I guest lecture to college students several times each year. Guest lecturing is like a box of chocolates. Because you never know which students will be surprisingly delightful and which will be totally nutty. Last week I spoke to Erin Napier’s marketing campaigns class at Marquette University (which I secretly call a Marquetteing campaigns class, because it’s kinda funny).
There were 36 students in the class. It started at 5:30pm. Which, in case you don’t remember, is not when college students are at their energetic or attentive peak. I decided to bring some extra energy to make sure no one fell asleep (and no one fell asleep).
Sharing Is Caring
I spoke to the class about advertising, my career journey, the creative process and networking. I talked about starting my own business. And about the value of sitting in the front row. When I was done I opened the floor for questions. Not literally, of course.
A Trick Of The Trade
The students asked many good questions. Although I give myself partial credit for the quantity. Because after the first 2 questions I told the the class that I always remember the people who ask questions. If we stopped right then, 2 out of the 36 of them had made a positive impression on me. After my commentary the questions came fast and furious. Like Ludacris.
The students peppered me with the follow queries:
- Where do your best ideas come from?
- What do you do when you are stuck creatively?
- What was your favorite project ever?
- What is your dream project?
- What has been the greatest challenge of your career?
But there was one very simple question that truly surprised me. Julian Wright, a freshman on the Marquette track & field team asked:
Why did you want to talk to this class tonight? -Julian ‘Lefty’ Wright
I wanted to share my knowledge with you. I have learned so much from experienced professionals who volunteered their time that I wanted to pay if forward, or backwards, or however you like to think about it. And I hope someday you give your time to share what you have learned with the next generation.
But I also wanted to make a positive impression on you, so that when you are looking for internships or jobs after college, you think of Adam Albrecht or The Weaponry first. I am always looking for rockstars. And I want the next generation of rockstars to be looking for me.
Share what you know. Add to the body of knowledge of students and others who are hungry to learn. The greatest impact you will ever have on Earth is the impact you make on other people. Pass along your knowledge, experience and observations. And in the process you will collect even more. Better still, teaching expands your exposure to talented people. It grows your network, and increases the number of opportunities that come your way.
Speaking Of Which…
This afternoon I will be speaking at an event about marketing through storytelling, hosted by the Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce. I am excited to learn from the other 2 speakers at the event, Tim Dyer and Richie Burke. Here is an overview:
WHAT’S YOUR STORY? USING STORYTELLING TO MARKET YOUR BUSINESS
1130 N. 9th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Behind every business is a great story. As new platforms for content marketing continue to grow, there’s never been more opportunity to use storytelling to strengthen your brand and find strategic ways to reach new audiences.