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Maybe it was the “Obama wants you to go back to school” ads that were just too enticing. Maybe watching Van Wilder gave them inspiration. Or maybe they were simply asked to be guest speakers. Whichever reason it was, HERO|farm went back to college and loved every minute of it.

The team was given the opportunity to speak on two panels at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Mass Communications & Journalism Career Day on Thursday, November 19, 2009. Chief Strategist Reid Stone and Creative Director Shaun Walker spoke to students during the morning session about the growing fields in strategic communications, offering insight into how advertising has been affected by the rapidly changing world of digital mediums. Students not only contributed questions with the traditional raised hand but were also able to “tweet” in questions and offer relevant insight into the topic of the moment via a Twitter.com feed aggregator. Students had their questions and comments displayed in the banquet hall by simply affixing the hash tag #CDUSM to each post they wished to contribute.

In the afternoon session, Shaun joined several other notable Southern Miss graduates to discuss conventional and inventive methods students could utilize to win a job in such a tough economy. Some stark realizations were made by the crowd about the scarcity of openings in this market. However, tactics to demonstrate persistence and ingenuity along with entrepreneurial options were addressed.

“It was sort of a strange feeling,” said Shaun, a 2006 USM graduate. “Just a little over three years ago I was sitting in the same seats they were and was looking for advice like them. Today we were able to return the favor and pass on what we’ve learned. It’s important to give back whenever you can.”

Later in the day, the HERO|farm team reviewed student portfolios and offered advice on ways to enhance their work and presentation. It was a great experience and the crew at HERO|farm was thankful for the opportunity to share a little bit of the experience they learned the hard way.

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