June 24, 2024

Blog Posts

Week 2: Linkedin Connections

I decided to expand my LinkedIn connections as I am nearing graduation. My degree is quite broad, so by reaching out to people already in the workforce, I can get a better idea of what direction I might want to gravitate towards as well as any tips and tricks that might prove useful in the job search. I had a total of nine Zoom call meetings with complete strangers; here is how they went.

Starting off strong, from my chat with a marketing pro, I learned about the wonders of Shopify and discount codes in order to decipher where the online traffic comes from. We dug into the world of SEO, touching on backlinking and the ahref tracker tool. Other gems included the concept of split traffic on ads, utilizing blogs for SEO, and the value of diversifying team roles.

Next up, I had a conversation with a marketer who gave a fresh perspective on job hunting—you have to keep an eye on job applications and postings consistently. She also pointed out how design skills can be a handy addition to marketing.

An hour later, I had a talk with a marketing and branding expert who expanded on themes like trade shows and brand imaging. We also touched upon hybrid working models, the need for critical design feedback, and working with software like Excel, InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator.

Then, a call was made with a communications officer and a digital marketing coordinator, who explained the significance of having a robust portfolio, authenticity, and creativity. We discussed the idea of starting with meme pages, leading to branding and B2B marketing!

I also lined up a call from a non-profit digital marketer or coordinator who actually referred to me in a previous call. Her key takeaway is that volunteering could be a significant first step into that world. Also, it got me considering a project management certification, as she spoke very highly of it.

Lastly, a run-in with a real estate expert highlighted the importance of refining writing skills and keeping an eye on upward mobility. We discussed how skills like content creation are critical and also discussed the art of navigating job postings, especially for new graduates.

Loads learned from these conversations and has somewhat further narrowed my focus on the future job hunt, as well as made some valuable connections I intend to expand on.

Week 1: Cameras and Fish

Strangers are a very weird concept, we encounter them everyday on the sidewalks, in school and even online. Yet it only takes a few of the right words at the right time for them to shift from an outsider to a name and a face in our social bubble. This ‘knowing’ of someone is a major theme in this weeks reading of James Hamblin’s piece, “How to Talk to Strangers.”The idea of our behavior radically transforming the moment we shift individuals from ‘strangers’ to ‘known’ in our mental registries/bubbles.

Recently, I had an interesting encounter that perfectly illustrated Hamblin’s theories with just an ordinary day at work. Coming back from lunch I crossed paths with a stranger. As apart of this course I was tasked with speaking to a stranger which I am no stranger to (pun intended), I spotted a man with a camera that I recognized, a FujiFilm camera. I walked past him and initiated a conversation around this camera we both have in common.

Our interaction stared a bit awkward as he was clearly taken aback, it evolved fairly regularly into discussions about why we are where we were and what led us to this common talking point (the FujiFilm camera), as we discussed our shared interests photography, aquarium and even our jobs. I learned the stranger (Teo) was from Mexico, who had switched his communications study in Mexico City for photography and cinematography in Canada.

As we found more common ground, I felt like he was less like an another face in the crowd to someone whom is very similar to me. In my eyes he ceased being a stranger and became someone I ‘knew.’ Through this talk and later phone call with our shared passions, the ease of conversation, or the potential of a future collaboration shift him towards what I would consider as an acquaintance.

Once he ceased being a stranger, I felt more comfortable to share my contact information and our interaction took a professional turn. He proposed the idea of helping out with fish photographing at the store. We even jumped on a call later to discuss the details, and I helped arrange a meeting with my boss for him which could potentially lead to a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Looking back, stepping out of my comfort zone to engage with a stranger was not a crazy or out of the ordinary for me, yet looking at it from a different lens makes you think… One conversation and suddenly, the ‘stranger’ label disappears.

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