Tag Archive | Leadership

Analyzing Disney Media & Millenials As A Marketing Intern in New York This Summer.

This past summer, I interned for Disney Media Ad Sales and Marketing in New York. My department’s responsibility was to provide Sales with the tools, resources and marketing ideas they need to drive advertising revenue for Disney Channel, Disney X D, Disney Junior and Radio Disney. From my first day at Disney to my last, I was treated as if I was another member of the department which meant I was expected to do analyst level work. This gave me an appreciation of how this key unit functioned as well as what life in the real world would be like in two years when I graduate. While the commute from my home on Long Island was a bit taxing and expensive ($382 a month), going to sleep at 930PM to wake at 6AM was the biggest adjustment I had to make as any normal Hopkins student could attest to.

DisneyInternship

Many of the tasks I was assigned focused on the Research side of the business. I had to create a weekly “Landscape Report,” which outlined the competitive environment for Disney Media as well as updating other key reports which encompassed anything from analyzing VOD (Video On Demand) Ad campaigns to pulling weekly ratings from the StarTrak system for stunts (airing shows out of their normal time periods) and marathons (running a whole season of past episodes back to back). One of the main lessons I learned from the summer is that the Ad Sales Department of Disney only needs one story to tell in order to sell a spot to a potential company. You could comb through mountains of data, but all you need is one positive nugget of information and you run with it. Additionally, if a point you want to use doesn’t necessarily work at first, there are ways to make it work by using phrases like one of the highest rated instead of the highest rated or by saying the show is number one in its time period as opposed to comparing it to all programs that air throughout the week.

I also worked on projects that dealt more with “Consumer Insights.” For example, I developed numerous decks for clients ranging from addressing the interests of “Hispanic Consumers with Pets” to the affinity and preferences of “Toys and Games for Preschoolers and Toddlers.” I analyzed large Mintel Reports and from there, I generated stories that likened a consumer and their affinity for the Disney brand. I specifically enjoyed these projects as they allowed me to get creative and play with images and market the company to the best of my ability.

I also wrote sections of “Ad-Intel” Reports which analyzed the business foundation of potential advertisers such as Nike and Microsoft. I analyzed anything from current products to their key target demographics to their potential revenue stream for FY 14. By breaking down these industry giants, I was able to understand the fundamentals of running some of the most successful corporations in the world.

I was also chosen to be “Group Leader” and oversee an Intern Project that dealt with media consumption among the Millennial Generation. The “Disney Media” portion of the project focused on analyzing specific social media tendencies in the kid space, which became a bit tricky as you are not supposed to join a social media site until you reach the age of 13. However, we were able to determine that although kids aren’t supposed to be on social media before 13, they are. As a result, a lot of the same patterns we found with Millenials and their use of social media rang true for kids as well.

I along with 12 other interns presented our Millenials data to 80+ Executives from throughout the Disney/ABC Television Group. Being able to not only craft a presentation but to verbalize it as well is an invaluable skill that I will need later on in the business world. I made it through without any “ummms” or pauses, and I even answered ad hoc questions in the middle of my portion. It really is something to have people in the audience who have generated billions of dollars in ad revenue for Disney, ABC and ABC Family listen to your words and take in the slides that you created.

Besides the networking aspects in the television industry that this internship provided, it really proved to me that I would love to one day pursue a career in the media/marketing side of business. This summer I was lucky enough to come to work for a company that affects millions of lives a day and that everybody recognizes. Therefore, you take extra responsibility and pride in everything you create. Don’t tell anyone but Disney Channel now joins ESPN as my favorite network and I’ll be watching “Girl Meets World” every week when it returns for its second season (date and time to be announced).

Glenn Hyams, Class of ’16

Writing Seminars Major, Minor in Entrepreneurship & Management, Concentration in Marketing

Selfie Nation

A few years ago, I would cringe when I saw a selfie posted on a social media website, immediately thinking of the selfie bathroom pictures that frequented Myspace. However, the selfie has surged in popularity, with self-taken photos and videos being utilized as a tool for self-promotion and expression. Even Oxford Dictionaries highlighted the trend when it proclaimed the selfie to be the 2013 word of the year.

President Obama's famous selfie at the Nelson Mandela memorial

President Obama’s famous selfie at the Nelson Mandela memorial

Companies have released a wave of selfie marketing campaigns, aiming to transform their customer relations by focusing on individual experiences with their products. Instead of producing professional and poised photos, brands have tapped into user-generated content. Raw and unedited evoke feelings of trust, as consumers rely upon each other to identify new deals, brands, and trends.

Coach has launched a particularly successful selfie marketing campaign with its #coachfromabove hashtag. Customers are encouraged to share pictures of their Coach shoes around the world on Twitter and Instagram, with the possibility of being featured on the official company website. Other companies, such as Applebee’s, are using self-taken videos as a promotional tool. Applebee’s is giving customers the chance to be featured in national TV commercials by posting their reactions to new menu items on Vine with the hashtag #BeeFamous. Even museums have caught onto the selfie trend by promoting this past January 22 as #MuseumSelfie Day, sparking fun and ridiculous selfies posted by museum enthusiasts across the globe.

A selfie of Eminem with the Mona Lisa

A selfie of Eminem with the Mona Lisa

However, some selfie campaigns have drawn mixed reviews, such as Dove’s selfie film for their Campaign for Real Beauty. In the film, women exhibited self-portraits and wrote complimentary notes to one another. Although the video promotes redefining standards of beauty, critics have scoffed that the video is contrived – and obviously so, as the video is ultimately designed to sell Dove’s beauty products. Many selfie videos are artificial and contrived, such as the Turkish Airlines YouTube video featuring Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi. The two athletes have a staged selfie shootout, and the fun and successful video has over 130 million views.

Celebrities have also come under public scrutiny for posting too many selfies on social media. In reponse to critics, James Franco wrote a defense of the selfie for the New York Times, emphasizing that the selfie is a legitimate and powerful tool for self-promotion. He wrote, “selfies are avatars: Mini-me’s that we send out to give others a sense of who we are.” Over the past year, I’ve come to terms with the selfie. I’ll send selfies to friends on Snapchat, and even upload a selfie to Instagram or Facebook every once in a while.

One of James Franco's many sefies

One of James Franco’s many sefies

A selfie I took in Havana, Cuba by the Malecon

A selfie I took in Havana, Cuba by the Malecon

Do you use selfies on social media? Should businesses continue to use selfies in marketing campaigns, or do you think there will be a new trend that will redefine social media marketing in 2014?

– Kara

The Business of Biking (Across the Country)

I’m glad to be back on campus, and I’ve brought a little two-wheeled friend with me.

The summer of 2013 was the most exciting one of my life. I traveled with the 4K for Cancer Team Portland on a 70-day, 4,500-mile trip across the country. Our mission was simple: to help raise awareness and support for young adults suffering from cancer. Armed with little more than my trusty bicycle, my sturdy hand pump, and a small black backpack, I set out from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor at 7:30 am on June 2nd, 2013 for the adventure of a lifetime. Our team was filled with cyclists ranging from beginner to expert in ability, and we definitely formed a tight bond during our excursion.

Our team about to depart for Portland.

Our team about to depart for Portland.

However, the trip was a serious business venture. While it may seem to be mainly an athletic endeavor, biking 4,500 miles requires quite a bit of resources. Riders need food, water, spare tubes, bike parts, and other necessities in order to survive, let alone conquer the Rocky Mountains. Today, I want to explain how our team managed to acquire what we needed to embark on our journey. First, a few key points:

  • The Ulman Cancer Fund is a nonprofit organization. Before the ride, each of us needed to raise a minimum of $4,500 in donations before participating in the ride. These donations helped fund scholarships for young adults whose education was interrupted during their treatment.
  • None of us were able to work this summer. Try holding down a job in addition to being on a bike for 10 hours a day: it’s just not happening.
  • We needed to feed 25 people on a daily basis with no food budget.
Our team awarding Philip with a scholarship to help him continue school after his cancer treatment.

Our team awarding Philip with a scholarship to help him continue school after his cancer treatment.

Shelter was taken care of well before the trip started. Members of the team called leg leaders were tasked with calling churches, high schools, and even the occasional vacation home to find free housing for us each night. Believe it or not, people were willing to let us crash on their church floors without paying a cent.

Some hosts even rolled out the welcome mat for us!

Some hosts even rolled out the welcome mat for us!

Food was possibly the most anticipated commodity of the day. Hungry cyclists, whether at a lunch break or ending point, needed food all summer.

  • Breakfast was usually taken care of by our hosts. Church and high school communities were more than willing, for the most part, to provide us with a hearty breakfast before we took off for the day’s ride.
  • Lunch was always a wild card during the day. We had a rotation of 2 people per day who would work the food van and find food donations for everyone on the team by calling and walking into various restaurants along/close to our route. Subway, Chipotle, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and McDonald’s were largely responsible for feeding us this summer.
  • Dinner was usually provided by our hosts, but was every once in a while provided by the food van. Restaurants such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Burger King, and various local pizza places helped us along the way.
That's what it takes to feed 25 people.

That’s what it takes to feed 25 people.

Bike parts were often donated to us on the road as well. Inner tubes became more valuable than gold during the trip, so we were always happy to have a bike shop throw a few our way.

Setting up the donations for these items felt like a full-time job. During the trip itself, people in the food van made sales pitches to almost every restaurant they could and explained our mission plus why 25 adults didn’t have enough money to feed themselves during the day. I definitely practiced skills in sales, public speaking, and resource management during the trip, and I look forward to continuing this education during the coming school year.

How I Got Into Venture Capital With A Dual Degree In Biomedical Engineering and Applied Math & Statistics, And A Minor In Entrepreneurship & Management.

I began thinking about what I wanted to do with my life and what type of career I wanted back in high school. Thanks to some pretty stellar and unique engineering internships, I decided I wanted to be an engineer, but wasn’t sure which kind. I was also interested in being a doctor so Biomedical Engineering seemed like a solid compromise.

Boom!  In the blink of an eye I am picking out my classes for my first semester at The Johns Hopkins University.  I selected Introduction to Business since the topic was of interest to me and the course would help me satisfy several graduation requirements. While at the time I thought this course would just be an interesting elective, it turned out to be a pivotal course for shaping my future career path.

bozada_senior_year_hockey

Over the next two years, I would spend the summers and winter breaks working at a DOD lab back home as an engineer. However, through those internships and my BME coursework I learned I did not enjoy being an engineer. What should you do if this happens you?

1. Don’t freak out.

Biomedical engineering is by far the most interesting technological field right now.  To date, I pride myself on keeping up to date with advances in both the “science” and the “techniques.”  Yet, I had decided that I did not want to be an engineer and I had decided that being a doctor was also not in the cards.  So I asked myself, “What have you done on this campus that you truly have enjoyed? Not just intellectually, but the actual process of completion?”

2. Go to “first meetings of the year.”

Go to as many first meetings as possible for any organization you might be interested in.  While there is no way you can (or should) do them all, it’s a great way to find some niches of which you had been previously unaware.  I had the great privilege of being a part of many groups on campus including (but not limited to) SGA, AKPsi, The Pre-Law Society, the Politik, Senior Leadership Consultants, and the club Ice-Hockey team.

3. Listen to yourself. 

When I self-evaluated I realized my true day-to-day passion revolved around business. Mind you, this is not the most reassuring realization. Fortunately, there was some precedence for this type of thought. The solution for most Hopkins engineers is to go into some sort of consulting. Which makes sense; you can use a lot of the same equations and all of the same analytical skills. Instead of optimizing a cell pathway, you’re optimizing logistics for some big corporation.

4. Don’t rush a decision.

If you are already pivoting from what you are studying, make sure you pick the right pivot. A lot of my peers went on into consulting. Yet, personally, something didn’t “feel” right. Basically, I would be engineering for businesses, not actually doing business. “And what about the science?” I asked myself. Shouldn’t I stay involved somehow?

The semester before I was having this conversation with myself, I was taking an E&M course called “Managing Social Enterprises” which was all about how management styles differ between social and for-profit companies as well as startups vs established companies. It was from this class that I finally found my answer. I would love to join the Venture Capital/Startup world. This would allow me to practice business plus stay connected to the biomedical world. The question was–how?

5. Talk to everyone.

It is not so easy to be a BME/AMS double major and decide you want to go into VC.  Most VCs have been to business school and/or worked for a successful startup.  I had not.  Fortunately, one night I happened to be in DC visiting some friends.  While hanging at a local bar, I started talking to someone who knew a local VC and he put us in contact.

6.  Internships!

You may or may not be paid, but such is the nature of internships in 2013. The most important thing is the experience the internships provide, not the paycheck, so be sure to take advantage of internships even if they are unpaid.  During my senior spring I interned for Fortify Ventures, an early-stage tech VC firm located in DC. While I was what you would call a gopher, I learned quite a few valuable lessons. I was able to turn this internship into another internship, joining the investment team at the Center for Innovative Technology, an early-stage VC firm located in Herndon, VA. Fortunately for me, CIT invested in not only technology firms, but also green energy and biotech companies. So it was at CIT that I finally began evaluating companies, thus gaining some true VC experience while still only being an intern.

7. Leverage where you are to get one step closer.

Before I could be considered a viable candidate for full-time (non-intern) position at a VC firm, I needed to either go to business school, get my Ph.D., or join a successful startup. I chose the third option. While my true passion is biotech, I chose a tech company for a practical reason. Biotech startups take ten years to grow and tech startups take just two to three years.

2013_bozada_cupidscup_edit

Last October, a video-processing company called Veenome came and pitched CIT. Being on the investment team at CIT, I was able to get a clearer picture of Veenome than most of the other applicants and was thus able to land a job with Veenome. Here I am, six months later, truly enjoying work everyday and very well poised for the career I want. Yet, I often think about what would have happened if I had not listened to myself and had stayed an engineer.

– TJ Bozada

Why Kate White Is Leaving Cosmopolitan

It’s no secret that Cosmo is at the top of its game. In a New York Times Magazine article published over the summer, Edith Zimmerman revealed that Hearst publishes 64 international editions of the best-selling magazine in 35 languages, each edition promising “Fun, Fearless, Female” content in every issue. Though the late Helen Gurley Brown may have been responsible for establishing the magazine’s sexy tone, international readers can credit Editor in Chief Kate White for increasing the magazine’s circulation and presence abroad. White, who announced her resignation last week, officially stepped down today.

Succeeding White is Joanna Coles, the Editor in Chief of fellow Hearst publication Marie Claire. Coles gave Marie Claire a facelift by whisking Elle‘s Nina Garcia (of Project Runway fame) to the magazine as Fashion Director — thus shifting the prize winner’s feature from Elle to Marie Claire. Coles further earned cred with the fashion crowd when she became a mentor on the show’s spin-off, Project Runway: All Stars, earlier this year. Coles knows a thing or two about using television to bolster a magazine brand — in 2009, the Style Network’s Running In Heels chronicled the adventures of three Marie Claire interns. Marie Claire‘s largest-ever September 2012 issue boasted a record 237 ad pages for the publication. It’s a safe to say that under Coles’s leadership, you’ll see a more fashion-forward Cosmopolitan on your TV screens.

White, meanwhile, plans to focus on her writing and speaking career. In her new book, I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know, which hits bookstands September 18, she advises, “A sign you’re ready to leave [a position] is when you’re totally comfortable at a job because you’re totally comfortable. Nothing scares you, meaning you’re not challenged.” I wish all the best to White and Coles as they embrace the challenges that come with their new positions. What can you learn from Cosmo’s business success?

– Devin

You Now Have the Leader’s Edge

Welcome to The Leader’s Edge, the Johns Hopkins Center for Leadership Education’s blog! This blog is a resource for students, faculty, alumni, industry experts and business owners who are looking to engage in a discussion about business.

Whitehead Hall, Home of the Center for Leadership Education

The Leader’s Edge is meant to serve as an educational tool and an open forum for new ideas. Take a look at the following questions:

– Are you interested in marketing, communications or advertising?
– Are you planning on starting a business? Have you already done so?
– Are you interested in finance, investment banking or accounting?
– Are you a current student who might have an interest in learning about business?

If you answered “yes,” “maybe,” or even “no” to any of these questions, then you are a right fit to participate in The Leader’s Edge. Our student bloggers will be contributing posts about business leadership, marketing, and other relevant topics in the business world. But while we are confident in our team, we’re not the only ones who have a voice. We greatly appreciate any thoughtful comments, feedback, or your own stories that you feel would add to our project. Blogging is a two-way street, so make sure your voice is heard!

Our student bloggers are Clint Hall, Kara Deppe, Jenna Link, Danielle Stern, Sinan Ozdemir, Devin Alessio, and me, Dave! We look forward to showing you our best work, and if you would like to learn more about us, click here

– David

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