The following post is written by Thomas Law. Surprisingly, he was the first guy I ever “officially” talked to as a mentor. Thomas was a part of a program with the SFU Career Services and was assigned to conduct an informational interview with me. After a short exchange of email, he showed up at the HootSuite nest with a red tie and a black dress shirt and a list of questions in his hand. We got along right away and I managed to answer all his 5 questions in one answer, so we spent the rest of the time just chatting about different ideas we can grow his business. He ended up help troubleshooting my car issue as well and I was glad to hear that he’s coming to my personal branding and social media workshop on June 19. Please note that this post was not altered in any way.
Before going to the information interview, I wasn’t sure what to expect since this is the first one I have ever done. After looking up Stephanie’s LinkedIn profile, I found out she has a lot of experience in the past even before she graduated. She likes design but at the same time she likes to interact with people so ultimately, that leads to where she is now as a Community Manager at HootSuite. The keys to her career advancement are being flexible, open minded and passionate about her work. Being able to lead a team is also crucial. As a Designer’s point of view, her advice is to understand the clients’ needs. We have to know their stories, help them identify their problems and find solutions. For her job at HootSuite, she enjoys the ability to create her own project that can be incorporated in her day-to-day work as well as talk to people around the world. Being a one-man team is definitely the least satisfying part of her job. In terms of the outlook of the technology industry and employment opportunities, Vancouver is definitely the place to be in and it is growing. New roles are created that didn’t exist a few years ago and this will continue to be the trend. However, in terms of being a freelance Graphic Designer, the market is quite saturated. Having a more unique skill set such as a combination of design and marketing could be the solution. In the end, the information that I gathered from the information interview is very valuable. It’s definitely a great way to meet new people from the industry and to learn more about an organization.