Texas Tech University

Alumni Advantage Newsletter

Unfair Advantage

Are you interested in receiving the 'Alumni Advantage' newsletter? If so, please click below to subscribe.


September 2013 Articles:

Alumni Advantage is a newsletter formerly called Unfair Advantage 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.

Use Twitter to Land Your Perfect Job
Greg Heitzman
 Greg Heitzman

Greg Heitzman

Pretty soon you'll walk confidently across the stage and into a battle to secure territory. That territory being the perfect job, and it should be noted that this will be the first of five perfect jobs you'll have in your career based on statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor. And with each season of commencement ceremonies, a bright and hungry group emerges that is more tech savvy than the previous.

You know social media, but so does your competition. So, if all new graduates are experts at social media, and social media is one of the primary tools you are using to find and secure that perfect job, how do you stand out among the crowd of experts?

First do the basics:

  • Resume
  • Personal website with Digital Portfolio
  • Blog
  • LinkedIn Profile (100% Profile Strength)
  • Clean up Facebook Account (the best time to clean this up would be right after that last graduation party)

Next, do a little homework: (I know you just graduated but do you want the job?)

  • Research the company
  • Research the Hiring Manager
  • Research the person who will be your supervisor
  • Follow Business Leaders in the industry on Twitter
  • Join Business Groups in the industry on LinkedIn

There is no reason you should not know the basic information about the company and relevant personnel in the job search before the first interview. College, career progression, business and civic organizations…those are the easy ones.

But it is not uncommon for simple research (FB, Twitter) to uncover information such as the number of children, religious preference, and social and sports interests. Bring up appropriate information you find during your search while you're meeting with the employer. By showing a genuine interest in what they're interested in, you'll instantly connect and stand out from the rest.


Greg Heitzman is a 30-year radio veteran who is currently in a new business development role for Salem Media Reps.

Heitzman is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications. He began his broadcasting career in Lubbock, Texas, immediately following graduation as a sales trainee at KLLL-FM. Within three years at KLLL, he was named local sales manager for KLLL-FM and KEND-AM. He was then named general sales manager for all the Lubbock stations of Pinnacle Broadcasting Company. He also assumed the responsibilities as vice president of sales for Pinnacle Broadcasting Company.

Heitzman and his family moved west when Pinnacle Broadcasting Company named him general manager of KAMA-AM and KAMZ-FM in El Paso, Texas. While general manager, KAMZ-FM earned the Pinnacle Broadcasting Company “Ratings Success Award.”

When Pinnacle sold KAMA and KAMZ, Heitzman and his wife Cindy started their own promotion and advertising company in El Paso. Once the company was on its feet, he redirected his career path back to radio and the Dallas market. Heitzman began as an account executive for KSCS-FM in November 1999, became local sales manager in 2001 and named national sales manager in 2002.

While with ABC, Heitzman earned the ABC Radio Circle of Excellence Award and was named the top National Sales Manager in 2004 and 2006 by ABC Radio Sales (Interep). In addition to his NSM duties at ABC, he was the NSM representative on the ABC Radio National Advisory Committee which was comprised of ABC Radio General Managers and General Sales Managers.

He was named a Texas Tech's College of Media & Communication Outstanding Alumni in 2004. Heitzman is currently a member of the Texas Tech College of Media & Communication's National Advisory Board and sits on the board of the DFW chapter of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation.

From Living with Parents to Living the Ad Life
By Mindy Shepperd
Mindy Shepperd

Mindy Shepperd

I graduated from Texas Tech University in December 2011 with a degree in advertising. I had not had any job offers, or internships lined up for that matter, so needless to say I was a little bit worried about where I would end up.

Much like a lot of other recent college grads, I moved in with my parents until I could get on my feet. I know, now, that it's nothing to be ashamed of. But there I was, sleeping in my parent's guest bedroom, and completely taking over it. I hooked up my computer and printer on the floor and spent at least 4-8 hours a day (while also working a part time job at my old high school restaurant gig), job searching, networking, researching companies and successful people. You hear people say that looking for a job is a job in of itself…Well, they aren't kidding.

I can't even explain how many resumes I must have sent out and how many applications I filled out. I had alums, friends and family telling me that maybe I should settle for a sales or managerial job because it would be easy to get. People also told me to do an after-college internship. But being the stubbornly hard working person that I am, I didn't want to listen. I didn't want a job because it was easy to get, and I knew an internship wasn't for me because I was ready for the real deal! I knew I was close.

Within three months of graduation, I had acquired a full-time position at a small agency in Plano, Texas, that does print, packaging and point of sale work for Dr Pepper. I actually had to turn down another offer from another company!

All I can say to those who are about to graduate and are looking for jobs, is don't settle for anything less than what you want, don't stop moving and always talk to anyone willing to help you out. Use all of the resources that are available. And most of all, this one will be hard, but never get discouraged.


From a young age, Mindy Shepperd, from Carrollton, Texas, was involved in many extracurricular activities and always had an interest in business and a love of art. It wasn't until she attended Texas Tech's orientation in the Summer of 2008, that she decided on a major in advertising at the College of Media & Communication. She was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha and the Rho Lambda Greek Honor Society fraternities while she attended Texas Tech. She graduated in three and a half years and is now working as an assistant account executive at a multi-cultural advertising agency in Dallas, called Dieste.


My New York City Internship
By Abbey Daniel
Abbey Daniel

Abbey Daniel

In February of 2013 I received an award sponsored by Texas Tech CoMC alum Joe Fairless that afforded me the opportunity to fly up to New York City and shadow professionals at an ad agency. I knew I wanted to intern in the city, so I reached out to the Texas Tech network to find alumni working in my field in New York. One woman I met, Kyla Applegate, who works at VaynerMedia, invited me to come meet her at her office. She showed me around, introduced me to some people and told me about the different roles at Vayner, and described the environment. I immediately loved it, and knew it would be a place I would love to work, so I applied for their internship program.

When I was offered the internship there, I realized that I knew very little about the agency; their client list is private, and there is little information offered on their website, but I had heard so many good things about them, so I took it. VaynerMedia is a social media agency located on Park Avenue in New York City. The agency has acquired 65 clients, many of which are Fortune 500 companies, in the four short years that it has been around. It was incredible being at the forefront of emerging technology, and I was really able to grasp how important social media is to a company's success. It is far more than coming up with clever status updates and cool pictures. Social means meeting the consumers where they are, engaging with them, and creating content that will resonate with the fan base.

I gained so much knowledge about the industry and social media from this internship that I strongly feel will do great things for my career. I strongly encourage all CoMC students to do as many internships as you can, and be sure to network, network, network.


Abbey Daniel is a senior advertising student. She is a member of TAF, a past member of the Texas Tech Advertising team, and she spent the summer as a strategy intern at VaynerMedia. She is currently a student assistant for Kevin Stoker, Ph.D. in the College of Media & Communication.


Be a Problem Solver. Get the Job.
By Tim Davila
Tim Davila

Tim Davila

Most of what determines your success in a job interview occurs before you even step foot into the room.

While commonly repeated pieces of advice such as giving a firm handshake, dressing appropriately, and maintaining a confident tone are important, the most beneficial thing you can do takes more time and effort than grooming or talking in front of a mirror. As soon as an interview is scheduled, and possibly before you even apply, make sure you research the company and the position you are interviewing for.

You'll want to start broad and go deeper, committing to memory any useful piece of information you come across. You'll want to know who the company does business with, products and services they offer, who works for them, what the company culture is like, and what your job would be at a minimum.

After you gather this information, consider the problems you would be solving as an employee and come up with possible solutions. Once you are in the interview, you can use this knowledge to answer questions more thoughtfully. If the interviewer asks, 'What can you bring to the company?' you can now answer with a well thought out proposal for improving key metrics. If you do take this approach, be sure to make it clear that you are only offering up your ideas and not insulting the way things have been done in the past. After all, you can't ever know all of the deciding factors from the outside looking in.

When preparing for interview day, remember that if you can provide value to the company while you're still a candidate, you are well ahead of the rest of the pack.


Tim Davila graduated with a bachelor's degree in electronic media & communications in 2012. He now works as a digital project manager at Smooth Fusion, a Lubbock-based web development shop that works for brands such as Microsoft, Transamerica, and Jack Daniel's. You can learn more about him at his website - timdavila.com.