By: Cindy Schultz (@sindeelouhu)
Brody Karmenzind, account development specialist at Pandora and 2014 journalism graduate, offered media and career tips to Dr. Sara Hansen’s Ad Media class on Sept. 17. Via Skype, he shared insights from his Oakland, Calif., office and encouraged students to explore outside of their comfort zones to find advertising careers they will love.
Karmenzind offered his experiences to show ways that networking, having multiple internships and putting oneself into uncomfortable situations can lead to the job of a lifetime. In January, Karmenzind joined the advertising sales team at Pandora headquarters. He works with more than 760 SMB clients via phone, email and LinkedIn to develop strategies using ad media planning with Pandora ad formats to help reach new customers. Before getting this job, Karmenzind submitted 35 job applications and interviewed with Google, Twitter, and Facebook. He stressed to put yourself out there on the job market and keep striving for what you want.
While talking to the students, Karmenzind stressed three main ideas:
Pay attention in Ad Media class
Advertising Media helped Karmenzind in key areas crucial to his current job:
- Identify the demographic and target audience for your ads – this is the most important part of a campaign.
- Understand the best medium to use to reach your intended audience. Think about what ads are you using and why. Your target market will help guide where your ads are placed.
- Measure results after an ad is in place to verify effectiveness and determine what is working and what isn’t. This allows a company to know where its results are coming from so that they aren’t spending money blindly.
Working at Pandora is amazing
Karmenzind stated his favorite part of working at Pandora is the company culture. The majority of employees are under 30 years of age with an equal mix of men and women. Company culture is a regular source of motivation:
- Employees often attend concerts, and some in-house concerts are held at Pandora corporate offices.
- Team-building exercises and sales training opportunities abound. For example, a week was spent in Cancun, Mexico, to aid teamwork.
- Karmenzind said he has honed his skills at ping-pong, which is a big part of the company’s culture. It is not unusual for team members to play two to three matches per day for 10- to 15-minute sessions. The company sponsors a ping-pong club and league.
During a recent visit to Oakland, Hansen and Dr. Timothy R. Gleason had an opportunity to catch up with Karmenzind and take in Pandora’s company culture. They hung out in the “D” of RADIO in the photo below.
Use your skills to network
Karmenzind provided suggestions for students to network toward landing internships and jobs:
- Develop short- and long-term goals for yourself. Use your instructors for networking – they are great resources for job and career advice.
- Polish your LinkedIn profile. Recently, LinkedIn visited Pandora and chose Karmenzind’s profile as No. 1 among Pandora employees (so be sure to check out his profile).
- Tailor your skills and push your agenda in your hobbies and find ways to gain experience utilizing those passions. An Appleton gym Karmenzind belonged to wanted to improve its social media profile, so he worked with it and bargained for a free membership to the gym to boot.
- Realize that you need to network to get work. Think about ways to stand out in online and in-person networking, such as interests, hobbies and experiences that will help potential employers remember you.
- Take advantage of opportunities within the Journalism Department. He recalled how helping out at the Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association allowed him to network with Kirsten Strom, a journalism alumna working at Pandora. He also cold emailed a local Pandora employee and invited him to breakfast. These connections were outside of his comfort zone but both of them recommended him for an internship at Pandora in Chicago – which led to his success today.