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February 2015 Article:
Alumni Advantage is a newsletter for current students written by members of the National Professional Advisory Board and their colleagues. It provides insider advice, insight and inspiration so that when our graduates enter the real world, they are ready to rock it.
Be Prepared, Be Adaptable…And Be Prepared to Be Adaptable
I was filling out a questionnaire recently that posed the question: "What advice would you give a new graduate or someone new to our industry?" It seems like a harmless enough question, so why did I think that it required a really "deep" answer? The answer was staring me right in the face, as it does every single workday.
I recently had lunch with another Tech alum who probably graduated 20 years after I did. In a span of about five minutes, we dropped terms like "re-targeting, online video, CTR's, lookalike modeling, geo-fencing and programmatic buying." You might initially think that he was giving me an education on all the latest digital dynamics, but in truth, none of those terms were included in the curriculum at Texas Tech when he graduated...much less 20 years prior when I graduated.
Those terms (and many more just like them) are part of our day-to-day work conversations, yet neither of us knew one single thing about them when we graduated. The same will be true for every single graduate who walks across the stage in the next few months. The main difference will be in the time lapse that occurs from when students graduate to the time some new technology is used in their day-to-day work.
For me, it may have been 10 or 20 years before any major technology impacted my business in a significant way. For my younger counterpart, it may have been only five years or less. Recent graduates will likely see new advancements in their chosen field before they are in the workforce for one full year.
My answer on the questionnaire was simple: Be Prepared, Be Adaptable…And Be Prepared to Be Adaptable.
- Be Prepared:
Be prepared for all interviews, all meetings, all correspondence. Take this advice to heart because many who felt that they could get by "on the seat of their pants, or on the fly" took a few steps backwards when they did not take the time to "be prepared."
- Be Adaptable:
You will experience so many new advancements in technology and the way your business is done (in all fields) that you need to be adaptable when those advancements are available to you. You will find that your education at Texas Tech is just the beginning of the education you will receive once you enter the workforce. Be open to new technology and learn about it.
- Be Prepared to Be Adaptable:
The career field you enter when you graduate will experience changes of some sort. It is inevitable. Be prepared for it and embrace it. Your adaptability will be the key to your long-term success in a career…not just a job.
Vice President / Sales & Business Development
Dallas / Central Region
Greg Heitzman is a 1981 graduate of Texas Tech University and was honored as an Outstanding Alumni of the College of Media & Communication in 2004.top