Dan Brown, B.B.A.’11—Social Networking Pays Off

Photo of BrownDan Brown, B.B.A’11, knew that landing his first post-college job, as a digital trafficker at McCann Erickson, formerly Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, would take a modern strategy, and he urges current students and graduates to embrace the changing job search process and to treat each individual they meet as a valuable part of their growing network.

While studying advertising and promotion, Brown was a member of WMU Ad Club, attending events and making connections, including with advertising professional and bronco alum, Ryan Ghiardi, B.B.A.’99,  who had made a presentation at the club. After having a conversation at the event, they became connections on the social networking site LinkedIn. Several months later, diploma in hand and searching for his future career, Brown began looking on LinkedIn, checking for new job postings daily.

“While reading my news feed, I saw that the same advertising professional posted an opportunity,” says Brown. “I immediately wrote him a note expressing my interest in the position.”

That note turned into an interview and the interview turned into a full time position at the agency. Brown notes that it was the power of networking that helped him find and land the position. “School, work, social events—these are places that are key in gaining several connections that can later turn into employment opportunities,” says Brown. “I have found LinkedIn to be even more valuable after starting my first job, gaining connections within the industry from internal co-workers to various vendors.”

As the digital trafficker, Brown organizes inventories and delivers creative assets, specifically for General Motors, to a media contracting company. He works closely with internal account managers, producers and analysts, gathering necessary information for the advertising material. He is the last person to see the finished product and ensure that the information is correct and that all links are working properly before Chevrolet’s national online advertising goes live.

Brown says that his capstone course at the college prepared him well for his current position. “The capstone class, integrated marketing communications campaigns, provided me with hands-on experience and assignments that are modeled after every day work at an advertising agency,” he says. “This class helped me learn to explore all options to find more than one solution to the marketing goal.”

Brown enjoys visiting his alma mater and the WMU Ad Club to provide students with insight into agency experience and digital campaigns. He believes it is his responsibility to give back to the college and club that helped him get to where he is today.

“I could not have done it without the support of the Haworth College of Business, the amazing professors and the alumni who supported me throughout my college experience,” says Brown.

Interested in turning a “cold call” into a “warm call?” John Hill, higher education evangelist at LinkedIn outlined many of the techniques that Dan used to land his job during his presentation at the last IT Forum, hosted by the Haworth College of Business. John Hill, WMU Presentation