media or content development way of actually reaching their consumers. So where we would step in is the one-on-one consumer experience and helping brands build what that consumer experience looks like Specifically on either campaign by campaign perspective or how it fits into their overall marketing strategy I completed a BAS with marketing and HR so I did a dual focus and in my third year, experiential education was introduced to the Atkinson faculty Experiential education was the kind of informal way of providing internship opportunities but you do it through a course so say for example, we were doing marketing research, whoever’s taking a marketing research course. As part of the course, what would happen is students would be allowed the opportunity to actually work with a real-life company So we work with tours in Toronto and we did an actual market research project for them. So by the time I finished my last year, I didn’t have – I didn’t do any or hadn’t done any formal internships per se but I had a whole slew of experiential education projects on my resume that I could walk up to a company and really market myself and sell myself Simultaneously, at the same time what I was doing was also working and volunteering at the Student Alumni Relations Office here. It was called the Stars office back then and that volunteering kind of help me land a kind of a summer, part-time position over at the Schulich Career Centre and the marketing association at the time would hold info sessions, career fairs and whatnot. So I would attend all of them and get out there and looking for a job now I’m graduating, I need a job so I interviewed with a whole slew of companies and Petro-Canada actually, the very first time I applied with them, they had two rounds of interviews. The very first time, I didn’t pass. I didn’t move forward in the process. So it wasn’t until they came back to campus and recruited for an HR position that I ended up with them and that HR position was managing their national campus recruitment program so when I joined them, I flipped to the other side. I was being exactly you know, where I was attending info sessions and trying to do career fairs, I was on the flip side organizing these info sessions for Petro-Canada, going to all the different schools and recruiting fantastic students like yourselves So I did that for the first two years. Petro-canada merged with Suncor Energy. Very early on in my career, I got a chance to work on one of the biggest mergers in Canadian history so that really helped shape my outlook on hey, do I want to stay in HR or not? It was a fantastic experience but I came out of it saying I’m out You know, I’m out at this point in my career. I moved into marketing communications and at that time, it was very early on with the social media 1-to-1 communications and marketing, web based marketing. So I worked in that team and for about eight to ten months, before I got tapped on the shoulder to move across the country. So I moved across the country to good old Edmonton, Alberta and I lived out in Alberta for five years and I’m just coming back now. I didn’t only grow as a professional but I grew more as an individual So you know, my world changed. My environment changed and out there, I did field roles. So it was more like the territory manager, financial consultant, very operations heavy. At one point, in my most recent roles, I was managing about 35 to 40 million dollars’ worth of assets in business and that’s basically when you are a territory rep for a group of gas stations but you manage everything from the beginning to the end in a sense of how do they greet guests, how do they manage the guest experience to how are you making money, how are you cutting your expenses and how are we adding value to the bottom line? And when I came back which so now, I’ve moved about three times with the company, so just recently came back to Ontario and landed in Loyalty I did not express an interest whatsoever but just connecting the dots with the past roles that I have held, you know, it landed me in marketing so Petro-Canada is all about you know, the generalist mentality, trying to diversify yourself and dabble in different areas and they allow you to do so but everybody’s journey is different Mine has been very different than you know, you hear a whole bunch of paths up here. We may end up in the same spot somehow or we may cross paths, but how we get there is very different. Statistics was really a hobby for me. I’m a huge hockey fan and when I was in university, I used to you know, as a broke student, I would enter these hockey pools every season and I remember my first hockey pool that I entered, I lost an undisclosed amount of money but it was – it was substantial. In my next hockey pool, I’d be able – I was able to choose players that other people overlooked because they were undervalued by looking behind the numbers and so I started to win more money and win more pools. Being able to quantify something that’s normally qualitative. At the same time, I was at York, I was studying marketing so it’s learning all about branding, you know product management and as well as kind of general business strategy After graduating, I started to work at Target Canada where we sort of (unclear) took one of the most aggressive retail expansions internationally sort of in the industry. Opening up 424 stores within nine months and there was this moment you know, I was attending a lot of meetings at this moment and in one of the meetings where you know, one of the executives was talking a lot about well you know, like this this feels right or the you know, this, my gut says this and me as a statistics guy, that’s against my religion. It was a marriage of really both worlds of sort of marketing and branding as well as all the statistics stuff that I was doing on the side and so now, at shop, it’s sort of a marriage of all three of technology, statistics and marketing. You guys obviously have to do a lot of presentations I think as part of your classwork. I can’t stress the importance of that. It can get you so far, it can when you do business, you completely change the makeup of your company if you’re able to present well and you know, really convince and persuade people to you know, let’s say take on a new service that could really benefit them and if you’re interested in like digital marketing, search marketing, stuff like that, I also really can’t stress enough for you to all take the free google AdWords courses. There is basically, I think five courses that you can take and there’s also an analytics one that I’m sure you’re familiar about. Highly sought-after skills and a lot of the times when we’re recruiting for people in those types of roles, let’s say a paid search manager, somebody who manages Google AdWords budgets for clients. They’re very hard to come by and you know, if you have those certifications under your belt, even if you don’t have work experience, it’s really – a really nice thing for you to have. The one thing you always have to do is number one, present your ideas. Number two, persuade and get buy-in from leadership to get stuff done so you might have the best and the brightest idea going forward but the things that are roadblocks are budgets are you know, how many people do you need to work on that team. How many hours worth of work are you going to have? Which client is it? How much revenue does this client bring in? For example, we are the global auditors for Pepsi right? And they are a platinum-level client so I’m talking top of the pie. Anything new that Pepsi comes out with, we see it first as well. So if you look at Pepsi’s balance sheet for example, they do so many new things so one of the questions I think always is you know, if from our perspective, what is it that we can do that helped pepsi increase its market share Help its business right? Although we’re just global auditors for them, from our client teams’ perspective, if someone has an idea, the first thing you’re gonna ask is how is it going to increase the revenue that we get from Pepsi? How many people are you going to need more to work on the Pepsi team right? So persuasion and getting buy-in is something that I personally think I could benefit from. Yeah, I think there’s a book by a PhD Robert Cialdini I think, called the Six Principles of Influence and if you read that like, there’s some really good stuff in there. It’s actually the Six Principles of Influence I think and the book’s called Persuasion. There’s also another book called and I don’t remember the author, but it’s called the Power of Influence and it really helps to kind of graduate your mentality from school environment or school course-based environments to real-life practical and I think that’s where I was going to go with my tip would be you know, we walked in on Kathleen or they’re talking about the internship program here. That is something that I so badly wish we had when I was in school here and you heard me allude to it. I went out and found my own internships and I would work for free I worked free for ad agencies, I worked free for the City of Toronto on some big projects. Didn’t get paid a penny but boy, it got me real life experience and gave me a chance to practice those presentation skills, of persuasion, you know, just working on real-life programs and projects. So you guys do have a program now which I’m so excited to hear so take advantage of it. It’s gonna pay off in dividends because when you guys are really sitting in at an interview, you know and you’ve got that resume but you’ve got those experiences to speak to, that’s what’s really going to hit home with the employers in addition to your school, GPA, all that stuff goes far but it’s the real-life experience that really, really speaks volumes. We’re always told to come up with the next big thing. What is the next big idea? So that sort of – my world revolves around creative thinking, creative ideas. That said you know, we make fun of the statistics and the financial piece a lot but at the end of the day, that’s where marketing is going It’s all a numbers game and you can have the best idea in the world, but if you can’t quantify it, you’re not gonna sell it and every creative idea and every creative presentation needs to have logic by guys like this on each end, talking to the financial impact. So I would say you know, I very much ignored that part of my education but I really do wish that I spent more time thinking it through because that is actually the biggest skill that I’m learning every day in my career sitting with some market research guys analytics guys, telling them to teach me how they get to certain things because that’s what I need to sell some of my ideas Everything is quantified. On an experience perspective you know, my feedback would be to experience everything and what I mean by that is anything and everything that the school offers as far as internships and ongoing education and ongoing networking as cliche as it sounds, that’s the way to build those connections in order to find places in your career that you want to go to Connect with people that used to be in my class when I graduated with my marketing degree and we’ve sort of helped each other out in various parts of our career and introduce each other to new fields. So I would say networking and making those connections through experiences and talking to people is probably one of the most impactful ways of getting ahead because if you send an application online, you’re just a person on an application versus if you actually know someone or if you have a relationship with someone, you know, you’re so much more than that and you have that foot forward. Find people that are smarter than you and leverage the heck out of them. You’ll naturally be more in the know just by being around them. I think the second piece I have is around feedback. I remember one time, I was in, I forgot which course, but I was doing a presentation and I kind of at the end, I just kind of like – it was really awkward at the ending. I was kind of socially awkward and you know, everyone kind of awkwardly clapped. I kind of just said, oh that’s the end of my presentation. The professor kind of said, woah, you stop there Dave. You know, next time when you end a presentation, just say thank you and everyone will know to clock and in the moment, I was super-embarrassed. Like, it didn’t feel good right? I mean you – kind of being called out in front of the whole class but after a while, I started to realize you know, he gave you that kind of small piece of feedback because he cared. He cared to make you better and you know, because of that small piece of feedback, you know, all of my presentations afterwards, we’re just that much better and so, think about the people that are most critical of you. It could be professors, parents, friends, close friends, honest friends. You know that they’re critical of you because they care We’ve all alluded to the fact of how important networking and keeping in touch with your contacts and really leveraging those contacts is but remembering keep in mind your network has a company to sell you on so if I’m bringing in your information and I can talk about you till the cows come home, and that reference will probably do wonders and it’ll help, but when I do put a cover letter or a resume of somebody that I strongly believe in, in front of a different person, a manager or director, whoever it maybe, that’s what’s going to speak for them So you know, equally spend enough time to just ensure that your cover letter and your resume really does speak to who you are and what you bring to the table. Building your LinkedIn network, yes of course you should do that and you may not be applying for you know, a graphic designer role or a copywriter role where traditionally a portfolio might be a requirement for you. But you know, if you’re looking to get into something like search or experiential marketing or analytics like actually showing your employer that you have an interest in this field is really important and one of the ways that I would do it if I was you know, I blog a lot at my company and to actually have a blog just talking about your experiences, your what – you know maybe you want to recap some news for the week or you found something very interesting, give yourself an outlet online that’s not just your resume but that is proof and evidence of your passion for the industry where you want to work. One of the things was when you Google your name, you have to see what comes up right? And when I Googled my name the first time, not a lot of things came up but I wanted a potential employer – and trust me, a potential employer is going to Google your name. If you’re in marketing and if you’re applying for let’s say, a global marketing role at KPMG, we’re going to Google your name. You can be rest assured So before you come and talk to us, make sure you know your name yourself and so what I did was when you type my name in, the first thing I wanted people to see is my social media channels. So the Twitter, LinkedIn, my Facebook, the drunken pictures can stay with my friends and also if I blog, I want my blog to sort of show up. So now, if you Google my name, you’ll see my Twitter, you’ll see my LinkedIn, you’ll see my blog. The way you can do that, and you learn that in that course and it changed everything for me is you – it’s search engine – search engine optimization right? So the better your profile is on LinkedIn, the better your profile is on Twitter. I think you have to reach like 500 Tweets or something It shows up on Google right? So that’s one thing that I found really powerful and then to the point made earlier about resumes, it’s important and one thing that helped me is on my resume, what I started doing is obviously there’s my work experience and everything. I started putting my Twitter handle and my LinkedIn and in terms of I’m a big branding guy. Working for a big firm you have to be a branding guy and if you look at all across my social media platforms, all the handles are the same. So my hashtag Twitter is the same I mean my Twitter handle is the same. My LinkedIn is the same. So I just put one handle and it applies all across. So when a potential employer looks at it, they know that you’re consistent, number one Number two, they know that you know what you’re talking about because you’re in the marketing field and you’re in social media. So if you’re applying for a social media manager job for social media coordinator or even a marketing coordinator, they know you at least know the basics. Your personal brand is incredibly important but also I’m not a fan of the blanket resume and I know we used to do it a lot back in the day. I’m definitely at fault for the blanket resume. Everybody gets the same one. I think we’re at a place now where every job is so unique that you actually do have to put the time in to make sure that you know you’re heading on the objectives of that job or what the needs are for that employer because to be honest as a hiring manager – and I’ve hired a lot of entry-level people in my day as a hiring manager – I get like 10 resumes sitting on my desk that have already been you know, already gone through the first round of cuts from HR and then HR drops 10 on my desk and I have probably five minutes before the interviews come in to look at ten resumes and that’s the reality of it Right? So when I look at a resume and we learned this in school where hiring managers are looking at those keywords It’s the honest truth Not only are we looking at those keywords, I dive directly into the experience section and directly try to relate that experience back to what we do and that’s it. And I have that 5-10 minutes to look through ten resumes, skim them through and before that person walks through the door, I’ve probably made a couple of judgments on their resume. And that’s sort of the world we live in right? So I think as you’re applying to those positions, making sure that you are hitting on all those points that are in the job description and the application within your resume and making them look like you know, if it’s for creative role, making them look creative. If it’s for an analytics role, making sure you have those key pieces in there so that when it does land inevitably on that hiring manager’s desk, you have all of those key pieces already outlined so there’s no question about it when you walk in through the door. I can confidently say now that most university resumes are terrible Mine was terrible, like it’s just a fact We tend to focus on sort of the minutiae, the stuff that doesn’t matter like, what size should my font be? Or like what are my margins? Or how many pages? Instead, focus on making every word earn its way onto the page. So like she said, you know, it’s literally 30 seconds Boom, ok. Oh, it’s this person It’s technology and marketing guy That’s what it is. That’s what I get from the resume. Make that stand out if that’s what you want to portray. So I would say, most resumes, if you take a take a look at your own resume, get friends to take a look at your resume, you can probably cut it down to half of what it is right now. And feel free to add your LinkedIn references because that’s another trend that I’ve started to see happen with resumes. You know, you work hard for those references when people do leave you a reference on LinkedIn. Challenge them to make it credible and really meaty so that they’re actually speaking to what you added in terms of value, what you did and I’ve seen resumes come in You know, now they’re down to literally one page cover letter, one-page resume and then boom, LinkedIn references will take up a whole page and that to me is fantastic because then I’m just going back and going oh, you’ve done all this? And there’s people backing you up and saying hey if I could, I’d hire this person to keep them some way Fantastic, I want you. To me personally, I wouldn’t really use a criteria whether their reputation or not. The reason I actually became known with this trend is I I’ve received a lot of resumes coming from people who used to work at Target recently. Great Whatever happened happened with Target but these people are phenomenal like in terms of the skills that they built, the time period and kind of like what they went through, the experience and all the different things that they manage and they learned and you kind of see those things come to life when they tell you a story in an interview. So I wouldn’t really talk about reputation I would more talk about or look at the references more from a perspective of what did you do? How did you add value? What does your experience consist of? What were the key skills that you built right? Like it’s kind of a journey like your references should almost show a matching journey to the different experiences or jobs that you’ve had and I think that’s what speaks volumes is basically what you’ve achieved and how you added value to that company. That’s what I would be looking for. I was about two months after I graduated I have lined up a job It was a lot of customizing resume, I must tell you that. But one of the things that helped me was the connections I had built by attending the events at York. It’s – I know it’s an overstated statement that attend more events, attend more events and you know, go for more networking events but you’re not going to believe it until you actually do it and you actually see the results. So even after the four of us or five of us or six of us are explaining it to you, unless you do it and you see the results. That happened with me too. I was one of those you know, I would sit at the back of the class and I would show up late to class and stuff but when you actually see the results, you actually believe it. So attend more of the career events that York has A lot of people – a lot of students don’t take advantage of the resources that York has That’s one area that I would definitely stress on because I realized that after I left. Like the Career Centre is a great resource right? Number two is talk to your professors. One of the things I found out from the marketing course especially the advanced ones, like the fourth-year ones, the professors, they have tremendous networks outside like insanely crazy network. One of my professors – she was, I think the director of marketing for Unilever P&G so the stuff I learned from her is crazy and then Lisa Violo, she was a professor for my e-marketing course. She has crazy network too. She used to lead up the marketing for RIM and BlackBerry. So talk to your professors. They know people outside that can sit down with you, have an informational interview to get the conversation going So those would be my two tips. Like one is leverage the network at York to talk to your professors. I don’t know how many of us took part in the TASTE program but that was one where you know, York grads would come and have lunch with with us and just share you know, in our case it was a beer on a Friday afternoon You know, a nice sunny day so you know, you do need to definitely build up your relationships in the area that you want to work but you know, from the time that I graduated and until now, like the landscape has changed so much in that there are communities online for everything right? So you know there’s for me, there are many communities regarding search engine optimization that I can take part in and that I do take part in that my brand, my Twitter handle and all that stuff is very visible, right? So if you find like that you want to get into experiential marketing, Then you know, see if there’s a Facebook group for it you know? See if there are Twitter chats going on about it. You know, don’t just rely you know, definitely professors can help you to introduce you to different people, learn a lot from those too but if you make yourself visible in that space online, that can go a long way in building a reputation before you even have the job It honestly was my network that got me my first job. I – you know, I hadn’t graduated yet before my first – before my first day at work. I hadn’t written my last final but I was just so passionate about what I was doing and I loved what I did and I loved the people and I loved you know, it was – that was the only job I applied for which is actually the dumbest decision I could’ve made, now that I look back at it you know, eight years later. I’m thinking to myself, wow that was a dumb idea but realistically, that was the only job I applied for. My father was completely freaked out because he was kind of like you know, where’s your backup plan? I’m like nope, don’t have one This is it. And you know what? Luckily it worked out. It didn’t work out for everyone who went that route but I have to say you know, I called everyone I knew, all my old managers in that company. I told every single one of them that I was applying for that job and I asked – I found out who the hiring manager was and I told every one of them to send an email to the hiring manager like I’m talking, this is you know, eight years ago so there – I did not have a LinkedIn profile back then. You know, I had a Facebook that I made private before I applied for my first job based on all the pictures that were on it. So that was you know, my way of I literally got seven of my old managers to send emails to that hiring manager because I wanted the job so bad. So you know, when you know what you want and you have passion for something, honestly you do what it takes to get it and so I think you know, A) find that passion because that’s really powerful and when you’re talking to someone and you have that passion, people can feel it but two, if you’re trying to figure out what that is, talk to as many people as possible and just ask them questions because you know, I never say no when someone comes up to me and asks me what I do and I’m sure the same goes with all of these guys up here. That’s why we’re here, you know. So don’t be afraid to stop someone and say hey, you know what? I don’t really know much about this field but I want to learn more about it. Can you – can we chat and have a coffee or beer? That’s way better So definitely you know, ask as many questions as possible Let’s say you’ve got a relationship with someone, you went for the interview, it didn’t work out Don’t just abandon that relationship Maintain it because you know, I know people at my my job who at my workplace who interviewed you know, a year ago and now only got the job right? So like it – you you’ve got to keep those relationships strong you know? It’s maybe, it’s an email here and there right? Maybe it’s a drop- in Maybe it’s asking to go out for a beer or go out for dinner but that it really can help you It can’t hurt you. Don’t lose the commitment. You know, a lot of people will message me and IM me on LinkedIn, hey you interested? I’m interested in the energy, industry, I’m interested in (unclear) they’re chemical engineer, mechanical engineer, what do I know about that? But you’ll constant, you get IM to see if you want to grab a coffee or do you want to grab this? If you stay determined, I will say yes right? I’m not going to say yes to each and every one of them but if I see that you’ve got the passion and the focus and the determination, there will come a time where it’ll be like of course, like I want to know what you’re all about. Why you’re so passionate about this. I’m going to drop on the whole association piece because one of the things that I recently learned in my career is that there’s a big world out there and you know leveraging the resources on campus, doing all that stuff Equally get involved in the associations off-campus. There are a ton of areas where you can learn about the niche area that you want to be in or learn about specific real life skills that you can learn and grow about but more specifically, it’s another networking avenue for you and the more that you expand your network, the more you realize that it is a big world out there and there’s so much to stay open-minded about and stay open minded. Don’t – you know, cut yourself short and say you know what? I don’t think I’m interested because you never know what’s going to take your interest and what’s gonna evolve and your journey is going to become great. One of the things that I was going to mention is my friend and he’s a very entrepreneurial spirit kind of a guy and I can’t think about the club right now, but his name is Dave Wilkin and he initially, when he left university, did something like experiential marketing but it was very campus marketing related, but strategic. I don’t know if you’re familiar but he has now started a new kind of online community and it’s called coffee chat something like that Google his name: Wilkin. He has the world’s executive directors signed up to do exactly what we’re talking about where you as a student would sign up, you get paired up to have a coffee with a director and executive of a big company, small company, midsize and they facilitate it. So there are a ton of great options out there for you and that’s something that I would jump on immediately if I was in your seat. If I found a particular position interesting or I just wanted to learn more about a particular field, I’d just reach out cold to people I would just send them either email or just a quick LinkedIn message and just say hey, you know, let’s grab coffee. I’m, you know, I’m in your area. You know, I’d love to grab coffee when you know, in reality, I was here and I would go to Mars to have coffee with this guy but you know, you’d be surprised. I’m not saying everybody’s gonna say yes but you’d be surprised the amount of people out there that are willing to help you I think that’s one of the big things psychologically I guess, that prevents us from reaching out is you know, sort of fear of rejection or fear of you know, that they’re just gonna say no and ignore the message, but you’d be surprised how many people are looking to help Coming from fourth year, when you’re like very intimidated by even talking to someone working at a big company and like someone who’s like a senior manager or like a director, I’ve done the whole calling out of the cold and messaging out of the cold kind of thing. Obviously you get rejections, but the roles that I’ve had, out of the three roles that I’ve had, two of them were because I reached out to them from out of the cold. Like there was nothing that we had in common or anything, it was just here’s a role, here is the name of the company, I just went to their website Clicked on Contact us, picked up the phone, called out their number and said, can I speak to someone in the HR department? And I connected with them and you know, they sent me their email and off we go You just made me think of one thing that we actually do on our blog. We interview industry experts, SEO experts, Google AdWords experts analytics analytics experts and such and we just we send them a bunch of questions and then we publish that on our blog I don’t know, perhaps like you know, if you really were very ambitious, you could find people you know who you really admire and just ask them if you want to sit down for an interview for my blog and write – I don’t know, just a thought. I’ll give you an example, so I interviewed with KPMG three times. The first time was I reached out to someone out of the cold It was a partner and as you all probably know, partners have very high amount of egos and stuff right? So this partner was you know, very you know, very busy and stuff so he took some time out and very nice of him to sit down with me and have coffee right? So I spoke to him, obviously before I went and met him, I looked at the website, I looked up what they do what KPMG does, which areas they work in because I didn’t want to sound stupid and say oh yeah, you’re PwC right? So obviously, know your stuff about the company, number one Number two, look at what roles are posted online right? Let’s say, there is no marketing coordinator or marketing manager role posted but there is a hypothetically speaking, operations coordinator and operations manager all posted right? So talk to them about the different areas with the pointer from operations coordinator and operations manager and say, let’s say there is the operations team. Do you guys are already have a marketing team or how does that work? So take pointers from the current opportunities that are already available and then lead into the areas that you want to go into and then obviously, the person you’re talking to is also not stupid. They will know that you’re there for a job right? So it’s it’s kind of the unspoken truth right? The person you’re having coffee with knows that you’re talking to them because you want a job The person – they will definitely respond They won’t have coffee with you unless they actually are potentially looking at hiring you – or they know somebody They know somebody that in a different team right? So what this partner did was he introduced me to the employer brand manager for KPMG. This lady manages all the applications and internally, externally and all that kind of stuff so it was kind – it was nice of him to introduce me to the HR manager and I emailed her. I think this was – I think three months, four months after I graduated This is when I just got that – the first job. So I was already in a job but this was still going on. So I emailed her, nothing happened and it went cold for like six months and then I found out one of my friends from the visual marketing course, she’s a marketing coordinator at KPMG so that’s how it started again and then that lady realized that I have a strong referral now from internal. So that’s how I got the call again. So you never know how it’s going to go, just make sure that you follow up with the leads It’s kind of like a sales call. Make sure you follow up, make sure you close the deal and you get the job. And ask for it Ask for it when you’re sitting there. I sit there with so many young people who I know have called me because there’s a job available and we’ll sit, we’ll have a great coffee. The last thing about my career, I’ll talk about myself for an hour and then if they don’t ask for it in the end and I’m just like holding them going, just ask me you know? So I would say, don’t even stress about it Just ask, hey are there any opportunities available for us to work together? Because as a hiring manager, I’m not dumb I know why I’m there you know, I’m looking for people or else I wouldn’t have said yes to you. So just go for it and ask the question. I would say the second thing that a lot of young people do is you know, and I did this to as a young person, I go directly to the top and I’m like okay, who’s the director? I want to speak to them. But in reality you know, and I’m sure from an HR perspective you can agree to this, the director tends to be the last signature or check mark in the box Even if yeah. It’s usually you know I’m at – I will completely, I’ll go to my managers and I’ll say okay, who do you want to hire? Give me your top two and tell me what your favorite one is, you know? And that’s usually how it goes. It’s the junior people who are making a lot of those decisions and or – maybe if they’re not making that final decision, they’re giving strong recommendations so if there are two people left, my junior person says, hey person A is the one I want to hire. I’m going to already skew pretty heavily towards person A because at the end the day, I’m not the one managing them. It’s my junior person that’s managing them and I want to empower my junior person to be able to make those decisions. Now, if person A is absolutely awful, then I have a different problem on my hands but ninety-nine percent of the time, that person if HR approves them and my teams approve them, that’s the person who were going to go with. So I would say you know, don’t necessarily go and find the most senior person you know when you search your LinkedIn Network and you look at you know, power of LinkedIn you know, how many circles away you are I don’t know how it works. You know how it works to that person. So don’t necessarily go for the most senior person there. That’s a good person to get to know but sometimes it’s those junior sort of middle managers who have the most decision-making power in the overall chain of command and of course, HR. I mean HR has power over all of us at the end of the day. Like, they ninety-percent of the time tell us what to do. So within HR and that junior management level, those are really good people to get to know as well. I think it was third-year I attended one of these sessions and I think it was the session – career session for IBM. So I left the session and I went home and I was obviously looking for a job so I went to the IBM website and found out who the CEO is and I got his email and I emailed him It was like a Contact us tab. So I emailed Sam Palmisano. You can probably even Google now. So I emailed them and I think two weeks later, I got a call from IBM saying obviously my email, I’ve put down and it was in like, very bad grammar kind of email you know. So I put down, I’m looking for an internship or a marketing role at IBM I didn’t even know where the IBM offices were at that time and and I got a call from the HR department saying you emailed Sam and the first thing in my head, I’m like, who’s Sam? And she’s like Sam Palmisano, the CEO of IBM And I’m like, yes I did email him so I talked to her and in the end, I find out I’m not supposed to email him. I’m supposed to email HR. So to your point, definitely email someone that has the power to hire. Whoever is very genuine, you’ve got to be like I mean, you know I remember my days in campus and now I’m on the flip side so I’m hiring for roles, loyalty specific roles but I remember going to certain universities and schools and you know, seeing the robotic type of a student who knows their stuff, knows what to say, when to say it, when to laugh, when to shake your hand, how hard to shake it and you’re just like oh my goodness like, I’m looking for that standout person who is just really true to themselves and you’re passionate like your passion speaks volumes. Like the way you talk, the way you ask questions, the way your presence is -all that stuff really will stand out on its own and let it speak for itself Knowing your stuff, I heard somebody talk about it earlier and reference it Just know your stuff, know the company, know what company I work for Kind of those basics but it’s really about your passion and just being very sincere. Be yourself. I sort of remember it’s a very good question and I asked the same questions when I was sitting back there too because obviously there’s like six of us and there’s let’s say you know, 20 or 30 of you guys The one thing I found and someone told me one of the people I spoke to at one events told me. It’s figure out let’s say, KPMG for example right? Figure out what’s happening in the news for KPMG and talk to that person about it. You will get their attention for sure Figure out what’s happening for Fuse or Petro-Canada or shop.ca. You will get that person’s attention for sure Rather than, oh yeah great presentation, nice talking to you, can you hire me? Instead of that, start with you know, get their attention right? Talk to them about their company because we all live and breathe our jobs, like it or not. And we will know anything that’s in the news about our company The first thing is sort of has to do with the kind of resume and interview process and that’s having a narrative. So what I mean by that is you know, I’ll instantly look for like what’s what’s your story? I am the blank that can help you do blank right? Because you know, it’s all about me here The second thing is around attitude So it’s probably more important – and this is more interpersonal probably more than you know, I got a 4.0 and you know, I have all these certifications. Are you passing the airport test right? So if I’m – if I’m stuck in a layover for 10 hours, am I gonna hate myself because I have to spend ten hours with this person or you know, can we have a normal conversation? You know, we always used to think, oh just ask the person a dozen questions about them. Keep them talking about themselves and that’s what hiring managers, recruiters are looking for right? Who doesn’t like talking about themselves? It’s kind of an old-age mentality now with the new generations coming on board. I can flip the question to you any second and it’s more like, are you okay to answer? Are you willing to share your story? Are you willing to equally confidently talk about what your experiences are and how can we relate? So all my conversations go that way. Like I’ll have a dozen mini interviews from the office to the coffee shop If I meet you in the line at Starbucks, if we’re chatting, I might just say hey, do you want to pass me your LinkedIn or your contact or something? I have a job that I’m looking for. Because you were very real, you were able to carry your conversation and you shared with me because I want to learn about you too I want to know that you want to be there and I think I’m gonna ask you some very specific questions to make sure that you want to be there. A kind of person who sort of wants – does what it takes to reach success and a lot of that comes from attitude. It comes from approachability it comes from you know, authenticity It comes from the ability to – you know when you’re doing something good or where you’re doing something bad Accountability. There’s a lot of things that kind of go into that little segment but it you know – as a hiring manager, you get that gut feeling about it. Now, at this point in my career, my interview with people is always over coffee I always – I do in a public space I’ll do it at a coffee shop and I will go through the entire process of hire – ordering coffee and sitting down and drinking coffee with them. Because when actually, when a person is taken out of that like super sterile, interview environment and into real-life, you tend to see pieces of them that either you really like or you don’t really like. And so now, you know and I have people doing a lot of the screening for me to be fair but, now I’m at a place where my final sort of hires before I hire them, I either – if it’s a big hire, like if it’s a senior position, I take them out to dinner because that’s a big – can I have dinner with them? Like that’s a pretty big thing because you know, honestly there have been times where I’ve taken someone out for dinner and I’ve seen the way they’ve spoken to a server and I’ve said you know what? You’re not a fit for our organization Because it’s just in that cultural, you know, dynamics and dynamics of who you are as a person that comes out in some of those social settings. So you know, I would say, if you can – if you truly can show that you want to be there and you have passion for what you’re doing and you do your homework and you do your research and you’re able to speak to that person one-on-one, you are a standout. That said you know, I always go back to the passion point because if you don’t have passion – I don’t have passion for soap and toothpaste, so when I was interviewing for Procter & Gamble, I did a pretty terrible job because I do not have passion for that at all. Versus I have a lot of passion for working with people and being at events and running events and being creative. So when I actually interviewed for that job, it just oozes out of you right? So find those things you love and you’re passionate about and if you’re passionate about numbers, go in and talk about how passionate you are about hockey cards and stats because that, you know is what’s going to be the thing that sets you apart If you guys know Google Alerts, you guys know those are? Yeah, like so you sign up for Google Alert and everytime certain words are published on the Internet, you get an email. So like if you want to be let’s say, a social media manager or marketing coordinator, make those Google Alerts and then you’ll get an email in your inbox for anywhere those words appear on the web and nine times out of ten, they’re all job ads

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