As a sales executive at Waterfall Mobile’s Austin, TX office, I am constantly adding value to our company by engaging various businesses, brands and agencies in order to understand their mobile marketing and CRM needs. As a result of what I’ve learned from these conversations, I thought it would be cool to share this experience with our future sales and marketing professionals — current students.

Having recently graduated, I know how buried students are under books, numerous theories, definitions and projects that sometimes cannot explain the constantly evolving technologies businesses are using today. Most marketing curriculums struggle to incorporate the changing dynamics of business due to a lack of real world experience. Therefore, I thought it would be rewarding to collaborate with local university students in an effort to educate them beyond the theory and practice they can gain from their textbooks.

Thus the idea for Job Shadow Week was born. I wanted to provide students with a window into the growing mobile industry and tell them the story about how a technology company navigates a complex ecosystem. So my colleague Matt and I packed our laptops and went back to school to present to a group of marketing and advertising students. We engaged the students through exciting mobile sweepstakes campaigns and gave them an incentive to participate and interact with the technology. As a result we not only succeeded in educating students about the latest in mobile technology but exposed them to a possible career in mobile marketing.

Next, we invited a few students to visit our Austin, TX office to experience a day in our lives. They listened in on calls, interviewed our company representatives, and shared their ideas for ways we could approach our projects. The result was a wonderful mix of educating students about working at a technology company and educating ourselves about the texting generation. It is my belief that interacting with consumers is vital to a successful marketing strategy and Job Shadow event was an amazing success. I certainly had fun organizing the event, but the student’s feedback was perhaps the most rewarding.

From Gadha Soufan, an Advertising Student at the University of Texas at Austin:

“The opportunity to job shadow at Waterfall Mobile was a very rewarding experience. I came in not knowing much about mobile marketing at all and was amazed about how much I learned in such short time. I feel like I really got to get a hands-on experience with the platform creations, listening in on two sales calls, and getting to know the company better. In addition to shadowing the marketing and sales side of Waterfall Mobile, Arwa also called into the San Francisco offices in order to learn about the client services careers. This allowed me to learn about all sides of the company and helped me get closer to identifying my potential career one day. I took notes on everything we did and looking back upon them, I realize how much mobile marketing can affect the advertising industry. Being a fresh student in advertising, this job shadow opened a new door to a possible career that I didn’t even know existed. I am sure all the information I learned will be extremely helpful in the future and, Arwa and Matt were very generous in answering any questions I had and helped educate me!”

And from Laura Messer, an Advertising graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin:

“As a copywriter studying in the creative advertising field, I find myself continually focused on the personality and design of communication mediums. For Job Shadow Week, I was assigned to be a guest at Waterfall Mobile. My placement there as a copywriter was a bit mysterious, but I knew that I would be able to gain some insight and understanding of the mobile innovations and marketing research performed by Waterfall Mobile and its Msgme platform. I was able to learn a great deal about the way that Waterfall has made the use of mobile communications significant and topical. Our gracious hosts, Arwa and Matt, were eager to share with us the work that they believe in, and allow us to have a realistic look at what goes on in the Waterfall office. We were able to gain an understanding of not only what Waterfall believes in and seeks to accomplish, but we were able to see how those things are achieved. It was interesting to be able to listen in on calls that were made that day, because I was able to have a sincere peak at what it means to offer a unique technological service for a variety of brands and services. Understanding the role of new technology and working for the different needs of each client are important skills to acquire, and through my Job Shadow opportunity, I was able to gain some of that professional insight. I am grateful to Arwa and Matt and the Client Services Team in the San Francisco office for their transparency, passion, and hospitality.”

And finally from Gregory C. Gibson, a BBA student at Texas State University:

“First off let me start by saying I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to shadow with Waterfall Mobile and learn some of the ins and outs of the industry that I plan to work in someday soon. It was fascinating to learn about mobile technology and its various capabilities. The various applications, widgets and APIs that can be integrated with the clients existing technology to help leverage mobile campaigns is brilliant. This allows many possibilities, including putting a call to action on websites and social media integration that allows one to post messages on Facebook or Twitter in real-time. This cross channel approach adds great value to client’s campaigns. It’s inspiring to know that there is a possibility to work for a company that makes work seem like fun. They were enjoying what they were doing because they are passionate about their company and the mobile industry. It’s like they say: The most important question to ask on the job is not “what am I getting?” The most important question to ask is “What am I becoming?”

It was a great experience for everyone involved and we can’t wait to do it again.

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