Six Things I've Learned and/or Relearned Since Grad School

David A. Kennedy at the FINDS Press Conference
David A. Kennedy at The Arc’s FINDS Press Conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

When I saw the above tweet a few months ago, it got me thinking. I couldn’t believe I graduated from Elon iMedia grad program more than a year ago. I started asking myself question after question:

  • What had I done since?
  • What had I learned from it?
  • How has it impacted me?

What I’ve Done

I landed a job as the Online Communications Manager for The Arc, a national nonprofit that advocates for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It took some searching and more than a handful of interviews, but I was happy to find a role that lets me do a bit of everything: strategy, design, code, social media and more. Since then I have:

What I’ve Learned

I can’t think of a week where I don’t learn something new. Sometimes you don’t learn anything new, but rediscover lessons from the past. My first year since iMedia has been a good mix. Here are the top nuggets:

  1. Listen. Always listen. It fuels the success of any project.
  2. It starts with content. No website can be truly great without it.
  3. Website statistics mean nothing, but the trends in them do.
  4. It doesn’t matter how popular you are in social media or how many pageviews you get if you do not know your message.
  5. Teamwork. Nothing else needs to be said.
  6. Shortcuts are dangerous. Standards are the road less traveled. Know them and follow them.

The above may sound like common sense, but it never hurts to be reminded of where you’ve been.