Thursday, August 16, 2018

Mi Padrino's Experience Working With CDE Interns

Internships are an amazing opportunity for students to gain real world experience in their desired field. Time and time again, the Center for Digital Engagement’s interns shared with us that they “don’t just get coffee.” Interns tackle digital marketing projects spanning from paid ad campaigns to filming video content to developing wireframes for web pages, and everything in between! Their hands-on education benefits not only the intern, but the companies that host them as well.

We had the opportunity to chat with Lauren Lively, Mi Padrino’s Director of Operations about her experience with the interns from the Digital Summer Clinic.

Lauren has worked with two cohorts of CDE interns. “CDE interns are hard working kids. They don’t act like interns, they are very professional.” Lauren stressed how well students are matched up with the company. “Alondra’s degree in international business and Mel’s background in marketing are both different. But they took those two very different areas of expertise, and added their own opinions and abilities to the tasks they were given.”

Mi Padrino interns have provided additional support to others at the company, too. This summer’s interns were able to pair up and create additional content, collaborate with other employees and go beyond the company’s initial needs. “...(They) end up doing  more than they say they’re going to do. Their dedication goes beyond the hours that are required.”

Lauren shared that Mi Padrino has had overwhelming positive experiences with the interns they’ve worked with. The eight week internships have led to all four of their interns being offered additional work opportunities, and two of the interns being hired on after the program ended. “...(They) become part of your company. They have learned a lot while they’re here. It’s easy to onboard someone that is already is trained and knows what you need.”

Mi Padrino’s takeaway? The CDE Digital Summer Clinic interns have been an “...awesome resource for us. They’re super hard working kids.” When asked if they would continue on with the program? “Of course, we saw the value they have provided in the years before. We know that will happen again, these are smart and motivated kids.”

Copy Written By: Zvezda Deuling

Monday, August 13, 2018

Startups: The Founder's Perspective

 Have you ever wondered the challenges and surprises that come with a startup venture? What makes a person finally take the leap to create their startup company?

We sat down with Nicol Pasuit (Founder and CEO of TechStak), Molly McFarland (One of the Founder's  and Chief Revenue Officer for Ad Adapted), and Nestor Lopez-Duran (Co-founder and CEO of Ripple Science) to see what a startup really takes!

The first part of our conversation was about forming a startup. All of the panelists agreed that in a startup you will wear many hats! They said their products, marketing, and people evolve everyday. One of their tips was to always stay positive and trust yourself. Molly talked about losing a key employee once and thinking they could not move forward. Eventually, you start the task of finding your next employee and realize that everything will be okay. Startups can be stressful and that is why it is important to surround yourself with calm and driven associates. This still leaves the question of why. Why did they leave their jobs to follow their startup dreams? Each individual saw a problem they faced, yet nobody else could fix it. They started the company's because they knew other people must have been having the same problems. For example, Nestor is a professor and created his software for effective research participant recruitment and management.

 Our next topic involved the challenges of a startup. Nestor's main challenges were funding and software engineering. Most startups will have to find a source of funding. This can be challenging when you are a new product or service. Our panelist's recommended being able to create financial projections that are reasonable and backed by fact.

Each founder also agreed that spending time to find the perfect fit for a job position was worth the effort. Nestor co-founded a software company, even though he did not know coding or software engineering. A big challenge for Ripple Science was having someone create their software, but not knowing how to tell if the work was good. Always networking and keeping industry connections can help you solve these challenges. A common theme occurred through the founder's dialogue. The theme was failure as a tool. Each of them could name all of the challenges they encountered. They could also name each lesson they learned from the failure. The biggest piece of advice they left the interns with was to not be afraid to fail!
 At the end of the discussion, all of the panel participants were asked: if you could go back in time, would you still start your company?

Every answer was yes!

It is obvious these founder's have a passion and love for what they created!

If you have ever thought about finally turning your idea into a startup, remember the infamous Steve Jobs quote "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

How Will the CDE's Summer Clinic Help You?

After students go through our summer "clinic internship" we tend to measure their success on how it has helped them in their career. Today, we are looking back at one of our previous interns to see just how the clinic assisted him!

Last week, we had an interview with Brandon Lazovic. Brandon is a district digital manager at General Motors. He assists a number of dealers in New Mexico and southern Colorado with website optimization, content creation, reputation management, social media promotion, CRM integration, and search engine marketing. Before Lazovic began working with General Motors he collaborated with startup companies in Ann Arbor to expand their business through digital marketing initiatives and previously served as news editor for the Eastern Echo in 2016 and as a staff writer for the EMU media relations department in 2017. Brandon successfully completed his Center for Digital Engagement Marketing Certificate and says the clinic made the final impact on whether or not he flourished in his digital marketing career.

Interviewer: "How much impact did the clinic have on you gaining your current job?"

Brandon: It was very significant! It showed I had real-life experience as well as certifications. It changed the way recruiters saw me.

Interviewer: "Did the clinic match your expectations?"

Brandon: It exceeded my expectations! At first, I was a little nervous to be fully immersed into s digital marketing job. Throughout the internship we learned so much.

Interviewer: "What is your advice for new interns to be successful during the program?"

Brandon: Client relations is my number one tip. The interns should bring value to every scenario they encounter. The internship gives you opportunities to meet so many people and work on different projects. If you want to create lasting relationships, you need to bring value to each project and person. The second tip is to learn 24/7. Digital marketing is forever changing which means you should be learning new tools every chance you get to stay ahead of the game.

Note: Brandon shared some of his resources for staying up-to-date in digital marketing.
(Moz, Buffer, and joining LinkedIn groups)

Interviewer: "What are skills needed in the Digital Marketing industry that one may not realize?"

Brandon: An idea of coding, UX design, SEO, Ads on social platforms, and soft skills like relationship building. Being able to find areas of opportunity in the digital industry is also very helpful. Whether it is with campaigns or website development, if you can find the one opportunity to improve, you are bringing value to the client.

We would like to thank Brandon for sharing his clinic experience with us!
Check out his website: for digital marketing tips and content!