Amy Eisman, School of Communication

Director Media Entrepreneurship & Interactive Journalism

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  • Entrepreneur inside org = intrapreneur. HBR explores what this means 

    Interesting piece on Harvard Business Review on what is at stake when you are trying to be an intrapreneur (within your organization) vs a startup without. The risks are different, and somewhat surprising, having to do with social standing and professional capital within your company.

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  • More on Obama visit to 1776 

    DeafTVNot only did the President check out 1776, but he met AU MAME graduate Travis Dougherty, whose project, DeafTV, provides streaming video content accessible to sign language users. (Photo via Travis, courtesy of Christine Laccay)

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  • President visits 1776 on eve of July 4 … 

    President Obama visited the downtown start-up hub, 1776dc, where the MA in Media Entrepreneurship program has a table (you can see our sign, sort of, in one of the pictures) and a robust partnership.

    It was pretty exciting for recent MA/ME graduate Travis Dougherty, who shook the president’s hand and introduced the chief executive to his project, Deaf TV. (Photos coming, but you can see him in one of the Tech Cocktail photos.) The Washington Post covered the event as well (Obama was making a jobs speech), and captured video.

    The prez called 1776 a “cool place” to work. We know that!

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  • Successful people, successful days 

    The chart on energy flow is interesting … How the pros structure their days.

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  • Culture chaaaaange 

    Poynter: And at the Atlanta Journal Constitution “it led to culture change where experimentation is encouraged and asking for permission isn’t.”

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  • MAME graduates on program: ‘Big Picture & Hands on’ 

     

    The first cohort of the MA in Media Entrepreneurship program shared their thoughts about MAME and what worked for them. These were out-of-the box thinkers who were testing a new program as well as a new direction. My congratulations go to them.

     

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  • Brand U. 

    0Anyone in the startup world should heed the advice of my panelists Tuesday night at SOC’s awesome workshop, “Branding Yourself (or your Company) in the Digital World,” held at our partner in downtown DC, 1776. If you are creating a personal brand or steering that of a big company, the following guidelines came through loud and clear: Be crisp, be authentic, be respectful of your audience.

    My lively colleague Pallavi Kumar, head of SOC’s Public Communication Division, kicked things off in the “brand yourself” area by hauling out paper portfolios she made in 1993 and listing their digital counterparts today. She turned the forum into a classroom as she asked the audience to guess the pros and cons of online vs. paper portfolios, with some surprising answers (paper was good for leave-behinds; digital portfolios were hard to access during interviews “when you have to go through someone’s access code.”) Pallavi had a host of fascinating branding stories, even explaining why her printed materials have her full name, Pallavi Damani Kumar (there were too many other Pallavi Kumars online). (More …)

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  • ‘Google yourself’ and 15 more job-hunting tips for recent grads 

    Like many of my colleagues in higher education, I have spent the last week congratulating our marvelous students — journalism undergrads, and graduates in Journalism, Interactive Journalism and Media Entrepreneurship — on the job search. I actually love doing this, because, as I tell them, their success is our success.

    We also hear often from former students on career switches. Below are 16 tips based on my personal little focus grouping. Admittedly, much of this is common sense for any search at all, so forgive the over-simplification.

    1. Read the job description! You really need to tailor your pitch to what the job listing spells out. Remember, a company is not looking for the opportunity to find what is right for you. Company execs have a job that needs to be done, and have said so. What can you do for them?
    2. Ack! No pdfs. Just heard this one yesterday from a network producer, an alum. Hiring managers are moving pretty quickly these days on filling slots; slowing down an email thread with documents instead of links is a no-no.
    3. Don’t turn down a job before it is offered. Gotta credit an old beau for this; people talk themselves out of gigs before anyone makes an offer. Worse, students wonder if they would be happy in New York/Miami/Denver/Chicago/Baltimore/Atlanta/Smaller-Town-Here before anyone asks them if they want to move! Worry about it later. It would be a happy problem to have.
    4. Squeeze yourself into two sentences. Some people are put off by the idea of ”branding” yourself. Call it what you want. Elevator pitch, brand, summary. Just get it into two sentences and practice saying it out loud. I am a fan of putting that blurb at the top of your email to a job posting; hiring managers need that sentence(s) to say to the next person they pass your content to. Don’t make anyone do any work. Tell them what to say!
    5. Don’t use someone as a reference unless you have cleared it with them. We don’t like that.
    6. But if you have the OK, put it in the subject field. If I really want someone noticed, and I know the hiring managers, I tell the student to use my name in the subject field. Of course, that doesn’t always work. 🙂
    7. Google yourself. Enough said.
    8. Google the firm. As he said in Bridesmaids, “seriously?” You haven’t done that? Frankly, you should have the company/person on Google alerts. Don’t walk into an interview without knowing the latest about your target company or hiring manager.
    9. Have confidence. SeriouslyII? You already have juggled five courses, an internship, an assistant-ship, outside job(s), and navigated student loans, a roller-coaster economy and a series of relationships that will last your life. A job? That should be easy. But if you are feeling insecure, practice interviews with a mentor. A dear friend, Peggy Klaus, is an executive coach to folks in the highest levels of business. I gave one of her books, “Brag! The art of tooting your own horn without blowing it,” to several students.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2014/05/12/how-to-brag-without-the-backlash-and-get-promoted/2/  Worked!
    10. Drop HS from the resume.
    11. Keep waitressing on the resume. Some of us like to know you can handle surly customers.
    12. Move very, very quickly. If a source sends you a listing, respond immediately. For one thing, the hiring manager is impressed with your speed. For another, you should have your online portfolio buffed and ready to roll.
    13. Be true to your word. Unless circumstances are very unusual, accepting a job means you committed to do it. Accepting a job, and then two weeks later hearing about your dream gig, is not cool. For one thing the first place just released all its candidates. IN SOME instances, this is something you can do. But discuss it first with a mentor.
    14. Shhh. Baby boomers like to talk about themselves. Unfortunately, some of your hiring managers are of this indelicate age. And a few of them are not as tech savvy as you’d like. They may say they want a digitally smart back-end web master when they really want someone to tweet or use Tumblr or post on Instagram. Interview them about the job. You do not want to be stuck doing something your little brother or sister could do, for someone who does not know how valuable your skills are.
    15. Spell check names, places, companies. Names spelled wrong? We don’t like that.
    16. Breathe. You can do this. You have lots more connections, mentors and support than you realize. Keep your supporters posted on what happened. They love to hear good news.

    Good luck.

    Amy Eisman

    UPDATE: This just in from Paul Albergo of Bloomberg-BNA, who interviews a lot of students.

    Great advice. I have a few additional suggestions:

    1. On the first item: if the job description calls for a set of skills that you don’t have, then you might save everyone a lot of time by not applying. Telling me you are a fast learner doesn’t make up for not having the experience or skills I am looking for.
    2. That waitress thing is right on point. I like to see that people have worked, even if it is in areas not directly on point. All work is good and every job offers you valuable experience. I tend to favor students who have real work experience, who have earned money; it tells me I can trust them to show up, to answer the phone correctly, to deal with the outside world.
    3. All experience is valid, regardless of whether it was paid or whether it was an internship at a special place. Work on the school paper or yearbook, volunteer work, etc. can give you just as much experience as an internship. For example, I find people who have worked on the school paper–especially people who are leaders on the school paper–to be among the best candidates for jobs. Don’t segregate this information on your resume. Integrate it with your work experience. In fact, just call it experience.
    4. Be prepared to ask questions. Ask me lots of questions. And, after the interview, send me an email with more questions. Asking good question is a sign of inquisitiveness. It tells me you are not someone who is going to satisfied with whatever you are told.
    —-
    UPDATE 2: H/T Jody Brannon of ONA. These are awesome tips, such as the one that suggests you wordcloud your resume to see what recruiters see!

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  • Done! First cohort of MAME rocks out! 

    The first cohort of the new MA in Media Entrepreneurship accepted their degrees this past weekend, with a shout-out from the dean and a commencement speech — for all of the SOC student body — by Katie Couric. I am gathering their thoughts on the program; most offered a big thumbs-up, happy to carry their new knowledge into a world reeling with possibility. More on their projects to come … but for now, help me wish them the best of luck with the first-ever MAME degree from AU!

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  • Congrats, MAME Cohort 1! Tips from the pitch judges 

    The first class of the MA in Media Entrepreneurship program presented their capstone projects to a panel of judges last weekend, April 12. Professor Andrew Lih identified the judges ahead of time; his list is below. One, Jordan Lloyd Bookey, will be on Shark Tank tomorrow night, April 18, so be sure to watch for the company she co-founded, Zoobean. The students did a great job, from Travis Dougherty’s pitch for Deaf TV to Vena Dilianasari on her cooking guides for Indonesia (compete with yummy desserts, I might add). Huge thanks to the judges who were pretty consistent on their tips, which I am paraphrasing, below.

    1 — Always tell your story. Investors want to know who you are and why they should invest in you.

    2 — Make sure to have the “ask.” What do you want?

    3 — Make your revenue stream clear.

    4 — Know the competition cold. Judges will ask about your differentiator.

    5 — Be able to pivot.

    6 — Be passionate.

    Jordan Lloyd Bookey
    Chief Mom and Co-Founder at Zoobean (based at 1776)
    @Jlbookey
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordanlloydbookey
    Former head of Google’s K-12 Education Outreach

    Tom Kohn
    Adjunct Strategy Professor at Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland; Chief Marketing Officer/Consultant
    Affinity Stores
    @TomKohn
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/kohntom
    Member of the Media Industry News (MIN) Digital Hall of Fame

    Zack Liscio
    Co-founder of ChangeCause.com; Co-founder NAYTEV
    @zackliscio
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/zackliscio
    Veteran of Living Social and Google in San Francisco.


    The photo is a Spring, 2014, selfie by the first cohort of the MAME program, following their capstone pitch presentations to the panel of expert judges. Capstone professor Andrew Lih is second from left. Among the pitches: Vena Dilianasari pitched Nasi Panas, an easy digital cooking guide for Indonesians; Travis Dougherty shared his startup, DeafTV, the video network of sign languages; and Chris Lewis presented a social media-based activity tracker. The photo also includes the class interpreters.

     

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