Students head to #CMWorld 2016 – leaving with big ideas and inspiration

September 30, 2016 Cathy McPhillips

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-8-37-26-amPhoto Credit: Hali Strub

The sessions and expo hall at Content Marketing World each year are flooded with marketers, PR practitioners, journalists, freelancers, content creators and so much more. But one group you may have also noticed were some local college students. One group included three students hailing from the University of Akron’s College of Business Administration who are studying interactive media. What an exciting time to be in college and focusing on digital media, don’t you think?

Two of the students, Hali Strub and Matt Headland, shared their experiences while honing their writing skills for their school blog. Read Hali’s highlights on Michael Jr’s morning keynote and Tim Washer’s session in her blog post, and also check out Matt Headland’s post on his early morning experiences and enjoyment hitting the session where he learned more about REI’s success with long-form content.

One of Hali’s favorite moments:

“We then attended a hilarious session, led by Tim Washer, who encouraged us to think outside of the box. He talked about telling effective stories using video, and defying others expectations. He encouraged us all to take a comedy improvisation class, in order to think better on our toes, and work better in high-stress business situations. He told us to “follow the fear”, which means to pursue the idea that scares you the most.”

Matt’s biggest takeaway:

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-8-37-17-amPhoto Credit: Matt Headland

“My main takeaway from the conference (other than an intimate knowledge of Mark Hamill’s special coming up on network TV) was that this industry is so new that everyone is still figuring out what is going on. It’s like when we figured out steam could make stuff move which could lead to specialization which leads to more free time and so much other good stuff. Does this industry have the capability to revolutionize marketing in the same way?”

So what’s our biggest takeaway from these two? It’s important for us to listen to these young adults, their perceptions and learnings from our event, what they think of our industry, what direction, opportunities and struggles they see ahead for all of us, and what they’d do differently. We’re better when we learn and listen to them, and are so glad they added valuable conversations to our event.

What advice do you have for college students or recent grads entering our industry? We’d love for you to leave a note in the comments. 

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