Media summit gives Centennial students the chance to learn from industry pros

Panellists shared their do's and don'ts for success in the industry

Members of the media summit panel
Jennifer Blenkthorn, Sarah Thompson, and Cameron Williamson (Pictured left to right) are presenting panelists at the media summit. Photos 

A panel of communications experts recently shared their wisdom with the next generation of marketing students at Centennial College.

The second virtual Advertising Media Management Media Summit connected newly and soon-to-be-graduated students from the college’s Media Advertising program with industry insiders from across the advertising sector, for an information session on Feb, 21.

The experts discussed the job landscape in the marketing industry and ways for students to put their best foot forward when seeking positions in the field.

“How do you stand out? And then once you get discovered, how do you get hired?” said Robert DaSilva, a Strategic Sourcing Marketing Manager for companies like Sobeys and Longo’s. “We had speakers that spoke to the do’s and don’ts from an interview perspective, and how to prepare.”

DaSilva serves as the chair of the Program Advisory Committee for the Advertising Media Management Program at Centennial. The panel speakers featured have decades of working experience and have created campaigns for companies, including LinkedIn and Nestle.

The future media landscape includes …

While new graduates worry over job prospects in this ever-changing media environment, experts and executives believe digital tools like Linkedin, generative AI, and social media will serve as the brushes that are used to paint the canvas of the future media landscape.

Panellists discussed how AI and other new forms of technology are affecting the field, how to properly use tools such as LinkedIn, and how to use networking events to your advantage.

One audience member asked the panel for advice on getting back into the workforce after being away for an extended period.

“I’m retired and back at Centennial in a completely different direction,” said one audience member. “Do you have any recommendations for how I lay out my [LinkedIn] profile?”

Jordan Veentra, a Senior Client Solutions Manager at LinkedIn and a member of the panel replied, “It’s not always necessarily about your tangible skill, but the impact that you’re able to make, and [the ability to] speak a little bit more to who you are as a professional.”

The poster for the media Summit
The media summit poster (Centennial College)

DaSilva also gave some key pieces of advice for paving a pathway to success in the industry.

“Join a committee, or join an industry board or become a subject-matter expert,” he said, as well as “finding a mentor, someone you can bounce things off of, whether it be an external mentor or someone within your company.”

Panelist Jennifer Blenkthorn, a Communications Director for the media marketing agency Cairns O’neil, suggested taking as many training opportunities as possible, while also highlighting the importance of building community by attending social events with coworkers, and asking lots of questions.

Sarah Thompson, President of Media for Dentsu in Canada, took a deep dive into the use of generative AI on platforms, and how monetizing them will shape the future of online media ads.

“When I say platforms I mean Google, Meta, Pinterest, LinkedIn, there is a change … that is really driving a shift in monetization of ad platforms. You’ll also probably notice in your daily life the ad load on a lot of major platforms has increased exponentially,” she said. “We’ve hit peak adoption of Meta and other platforms in Canada, what they sell is you and your data, so they’re monetizing it to the hilt.”

Questions hint at summit’s success: organizer

Some of the leading concerns of young people entering the field are: their ability to find a job, concern that their skills will be relevant and up-to-date, and not having the time and ability to network extensively, according to the article, 20 Things Every Graduating Marketing Student Needs to Know,

And, the ethical concerns of working in a field where the reliance on information from social media and data collection agencies is necessary, even as their practices become more invasive and lacking user’s consent.

DaSilva also talked about the way he measures how successful the summit may have been for the three dozen students and community members who attended.

“It’s the feedback, but also the number of questions that are asked by the students,” he said. “And this year, it seemed like an unprecedented amount of questions. So I’m assuming based on that, it was very positive.”

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Posted: Feb 24 2024 9:00 am
Filed under: Business Centennial Life Education