Last Friday, Women You Should Know had the privilege of hosting 20 graduate students from NYU-Poly (Polytechnic Institute of New York University) all working towards their Master of Science degrees in Integrated Media. As part of their interactive syllabus for Adjunct Faculty Member Beth Rosenberg’s Media Organizations class, they are required to attend in-office talks given by the founders of emerging and established brands in the digital world. WYSK was honored to be selected as a stop on their “real digital world” tour.
The morning’s agenda consisted of giving the students a comprehensive understanding of who we are, what we do, why we do it and how integrated media and social media play critical roles in the ongoing growth of the Women You Should Know® brand. As we utilize a number of digital platforms and new media strategies to do our WYSKy thing, the goal was to inform and inspire these students who have a passion for all aspects of digital and social technology. But as our founders – Jen Jones and Cynthia Hornig – stood in front of this impressive group of women and men hailing from all over the world (U.S., China, India, Taiwan), they were equally inspired and impressed by what they heard from the students.
One by one the grad students, ranging in age from 21 – 30, described their mid-term class projects, which involved small teams designing an original mobile app. Though the apps were not executed to live status, the creative thinking and problem-solving concepts behind them were incredibly impressive. In addition to concept development, each team had to present the strengths and weaknesses of their idea, define their audience, analyze their market competition and show how their app stacked up. They also had to map out the coding required to create their app, determine the financials necessary to launch, project potential profits, and come up with a marketing strategy.
Being required to do this level of detailed planning for a hypothetical mobile app, gives Beth’s students an invaluable opportunity to take what they’ve done and potentially use it as a road map to launch their own viable, digital businesses in the very near future. We’re rooting for them because we love the intrepid spirit of entrepreneurship!
Take for example Classistant, a conceptual mobile app designed by one of the teams that is a very real world, problem solving idea. Based on the Craig’s List model of connecting local sellers and buyers directly, the app would give students the ability to buy and sell their used text books from student to student. This cuts out the middle man like a college book store or online reseller, which saves students both time and money. The reciprocal social benefit of this team’s mobile app is that the in person, face-to-face component of the transaction connects students studying similar topics. So smart all around.
The students also talked about the professional tech fields they each hope to pursue: graphic design, video production/editing, digital marketing, programming, gaming, AR (augmentative reality), UX (user experience design), mobile app development. A few of these areas of interest may cause some of you to scratch your heads and say, “huh?” But don’t say it out loud… you’ll just be dating yourself. Trust us, they are the new global norm.
As the world goes increasingly digital, invention, innovation and entrepreneurship will continue to be the pathways to progress, discovery and success for individuals, for companies, for brands and for nations large and small. That’s why we just can’t help but be inspired by students who have a passion for digital technology and are learning the importance of harnessing its power to do work that matters.