By Lindsey Huston, iMedia class of 2012
“Curiouser and curiouser.”
-Alice, from Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland
The rabbit hole of knowledge in the interactive media field is infinitely deep. This is the metaphor Kim Williams, a Client Service Manager at BEM Group, Inc. in Greensboro, left me with after our information meeting this past week. Mr. Williams was referring specifically to the field of interactive marketing, but I found his metaphor applicable to the general field of interactive media as well.
The Interactive Media class of 2012 is three weeks into fall semester, and I know my classmates join me in the feeling of unrestrained curiosity. With creative assignments, research proposals, and capstone projects to contemplate, it’s easy to get caught up thinking about the overwhelming, yet exciting, assortment of directions we may pursue in our career futures. Knowledge relating to my courses is infinitely deep, cluttering my head with a variety of undeveloped ideas. This made my information meeting with Mr. Williams a welcome one. Sharing his story with me, he offered direction and hope I will now share with my classmates or anyone interested in the interactive media field.
This has been said on this blog before, but positive personal experience is the best reinforcement of any advice. I reached out to Mr. Williams for many reasons, including his sales career in the interactive marketing industry. His job, as a Client Service Manager for BEM Group, Inc., is to help companies successfully position themselves in the digital market. As an effective public speaker, he educates Fortune 500 companies and small companies on how to obtain an online presence and how to utilize social media. He also has a passion for blogging.
With my own interest in marketing, social media, and blogging, I knew Mr. Williams would be a great resource. The decisive factor in pressing send on my LinkedIn message to him, however, was that he is a fellow alum of Wofford College. It’s always great to connect with a fellow Terrier, but it’s also comforting to talk to someone with a similar frame of reference. Further, if I had not asserted myself I would have missed out on the great advice he is willing to offer.
Mr. Williams was a Religion major who worked as a pastor for fifteen years. After his time with the United Methodist Church, he needed a change and found a passion for the sales industry. As a Philosophy major myself, I found it reassuring that he finds the skills he gained from his background relevant in his current career. We both share a writing-intensive, liberal arts background, with passion for communication and writing. He sees these skills as beneficial in both sales and interactive marketing, and this is reassuring to hear from someone with real career experience.
We have the opportunity to be innovators.
“You are the ones that are going to define this extremely rapidly changing industry.”
This was how Mr. Williams responded when I explained the Interactive Media program.
I believe in the importance of this statement. With a background in sales, Mr. Williams integrated social media into his life due to his own curiosity. Upon taking his job with BEM two years ago, he learned the required technology knowledge base necessary for his position. BEM Group was founded in 1996 rooted in Information Technology. Since then, it has transformed into a company with divisions of BEM Technology, BEM Interactive, and BEM Education Center.
Mr. Williams’ genuine curiosity for interactive media acquired him a great career. However, he believes my classmates and I are in a unique situation in the Interactive Media Program. With our education and change in interactive media occurring within hours, it’s amazing to think of what my classmates and I can accomplish in the future.
After our information meeting, my goal is to keep an open imagination while maintaining specific focus on my goal of a career involving interactive marketing.
Do what you love.
Mr. Williams’ advice supports this cliché. He described his love for sales saying he loves “helping people get what they want in spite of themselves.” He also loves working with a variety of people on a day-to-day basis. Likewise, he reaffirmed that interactive marketing is an industry I would love by describing its conceptual work and fast change of pace.
Most importantly, Mr. Williams left me with three tips for surviving the sales or interactive marketing industries. He said curiosity is “…more important than anything else…but importance also comes with passion and incredible endurance.”
Like Alice looking down the infinite rabbit hole into Wonderland, it’s safe to say my classmates and I have the essential curiosity for the infinite interactive media knowledge. However, it’s up to each one of us to follow the advice I received and follow our passions with endurance. It’s an exciting road ahead for the Interactive Media class of 2012, and I’m thankful for the advice I received so early into our fall semester!