The world of social media, by design, is fast-paced and ever-changing. Because of this, it is inherently difficult to obtain a true education in social media. As Vice President of an innovative and emerging digital marketing agency I try to stay ahead of the curve and make sure that I, and my employees, are as knowledgeable and as educated as possible.
To that end, I recently attended a groundbreaking new program offered by the Rutgers University Center for Management Development. The school offers executive education courses dubbed Mini-MBA. These programs are highly concentrated, 30-36 hour courses designed to give executives and industry professionals a crash course in a niche area of study and develop career skills.
The Mini-MBA in Social Media Marketing was an invaluable experience for me. By focusing on core principles of social media marketing and assembling a faculty of highly respected and knowledgeable mavens in the industry, Rutgers has succeeded where many others have failed.
The program centered on ten unique modules that provide a strong base for developing or continuing a career in the dynamic field of social media marketing. These modules included social media strategy, business blogging, legal and regulatory concerns, mobile and location-based marketing, social media ROI and more.
Each module was carefully designed and presented by a member of an all-star team of social media personalities, each with their own specialty. The staff included Heidi Cohen, Alan Wolk, Liana Evans, Mark Schaefer, Greg Jarboe, Tom Chernaik, Christina “CK” Kerley, Rob Petersen and Dr. Augustine Fou.
The instructors presented personally developed curriculum and gave every student personal attention. The class size was small, which led to great interactions among students and staff. The social media program was overseen by Faculty Chair Eric Greenberg, under the direction of the new Executive Director of Center for Management Development, Dr. William Bigoness.
The program is also innovative in that an Apple iPad is pre-loaded with all course materials and included in the cost of tuition, truly making this a 21st century course. Each day is jam-packed with tons of useful information, adequate Q & A time with the instructors and time to work on the required group project.
It would be virtually impossible to get all this valuable information from all these industry experts in the time frame that Rutgers has assembled. You could literally spend months trying to aggregate and curate all this information from all these trusted sources, without th personal interaction and the ability to get real-time feedback and input. Rutgers has done an impeccable job assembling this program. Even though I consider myself rather well-educated and “in the loop” when it comes to social media, this course was wealth of information, presented in an excellent manner.
After a week of non-stop social media education, and after my head stopped spinning, I looked at the notebook I had completely filled with notes and nuggets of valuable info. I looked at the stack of business cards and new connections on LinkedIn. And I looked at the scribblings I had jotted down, as an idea struck me, for how to better my business with what I had just learned in the course. I looked at all of this, and thought to myself, “What is all of this worth?”. To me, that answer is simple. It is priceless.