All posts in “WIMA”

What to tell a group of MBA students about a career in Digital Communications

I recently realized that I was a veteran in this industry. I know, it should have tweaked to that fact a little earlier, but I was recently on an industry panel, talking about women and leadership to a group of students who belong to the Women in Management Association at Rotman’s School of Management, at the University of Toronto. The fact that I could remember working on early MSN projects back in the 90’s, when “broadband was going to be big” was a bit of a reality check. When did MBA students start looking so young ?!

Reality really hit home this week, when I was visiting that MSN client in Montreal. We have been through four iterations of our business lives together, with him on the Client side, me on the Agency side… with both of us, circa 2011 now working in the social media area of the business.

If I were asked – would I do it all over again? Would I choose to build my career in digital communications, if it were early enough to still become a management consultant?

Thinking of those MBA students I was talking to at WIMA, my answer to that “Would I do It All Over Again” question would Yes. Absolutely.

I can honestly say, after being one of the first to come out of the multimedia program at the Vancouver Film School 15 years ago, yes. I have three excellent reasons:

  1. I still genuinely get a kick out of it. I like working on a variety of projects, and think it’s important work. Perhaps it’s not solving the problems of world hunger, but in my time I have done my share of work on important social and business issues, and this career has offered me the opportunity to work with clients on those issues in a meaningful way.
  2. As an emerging space, the sector has allowed me to be entrepreneurial. Throughout my career, I have been in a variety of entrepreneurial businesses, as an entrepreneur, business lead or strategic partner. I have worked in large organizations as well, but the emerging nature of the sector encourages this entrepreneurial spirit. You have to know if that works for you- but it’s been a huge plus for me.
  3. This industry has given me an opportunity to interface with the world. OK, I know that sounds corny- but by its very nature, digital communications is international. There are no borders. And lots of different types of people and organizations are interested in how digital communications will impact them. The industry has allowed me to explore a variety of different boards, associations and organizations both within Canada and outside of Canada. As I get older, that is the piece that I find the most exciting- and I think digital media provides an excellent vehicle for Canadian companies and individuals to engage with the business world outside of our borders. This is key to our strength and growth as a country, and in digital communications- especially in Social Media, we live that reality every day.

And as a parting word to all those MBA students at WIMA, it’s important that women in business are engaged in this field. In general, I think it’s important for there to be a diversity of people and voices present at the digital communications table — after all, we are shaping the cadence of this important and still emerging global communications platform. We should all be there.