BSU Alum Shares Pathway to Success
By April C. Thornton
The Student Alumni Association (SAA) welcomed back Bowie State University alumna Quon Wilson, promotions and marketing director at Radio One, who discussed her road to success with students on April 1 in CLT 102.
Wilson entered BSU in 2002 as a nursing major. However, after spending three years in that program, she decided to change her course of study to communications. She was active in several organizations on campus such as the Student Nurses Association, Student Government Association (SGA), Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and she ran for Miss Bowie State University.
"It may seem small and insignificant to you now but I'm telling you those are the building blocks for your success of tomorrow," said Wilson. In 2007, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications with a concentration in public relations.
After graduation, she was determined to get the position as promotion coordinator at Radio One. When they scheduled an interview with Wilson, she had her resume and a full sample marketing plan of the events she would execute for the first year as promotions coordinator. "You have to stay an extra step ahead of the next person," she said.
One month after receiving her degree, she was hired as promotions coordinator. She spent a year in that position and she quickly moved up as promotions and marketing director. She is currently the youngest manager there. When you're prepared, you have your networks built up and you have tangible experience, and then your age does not matter, Wilson said. Her job description consist of managing the street team, developing marketing plans, creating events, station imaging and other creative emphasis.
When the economy began to decline and businesses financial endeavors were affected, Wilson worked fast to create and perform promotions on a zero budget. "I didn't let it become my challenge or my failure," she said.
Wilson was so successful with her budget that others were dying to know her marketing secrets. She wrote a column in Cathy Hughes' publication "The Frequency" teaching media officials and marketing professionals how to successfully market without any money.
Wilson encouraged students in the audience to get involved with campus organizations and events because they will never know who they may meet. "Be realistic and understand that the communications field definitely requires preparation, contacts and networking. You have to build up your experience now while you can so when it's time to graduate; you're not scrambling looking for a job."
During the question and answer session, a student asked Wilson what challenges she had to overcome to be where she is today.
"Definitely my age and being an African-American coming up in this industry," she said. "I felt I had to work twice as hard to demand respect because people automatically assume since your fresh out of college that you don't know as much as the person sitting beside you."
Wilson concluded by saying, "There is no such thing as a challenge, it's just strengthening exercises so you can get to the next level."
Wilson gave the audience a few pointers on how to create a successful path to their potential career. She reminded students to be cautious about how they portray themselves on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites, because some employers use these websites to determine if an applicant is a suitable candidate for the company. "Guard your image," Wilson said.
Since the economy is so severely damaged, employers are looking for efficient and cost-effective employees, Wilson said. She advised students to make sure their resumes are organized and free of spelling and grammatical errors.
Remember if Quon Wilson can graduate for BSU and achieve tremendous success, then others can do it as well.