Take it all in: Advice from Alex Martin ’10

Alex Mar­tin is the social engage­ment man­ag­er at Sil­i­con Val­ley Busi­ness Jour­nal. Pho­to via Alex Martin.


Alex Mar­tin is the social engage­ment man­ag­er at Sil­i­con Val­ley Busi­ness Jour­nal. He grad­u­at­ed from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Con­necti­cut in 2010 with a Bach­e­lor of Arts degree in Jour­nal­ism and Polit­i­cal Science.

As the social engage­ment man­ag­er I work a lot with con­tent. This includes con­tent strat­e­gy and con­tent direc­tion”, Mar­tin said dur­ing a phone inter­view. “The voic­es of the com­mu­ni­ty impact what we cov­er and how we cov­er it. It also impacts how we present con­tent and what it looks like online,” Mar­tin said.

When asked what makes his posi­tion unique from oth­er jour­nal­ism jobs, Mar­tin points out that his job is not a typ­i­cal report­ing gig. “It’s one of these new­er titles. I look at the over­all path and vision and what voice the con­tent should have to be suc­cess­ful,” Mar­tin said. “What’s unique about it, is that I’m able to look at data and twit­ter and dif­fer­ent things that I am see­ing and then direct our reporters and con­tent pro­duc­ers when they go to write their story.” 

Mar­tin describes this as a two-way con­ver­sa­tion between the audi­ence and the news source. “It’s a new-age kind of con­tent cycle.  You lis­ten to your audi­ence and your audi­ence is telling you what they want you to cov­er and how they want you to cov­er it.”

Before land­ing at the Sil­i­con Val­ley Busi­ness Jour­nal, Mar­tin worked in Meri­den, Con­necti­cut for two years at The Record Jour­nal. Mar­tin did it all in Meri­den: web-design, break­ing news edit­ing, social media, web edi­tor, and man­ag­ing interns. “It set me up nicely.”

Dur­ing his four years at UConn, Mar­tin found Rick Han­cock to be his most influ­en­tial pro­fes­sor. “He was the one talk­ing about Twit­ter, social media, and the two-way con­tent cycle”, Mar­tin said. He also remem­bers and learned a lot from Profs. Wayne Worces­ter and Mar­cel Dufresne.

I wish I net­worked more,” Mar­tin said when asked about his regrets at UConn. “It’s real­ly about who you know. There are so many resources avail­able that I nev­er took advan­tage of while at UConn,” Mar­tin added. “Be social. Read about what the indus­try lead­ers are doing and apply that to your job. You’ll be irre­place­able if you look at the hori­zon the whole time.”

In a fol­low-up email, Mar­tin gave more valu­able advice to cur­rent UConn Students:

  • You have the rest of your lives to be respon­si­ble, wor­ry about jobs and mon­ey, and only four years in Storrs. And, by the time you’re read­ing this, you prob­a­bly already have 2 or more under your belt.
  • Take an after­noon off from class or study­ing and split a pitch­er with your friend at Ted’s. Split a Bion­ic Beaver if it’s been THAT kind of week. (I’d been known to sin­gle-hand­ed­ly dis­man­tle one of those mon­strosi­ties, but I could­n’t pos­si­bly rec­om­mend it.)
  • Go to Gam­pel, go to Rentschler, go to the XL Cen­ter. Cheer on our men and women ath­letes as loud as you can. Go sup­port our soc­cer, field hock­ey, ice hock­ey, base­ball and swim­ming teams, too, because we’re actu­al­ly tops in the nation in a lot of sports that don’t get the recog­ni­tion they deserve.
  • Take a road­trip to see the men or women in the NCAA Tour­na­ment or (God-will­ing) the Final Four. Go to see the foot­ball team play in a bowl game in we are ever decent again. (Sup­port them anyway).
  • Take note of who your friends are. Take less self­ies and more group shots. You nev­er know when your life will change over night – because it will – and you’ll real­ize you haven’t seen your col­lege friends in 3 years. Life goes by in a blur and col­lege will go by even quicker.
  • Go to Nick­el Night. Go to 50 cent pitch­ers. Stay out too late. Order Sgt. Pep’s, DP Dough and Wings Over Storrs. Use your last $20 on a 6 pack and a frozen pizza.
  • Walk around cam­pus. Take it all in: the roads, the build­ings, the trees, the sky­line. You’re going to wish you had done that more when you don’t have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to.
  • It’s OK to wor­ry about your future, about get­ting a good job, mak­ing enough mon­ey, pay­ing back loans and chas­ing your career dreams. We’ve all been there. But, for four years you get to be some­thing you’ll always cher­ish and always remem­ber: A col­lege stu­dent. And, more impor­tant­ly, a UConn Husky.

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