In November, Semify awarded its ninth scholarship to University of Pittsburgh sophomore, Rebecca Feinberg. That got us thinking...we wondered, What happened to the students who won the scholarship in 2012? That was the year we launched the Semify Digital Marketing Scholarship program. For the January edition of the Semify Newsletter, “The Shout,” we reached out to and interviewed Giovanni Holmquist, one of the 2012 winners. Our February newsletter featured an interview with another 2012 winner, Michael Minnock. In 2012, Michael was an Integrated Marketing Communications major at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA.
MICHAEL MINNOCK (2012 Semify SCHOLARSHIP WINNER)
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES OPENED UP FOR YOU AFTER RECEIVING YOUR SCHOLARSHIP?After receiving the scholarship, it gave me greater flexibility financially, and the ability to put more focus on my academics. Between my classes, working as a lead recruiter for Duquesne, bussing tables and interning each of my last three semesters, I kept busy. I would later graduate Summa Cum Laude from Duquesne University where I majored in Integrated Marketing Communication with a minor in Journalism.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE GOALS YOU WERE LOOKING TO ACCOMPLISH AT THAT TIME?At the time, I was focused on my academics, while trying to discover my future career path. I learned that path is always changing as what might seem right for you at the time, but not be right for you later. I learned through a trial and error process where my true interests existed. I was fortunate enough to receive internships with companies such as Brunner (Marketing Agency), Premier Innovations Group (Start Up Promotional Company), the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL Team & Foundation) and Duquesne University (Lead Recruiter). Each of these companies inspired me and laid the foundation for my current job.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE GOALS YOU ARE LOOKING TO ACCOMPLISH NOW?
Goals constantly change, as I learn more, I continue to set new goals. At the current time, my goal is to be the best marketing manager I can be while working for Duquesne University. My overall goal is to gain as much experience as possible while opening as many doors for my future. Since graduating in 2013, my internships helped pave a way for my career path. I took on part time jobs for the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Premier Innovations Group. These led to my first full time job out of school as a marketing assistant for Beyond Spots & Dots, a marketing agency in Pittsburgh. The experience I gained at the marketing agency was invaluable and led me back to my starting point, Duquesne University, where I’m happy to have recently accepted a position as a marketing manager. The people, work and atmosphere are perfect for me.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
Advice can always best measured with hindsight. As of now, the best advice I have received personally is to never settle for a job. I was told many people out of college take the first job they are offered, but that may hinder or distract them from their actual career path. There may not always be an option, but stay true to where you want to end up. Never simply become content or stagnant where something may seem good enough. Strive for what you want and go get it. I’m still very young in my career, so I still have so much yet to learn. Through my experiences working so far, I have learned it’s important to take chances and not to be afraid to fail. I learned you may even have to fail before you can succeed. No matter how hard times may seem, continue to move forward in what truly drives you. Similar to the words, Jim Carrey shared at a Maharishi University commencement speech, “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love.”
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER PROFESSIONALS?Getting advice is easy, but using it can be the difficult part. The last year has been especially difficult in losing my dad to a heart attack and I have not been short on getting advice. The pain and distraction one has from losing someone so close can be debilitating. As hard as it was and still is, I know my dad wants to see me successful. Through advice and support, I realized the importance channeling pain into a drive in my every day work life can be. It’s still not easy, but I can honestly say my dad is still helping me today. With the help of my mom, I have worked on continuing to move forward and knowing my dad is always with me. I’ll take this dive and use it to succeed. The most important advice I can give from my own experience is things are never easy, but always strive to continue moving forward. The hardships will truly make you stronger. We congratulate Michael on his accomplishments and wish him all the best in his future. Next month, we hope to catch up with Andre Sadler, another one of our 2012 scholarship winners.
SPRING 2016 Semify DIGITAL MARKETING SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS ARE DUE MARCH 1We will award another scholarship in Spring 2016; applications are due by March 1, 2016 and the winner will be announced on March 15. Click here to apply.