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Twitterview with Ellen Walthour & Eric Erickson, @TheBrandLab

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Twitterview with Ellen Walthour & Eric Erickson, @TheBrandLab

Good afternoon to everyone follow #MNMOtv! Today's @MNMOmag Twitterview is with Ellen Walthour & Eric Erickson of @TheBrandLab.

To start off with, Ellen & Eric, can you let people know what your roles are?

Ellen/Eric: Well, Ellen is the Executive Director and Eric is a board member.
 

Please explain the way the lab works, what its overall goal is.

Ellen/Eric: We introduce h.s. students to careers in marketing in the classroom, through internships, scholarships and networking

Our overall goal is to diversify the industry.
 

What kind of response did you get from students at first when you launched?

Ellen/Eric: It started modestly in one h.s. with one teacher and grew from there.

When I (Ellen) started in 2009 I saw kids eyes really light up when they were given the challenge to create a campaign.

Kids are amazed at how many people it takes to, say, make an ad. They had no idea of all the talents needed.
 

How many high schools are currently involved with the program? Is it easy for schools to join?

Ellen/Eric: There are 400 students in the program. 10% of the classroom students receive an internship

In order to join our program a school needs to meet our criteria of at least 50% free and reduced lunch

We also look for strong teachers who are comfortable with lots of collaboration.
 

What kind of exposure and education are students provided to help them see the scope of their opportunity?

Ellen/Eric: Through indepth curriculum, Agency and corp field trips, bring volunteers into the classroom

Then for the students who receive an internship the program really expands

Interns are given a week long training at MCAD with industry volunteers and this year folks from Google are coming to lead a day long workshop on apps and analytics.

Barry Wolfish CMO of Land o' Lakes will kick off week with Q&A

It is really a great week with tons of learning
 

What an awesome program! Can you share some stories of those who've benefited from the program?  

Ellen/Eric: That question can keep me talking for hours.

As a classroom volunteer (Eric) I've been impressed by the presentation skills of students.

Many great stories of kids whose interest in school is increased because they see creativity as a career option.

Students have to stand up in front of industry professionals and defend their campaign work.

One young girl from Washburn H.S. interned last year @ColleMcvoy and now she is going to be working there this summer.

The young girl secured the internship through the contact she made through TBL program.  She is a star!!
 

In what ways are creativity and development nurtured in the program?

Ellen/Eric: On creativity, students are encouraged to think of their audience.

They have to think of what's important to them and how they like to be communicated to.

They have to engage both visual and verbal skills.

On development, we introduce kids to careers, help them network and help them follow a path toward employment.
 

To close, what's the biggest takeaway that you hope students leave the program with?

Ellen/Eric: That creativity can lead to a viable career

That there are career options available to them that they may have never known about or considered
 

Thank you so much for all the work that you do. Helping students and businesses be open to diversity.

Ellen/Eric: Thank you for hosting this today.
 

Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 in Permalink

#MNMOtv

Follow @MNMOmag and #MNMOtv for weekly interviews conducted via Twitter.

Joel E. CarlsonMNMO Twitterviews are led by @JoelECarlson of Sociability, a social media consulting services and community management company in Minnesota. He is very active in the social media community and has conducted over 300 Twitterviews with people like Elizabeth Ries and John Hanson of Twin Cities Live, Frank Vascellaro of WCCO-TV, Genevieve Gorder of HGTV, and Rebecca Jarvis of CBS' The Early Show. He truly enjoys connecting with new people and places and sharing their story with others.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Twitterviews generally last about an hour and consist of 10-15 questions. With only 140 characters per tweet, guests may use anywhere from one to five tweets to answer, and are encouraged to look up key Twitter handles before their interview, that are relevant to their lives, and then incorporate in their answers. Using the #MNMOtv hashtag in every question and response is important so that the public can easily follow the interview live.

HOW DO I FOLLOW?

In the “Search” or “# Discover” box of Twitter, type in #MNMOtv and then hit enter. A list of tweets using this hashtag will be displayed. Next to tweets there will be a highlighted tab that says “top” or “all.” Click “all.” This will then create a seamless stream that will display the Tweets in the correct order as they are posted.