On a monthly basis I hear from perhaps 2-5 professionals who provide insight to college students on their profession and how to advance in the workplace. Dress to impress, send the thank-you email and define your brand. Last night at my Manship Ambassador meeting we had a special guest, Orhan McMillan come speak to us about anything and everything. He shared the inspiration as well as reality that comes with developing your own business. He also took about half of his speaking time to field questions that we had about anything.

Orhan McMillan is the founder and managing partner for DezinsInteractive, a marketing and web development company that is local to Baton Rouge and started in 2003. McMillan went as far as to open up his social media platforms to show us what the content should look like as well as how busy he can get!

“Allow a touch of your personality to come out via your business, as it relates to your industry,” McMillan shared when answering students’ questions about personal branding, LinkedIn & Facebook pages.”

McMillan was inspiring for students interested in entrepreneurial futures as well as others who are just interested in getting the experience in, see below for tips on an assortment of topics:

  1. Use Hindsight: Sometimes the biggest issue is not taking the time to self-educate with what it means to own a business. (Applicable also to students looking to start a new job or career field)
  2. Finding a Mentor: It’s more important than sending those obligatory emails, find some with a business related to what you’re interested in and BUILD THAT NETWORK.
  3. Getting Experience: Don’t underestimate the power of working virtually to get exposure!
  4. Networking: Don’t miss the connection! Remember that opportunities aren’t always immediate, introduce others too and eventually the opportunities will come full circle for you too.
  5. Networking: Try a travel trip! Go to a city you’re interested in working in and set up meetings & collect business cards. Follow up and maintain those connections via LinkedIn and other outlets.
  6. LinkedIn: Join discussion groups & keep it updated & completed in full! Don’t be afraid to reach out to people on this platform: it’s a medium that is fair-game to stalk, lurk and message.
  7. Commentary: Sometimes your opinion is best kept to yourself for the benefit of your brand or the entity you represent.
  8. Getting Your Name Out: After you’re set in a new location or plan on remaining local; let it be known you’re there to stay–join the organizations, get involved in community events & stay involved.
  9. Getting a Job: Everybody is looking for something different, there is the potential to possess or showcase everything you may or may not have–experience, desire & willingness. Not all employers hire based solely on your resume.
  10. Getting a Job: Be persistent! Managers and the like are busy, so they may miss your first email, send a follow-up or check-in email a week later–don’t be shy.
  11. Future Business Founders:  Remember that it may be wise to keep a: business coach, therapist, best friend & peer. The diversity in these people around you will be beneficial for numerous reasons along your business journey.

In conclusion, ASK FOR HELP. Many problems can be solved quickly by communicating with others who can hep approach a situation from an unconsidered viewpoint. 

by Marie-Therese Yokum, March 13, 2014