Whitney is a Media Planner on the Verizon account at Moxie Interactive in Atlanta. The New Media Institute, in her opinion, made her aware and gave her hands on aspects of technology and how new platforms can be utilized. It also gave her a mentality that she believes a lot of people do not have the opportunity to experience. She spoke specifically of the Second Life class she took as part of the curriculum. She is now doing something similar with Verizon, who is working with a branded environment similar to SecondLife. Second Life is something she said she never thought she would really need to know, but here she is now working with something so similar. For her it has also been helpful to know the background of a lot of the new media things because it helps her better understand the creatives she works with on digital projects.
Working at an interactive digital agency with a large client like Verizon makes it very easy to deal with new media in the company. Whitney says they are fortunate not to have many challenges when it comes to new media. Verizon is also very open and interested in doing first market opportunities, and are always willing to try new things, so it is easy to sell new media to them. Whitney stays up to date on new media mainly through reading things online and through Twitter. She says following the right people who will post news and content is key, especially because she does not have free time to peruse herself. As a media planner, she said she is consistently pitched new media technologies and ideas by vendors wanting them to use their ideas or technologies for clients.
Moxie also has a Trends Department whose sole job is to research what is new and cool and how to apply it to their clients. Whitney recommends LinkedIn for those who want to be competitive out in their field. LinkedIn is big, but she warned me about certain social media etiquette issues. She said that one of the first things an employer does at Moxie is to Google the candidate and see what pops up. She suggests that students be sure their Facebook is private for this reason. She also remarked that LinkedIn should not be used as a professional Facebook, but as a careful networking tool. She encourages professionals not to just ask to connect to someone they meet once at a career fair without any other form of contact. She stressed the importance of a good old fashioned email or phone call to talk more with that person before just adding them on LinkedIn.
Her biggest advice to aspiring New Media professionals is just to be exposed to everything they can be in New Media. She said it aligns well with advertising also, which has been most beneficial for her from school even though she was a Magazines major.
Whitney’s Capstone project was Hospitality Highway, working with Georgia’s travel and tourism department. The entire class worked for the same client on the same project, but were divided into groups to work on different portions. The purpose of the project was to find different ways to persuade people to travel GA 400, giving them information on all that they could do.
As mentioned earlier, she said she benefited a lot from working in teams, and especially working in separate teams for the same client, which she said is a lot like agency life. It was also good experience working for an actual client, and not just a hypothetical one.
Interview conducted by Kennan Wood.