We all have that first love. However, very rarely does it stand the test of time. Due to countless factors, most notably the desire to explore what else exists, a first love relationship usually comes to an end.
Although uncommon for the most part, sometimes such a relationship can be rekindled. As the years march on, we sometimes long for the authenticity and joy of the past.
What happens when this occurs? In my case, it is the best professional homecoming I could have ever dreamed of.
Some of my best childhood memories revolve around weekend road trips with my dad to Pullman, a college town approximately 75 miles from where I grew up in Spokane, Washington. The reason for these Saturday odysseys was to watch the Washington State University Cougars play football in Martin Stadium.
An alumnus of WSU, my dad raised me as a Coug and his efforts had a distinct influence on me. Throughout elementary and junior/high school, I proudly rocked the university colors of crimson and gray. I enthusiastically supported the athletic teams and learned as much about the institution as possible. When it came time to apply to colleges, Washington State was at the top of my list. But when it was all said and done, I made a tough decision and ended up attending a university elsewhere (Go Griz!).
Don’t think for a second my affinity for WSU ever waned. Even though I attended and worked at different universities, I always kept a close eye on Washington State, no matter how many miles I was away from campus. Whether it meant reading WSU publications or watching the football team kickoff at 10 p.m. on the East Coast, I tried to stay connected.
Well, it will now be much easier to stay connected because I have been hired as WSU’s social media strategist!
If I was ever to leave Coastal Carolina University, I wanted to find an institution that met a few personal conditions. Power Five status, strong tradition, and an already established social media program were at the top of the list. Most importantly, Sidney and I agreed that we would only move to a campus that was geographically close to one of our families.
When a social media position within the Office of University Marketing and Communications at Washington State University opened, it was a no-brainer to apply. Not only did the university itself meet my aspirations but it also had other attractive intangibles, such as an increasing enrollment, countless prestigious academic programs, and land grant distinction. Even better, the opportunity would bring us not just within the same time zone of my family but within the same area code!
If the employer made it a no-brainer to apply, the position itself provided all the motivation in the world to pursue it with full force. As the social media strategist, I will be focusing on the aspects of social media that I am most interested in and skilled at. WSU has tasked me with executing effective paid social media advertising, building campaigns, reporting and acting on analytics, and helping to formulate an overall social media strategy. With a talented social media manager already in place, I will have the privilege of working on a legitimate social media team with multiple fulltime employees…I can’t wait!
There is one last component that will make all the difference in this job: the people at WSU are awesome. As I went through the interview process and met the team members I would be reporting to and working with, I knew that Washington State University would be a perfect fit. I felt at ease from the start and I have no greater motivation than to show my new bosses and co-workers that they made the right decision in hiring me. After all, I owe them nothing but the best––they graciously allowed me to pick a start date that landed weeks after Beau’s birth.
Which brings me to one final piece of information. My employment with Washington State University will begin on March 16. GO COUGS!
Who says they get to work at the first university they ever loved? Although my first priority is to bring my professional experience to WSU, I also plan to bring some childhood passion as well. Watch out family and friends, I am coming home and bringing a beautiful wife and two children with me. Don’t Blink.