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Entrepreneurship, Newsroom, OCB Commentary, social media, UST MBC

Go ahead, kick me…and please retweet

Ten years ago I attended a meeting organized by Dennis Todora as he attempted to bring together a “dream team” to start a software company.  He and I became partners with a handful of others and had a good little run, starting with microscopic investments and building on “sweat equity” and revenue (a story for an entrepreneurial blog post, not one on communications).  Recently, Dennis approached me about investing a few hours in a “new” deal, qwik-keyz, with a completely different finance approach –  If you aren’t familiar, this site creates a venue for people like artists and entrepreneurs to generate some funding via social networking to get a project done or business kick-started.  It’s worth a visit, just to see all the diverse projects.

The interesting difference from a communication standpoint (compared to his last venture with me acting as the communication/marketing guy): to get this deal cooking, we need to leverage social media.  Fortunately, this team includes T.J. McLeod, who plays social media director for CRAVE in real life.  T.J. believes that a big part of making a site like Kickstarter work is to get participating “project” leaders to build the initial momentum from their own personal networks. These efforts are coupled with a pre-planned online strategy.

According to Hubspot, research shows that Twitter and Facebook users are several times more likely to re-tweet and share – if you ask them Continue Reading

Career Services, Newsroom

How’s Your Twitter Resume – #Twesume


This post, by Pavi Andaloo, a second-year full-time MBA student, comes from the “CareerLink” blog by UST’s Graduate Business Career Services office.

Are you an avid twitter user and cognizant of using 140 characters or less to make your point? If so, you will excel at Twesume – it is a new trend where one has to condense the resume in to 140 characters or less. Can you imagine using 140 characters or less to talk about your professional life? Even worse, I found it so hard to fit my resume in one page – which is supposedly the standard in U.S. unless you are an executive and every detail is worthy of being on the paper.

As I was reading this article from Mashable, more than the evolution of Twesume, I was interested to see how in the world can one fit their career in 140 characters. One professional that is talked about a lot during the holiday season is Santa Claus and here is his Twesume: Continue Reading

Local business, Newsroom, social media, UST MBC

The latest and greatest in interactive marketing – Lessons learned at the MIMA Summit

33394744_thbOne of the best things about working at a university is being surrounded by a significant number of very smart people. There are people at St. Thomas who can provide great insight on almost any topic – management strategies, investment decisions, best ways to negotiate, insights into effective communication, buyer decision making on eBay, what is happening in the retail space around the holidays and many more I have yet to take advantage of.

I felt the same way last Wednesday when I attended the Minnesota Interactive Marketing (MIMA) Summit. This conference brought together many of the most talented people working in the interactive marketing space. Within the Opus College of Business, we are active in the interactive marketing space with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging and email marketing to name a few. (If you have a chance, take a look at what we are doing and let us know what you think!) Even after working with these platforms and being actively involved myself, the changes within the digital marketing space happen so quickly that it is tough to keep up. That is why going to the MIMA conference was a great experience.

Here is the cliff notes version of several lessons I learned:

It’s called “social” media for a reason. Have a conversation. Don’t just tell people what you are doing and thinking – remember to find out what they are doing and thinking. Don’t be like this guy: Continue Reading

Career Services, FTMBA, Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

“What I wish I’d known”–advice from MBA grads

As they say, hindsight is always 20/20. So as our MBA students prepare to start classes just three short weeks from now, I thought that they (and anyone else considering pursuing an MBA in the future) could benefit from some words of wisdom from those who have completed their degree.

Business Week recently asked its social media fans, “What advice do you wish you’d been given when you were first starting your MBA program?” Three of the replies I found most insightful were:

“Don’t do what others think you should do, or what everyone else is doing. Decide what you want and hustle to get it.”

“Realize that a MBA provides you with a great, technical foundation to build success upon, but not THE key to success. Be prepared to learn just as much, if not more, after graduation and upon beginning your career.”

“Advice for starting out: Smile, be nice, be open – you never know who will be your next business partner, mentor, or best friend!”

Other responses ran the gamut from warning students to be prepared for math-heavy core courses, to encouraging students to figure out their career goals before arriving on campus. You can read many more of the Facebook and Twitter responses to Business Week’s question here.

Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Happy 20th anniversary to the World Wide Web

For business professionals, information technology has become so ubiquitous that we take it for granted.  It’s hard to imagine getting through the day without using e-mail, browsing websites, making online purchases, or connecting with friends and colleagues via social media.  Yet just 20 years ago, office technology was very, very different.

courtesy of World Wide Web Consortium

courtesy of World Wide Web Consortium

E-mail existed in 1991, but very few people outside of universities used it.  Before e-mail attachments, fax machines were the way to go when you needed to send a document to someone outside your office quickly.  If you needed to buy a plane ticket for a business trip, you looked under “Airlines” in a thick printed directory called the Yellow Pages–and picked up the phone to call the airline to book a flight.

I’m sure none of us realized on August 6, 1991 that a monumental event had just taken place–the first page on the World Wide Web had been created.  As you can see in this Time Magazine article, the first page consisted only of text and hyperlinks–no photos, no ads, no buttons to tweet or “like” the page.  You’ll also notice that the World Wide Web was abbreviated “W3” instead of the “WWW” we have become accustomed to today.

Within 5 years of the launch of the Web, the first popular browser (Netscape Navigator) had been loaded onto almost everyone’s home and work computer, and within 10 years the first internet bubble had risen to its heady heights and then crashed spectacularly.  There’s no doubt that the Web is here to stay…but it will be interesting to see where the next 20 years take us.  Happy birthday, W3!

Admissions, FTMBA, Newsroom, OCB Commentary, social media

The $37,000 haiku tweet

Application tweet
Showed his creativity
Earned a scholarship

There are many parts to an MBA application, but one of the most time-consuming is writing the essay.  At UST (as at many universities), we suggest word limits for each essay—in most cases 500 or 750 words.  But the Tippie School at the University of Iowa recently held a contest that limited applicants to 140 characters—one Twitter message.

The winner of the Tippie School’s contest was selected based on the creativity he showed in combining one of the world’s oldest forms of poetry (the haiku) with a new form of social media.  I summarized the Business Week story in a haiku of my own at the top of this blog post for those readers who don’t have time to read the entire article.

What do you think about tweeting your graduate school application essays?  As an admissions director, I have always said there is value in keeping essays short and sweet, but this takes it to a whole new level.  While the UST MBA doesn’t have immediate plans to institute a Twitter-based application process, I’ll leave you with an example of what a good UST Twitter haiku might look like.  Feel free to contribute your own in the comments section!

Ethical leaders
Who are globally minded
Choose our MBA

Executive MBA, Local business, Media, Newsroom, OCB Alumni, social media

Outdoorsman by day, MBA student at night

Those of you who enjoy outdoor pursuits such as hunting, fishing, and camping may be familiar with Rob Drieslein, managing editor of Outdoor News, “the sportsman’s online choice for news and information.”  Rob also cohosts a couple of radio shows, one of which is syndicated and another which is broadcast on KTLK-FM.

Outdoor NewsThe StarTribune recently profiled Rob as part of a series that takes a look at people who have made careers related to the outdoors in Minnesota.  After many years as a writer, Rob enrolled in the Executive UST MBA program and graduated in 2007.  As he explained in his interview with the StarTribune, “I wanted to be a guy who went fishing for a living. But I’ve found that if I want to make a living in this field, I’ve got to become more of a manager than a journalist.”

“Non-traditional” MBA students like Rob Drieslein are becoming increasingly common.  As Kellogg MBA graduate Jenn Yee recently noted on the Manhattan GMAT blog, students who don’t have the typical marketing, finance or consulting background can thrive in the MBA environment.  What at first may seem like a barrier to professional success (lack of traditional experience) can actually make a student stand out from the crowd.

With a successful career writing about the outdoors and more than 1,000 followers on Twitter, Rob Drieslein shows that post-MBA life doesn’t necessarily involve wearing a suit and sitting at a desk 40+ hours per week.  How could an MBA help (or how has an MBA degree helped) you pursue your career passion?

FTMBA, Newsroom, OCB Commentary, social media

Is Social Media Undermining Our “Social Circuitry”?

A crowd of students and alumni filled Schulze auditorium to hear Douglas' Master's Pub presentation

I posted last week about “educators trying to exploit Twitter-like technology to enhance classroom discussion.” In the mean time I’ve been following the response to the New York Times article that spurred my post.

Harvard Business Review’s blog, The Conversation chimed in this week as well with the opinion that, “The project is well-intentioned: they wanted to get kids more comfortable with speaking up by giving them digital tools to do so. The trouble is, now the kids are staring at screens all day instead of interacting with each other or the teacher.” Continue Reading

Newsroom, OCB Commentary, social media

Speak Up Using Social Media

twitter-classroomI have a Twitter account, but at times—like many others—I don’t use it or really gain that much value from the steady flow of tweeted headlines, “5 tips for blah blah blah” and banal updates on what’s for lunch.

I was recently at a conference of marketers where the use of Twitter and other social media to interact and build upon the face-to-face interactions was essentially the base expectation for attendees. At times updates to the conference hashtag were coming in by the dozens every time I refreshed the Twitter app on my phone. It was great to read and contribute to the community’s conversation.

Now it seems that others are finding new ways to capitalize on platforms like this to enhance education and facilitate discussion. The New York Times reports:

Erin Olson, an English teacher in Sioux Rapids, Iowa, is among a small but growing cadre of educators trying to exploit Twitter-like technology to enhance classroom discussion. Continue Reading

EveningMBA, FTMBA, Media, Newsroom

Have you audited your social media presence recently?

social-mediaMost young professionals today have a presence in one or more social media, including Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and blogs.  When used appropriately, these media can be assets to your career and educational advancement.  However, inappropriate photos or information can just as easily have negative impacts.

Fortune recently ran an article examining the social media pitfalls that MBA applicants may face.  I was somewhat surprised to learn that some applicants are willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars to an admissions consulting company that will include a social media audit as part of its consulting package.  MBA applicants (and everyone else, for that matter) can effectively manage their online presence by being careful about what they post online, and periodically checking to make sure others have not posted disparaging, inaccurate, or embarrassing information or photos about them. Continue Reading