Don’t Get Thrown Out With the Dirty Dishwater!

I used to think my Dad was not fun for reading boring newspaper.  My children will think I'm not fun for reading boring reddit.
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The era of the newspaper is dying.  Perhaps we can throw that out with the dirty dishwater!  Not so long ago, generationally speaking, the newspaper was the “go-to,” one size fits all, media resource. Be it searching for employment, browsing the classified ads, or just catching up on the latest local or national news, the newspaper was the hard copy version of our modern-day digital age of social media. With technological advances on a steady rise – and a world full of ISPs, URLs, Platforms, AI (Artificial Intelligence), Blogs, Tweets, Chats, Posts, and Hashtags – the way information is shared today has dramatically changed since the days of old. Now if you still grab your paper copy of the news to read it along with your morning coffee, then great! But chances are, the digital version of that same media was already delivered to computers and cell phones around the globe, long before that crinkled up paper copy hit your door.    

While this story of the ages might lack significance for those who have retired from the workforce, for many, the world of business has become increasingly reliant on the need to utilize the power of technological advancements and social media to bring products to the market and remain competitive. Whether it be to promote your business, enter a new career path or just stay relevant (and not get thrown out with the dirty dishwater), rapid changes in industry practices have prompted many workers to be proactive and attain the knowledge and abilities necessary to succeed. If you’re looking to advance your education to thrive in today’s marketplace, consider Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management – A Nationally Accredited, Top-Tier MBA for Professionals program, ranked #1 in Oregon. This program has strategically built a foundation of learning that meets the practical needs and demands of the social media and marketing industry.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American changes jobs 10-15 times between the ages of 18-46. Considering 77% of U.S small businesses use social media for key business functions (SCORE 2018), a career within social media and marketing shows great prospects for both new graduates and for those who wish to change or advance their careers. The demand for skilled workers within this industry demonstrates how digital marketing has increased business performance. A report from SCORE reveals the benefits of using social media as follows: 

  • 59% of businesses report that facilitating customer service through social media makes it easier to get issues resolved.
  • 44% of businesses report that social media helps generate brand awareness.
  • 41% of businesses depend on social media to drive revenue.

So how important is social media to consumers in today’s marketplace? This comical video clip demonstrates the impact social media tools have had on the consumer. It just might change your attitude about social media marketing. 

One of the best decisions I’ve ever made

It’s been almost 20 years since the last time I was in a classroom!

I’ve had a lot of people ask me recently how school’s going. It’s been nearly a year since I returned to the classroom to pursue an MBA with Willamette University, after graduating from college nearly 20 years ago.

It’s been a very challenging year balancing my ongoing career, time with my family, a painful back surgery and the work of a professional MBA program. However, I have to say it’s been one of the best decisions of my life because I’m learning material that is applicable in the office the very next day.

For example, I had a recent conversation with a Strategic Finance colleague and could speak to the build of a Net Present Value calculation and why we may or may not want to increase the discount rate of the future cash flows given the rather gloomy economic forecast of the next couple of years. A year ago, I didn’t know what NPV meant, let alone what a discount rate had to do with it.

In my short year with Willamette University we’ve covered a lot of ground, from resonant leadership styles and the development of emotional intelligence, to linear regressions and normal distributions, to assembling financial statements and managing COGS. I could go on and we’re only a year into the two-year program.

Never too old to go back to school

The night before I started at Willamette, I wrote:

Growing up, I never liked school. It was theoretical and I wanted to get out there and “do” something real. I wanted to get out there and conquer the world. Now into my second career, hopefully a bit wiser, and certainly a lot older, I look forward to the classroom. I see the potential application of new knowledge.”

The application of new knowledge back in the office is unquestionable. However, to date, I think the most valuable element of my Willamette experience is the people. I’ve built relationships with a small cohort of colleagues that remind me of the value of diverse perspectives. We vary in age, background, experience and qualifications. Yet, together, we generate some remarkable thinking that has certainly challenged me to examine my own perspectives on a variety of issues. They’ve made me a stronger thinker.

It’s a lot of work. It’s expensive. It’s not easy. It’s tiring. I made all of these excuses for several years before I took the MBA plunge. They’ve all proven to be 100% true. And yet, it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

To read about additional experiences from some of my colleagues scroll down!

Scott Burton

Director, Revenue Management & Portfolio Positioning  Cambia Health Solutions