After completing his studies in Political Science at Carleton University, William Johnson has continued to make university life the best it can be for all of the students at Carleton Universtiy. Will's personality has been described by one word, "contagious". He is driven to make others around him better while having fun in the process. Here’s how…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
By planning and executing engaging events, leveraging campus and community networks and through the strategic use of key communication tools and tactics, I engage Carleton University’s student population and cultivate a sense of community on campus and in the City of Ottawa. In social media, the term community manager has generally come to mean someone who builds, grows and manages communities around a brand or cause. At Carleton, you could say that my cause is the student experience, and my community is nearly twenty thousand strong.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
Back when I was a political science student and writing for the student newspaper at Carleton University, the university offered me a part-time position as a communications assistant in the Office of the Associate Vice-President (Students and Enrolment)—a position that I credit with jump starting my career in communication and digital media. After I graduated, I worked in marketing, event coordination and public relations at various Ottawa legal, apparel and media companies. Less than a year after I left Carleton, a new opportunity (the position that I hold right now) opened up, and I couldn’t turn down the chance to come back to a place I know and love.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
There is nothing I enjoy more than working with the other people in my office and interacting with the amazing students who study at Carleton. Whether I’m assisting a colleague with web design, planning a new event with another department or meeting with students to discuss volunteer opportunities, I am happy when I’m collaborating with members of the Carleton community.
The most challenging part of my day is staying focused on the task at hand. With so much going on all of the time, and with many of the major projects and initiatives being planned by multiple internal stakeholders, everyone is always being pulled in a million directions. It doesn’t help that I’m also addicted to my smart phone that goes off nonstop.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
It’s hard to say. Any visions I have for where I may be in five years from now are limited by the knowledge I have today and everything that exists in the world right now. The pace at which the world is changing is so rapid that by next year I can almost guarantee that there will be new things (perhaps not even related to communications or social media) I will want to explore that I currently don’t know about.
What does success look like to you?
To paraphrase Bob Dylan, success to me is when you can wake up in the morning and go to bed at night, and in between, you are doing what you want.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Getting my first communications position, because I was offered it not based on education, but experience. It proved to me that everything I did outside of my political science coursework (writing, editing, blogging, networking and volunteering) was considered of tremendous value to those who could affect how my future progressed.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
If you have an itch to do something: to volunteer, to start a company, to go and do something new, to start a blog, to take dance lessons, to write the GMAT, or to do simply do more than you are doing right now, don’t ignore that itch. Don’t ever doubt your own capabilities and never hold back.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Through volunteering, financial assistance or other means, I support Amnesty International, Winchester District Memorial Hospital, the Caring and Sharing Exchange, Ottawa Good Food Box and Mothers Against Drunk Driving Ottawa. I love people, and all of these organizations exist in one way or another to help people and improve the human condition.
What to you is notable?
When people stare down risk to do what they love.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Suffering, but die-hard BlackBerry user.