As part of the most recent lecture in the Ralph Nye Lecture Series put on by the Goddard School of Business and Economics, Tom Post, the managing editor of the Entrepreneur’s Channel at Forbes.com came and spoke to students at Weber State University on April 11. As part of his presentation, Post gave several suggestions to students. Primarily, he encouraged students to be flexible, both in the jobs they apply for and accept and the courses their professional careers take them in. Post also advised students to think about the quality of their work and less about the quantity, saying quality is the key to entrepreneurial success.
Post has worked for many years in media. He has spent 15 years at Forbes alone, and worked for several other successful business and finance magazines before that. Post, who received his degrees in English literature, said his start in media was an accident and that a generous editor gave him the chance to work in reporting.
“I didn’t last there very long (in academics); I bailed early and tumbled into (journalism) by accident,” said Post in an interview before his presentation. “. . . I was fortunate in that I had a demonstrable ability to write, even though I knew nothing about economics, and the woman I started working for was willing to give me a break because she thought it would be easier to teach somebody who thought he could write about economics than to teach somebody that knew about economics how to write.”
Ian Weston, a senior in the business administration program, said Post’s presentation impressed him. Post’s insights about media and trends as to what college students will need to do to be successful was particularly interesting to him.
“I think Mr. Post had good ideas,” Weston said. “He’s innovative. It’s not just the normal ‘go to school, get your degree’ speech; he was about taking risks and trying things.”
Sean Franzen, who will graduate from the Master of Criminal Justice program this spring, also said he enjoyed Post’s presentation. As part of being flexible in the workplace, Post counseled students that they should think more about using the Internet in their careers, especially since it has become such a presence in so many ways in the business world. Being in media, Post has had firsthand experience, watching media consumption go from print to being almost completely electronic. Franzen said he’s seen evidence of the adaptation many aspects of business have had to make.
“This semester was the first that the Master of Criminal Justice was strictly online,” Franzen said. “Just like media and business, the degree had to adjust to survive.”
Near the end of his presentation, Post talked about the things that really make an employee vital to a company, and making oneself the difference between quantity and quality. He made the comparison of content in the print version of the Forbes magazine versus the content found strictly online. The content found in the print version has a “longer shelf life” with a stronger message, whereas the strictly online content is more abundant and disposable.
Business administration senior Jefferson Sparrow said he’s seen what Post is talking about in his emphasis on quality, not quantity in his work for a local small business. An employee in a small business his grandfather started, Sparrow knows firsthand how quality in entrepreneurship is the key to success.
“(Post) understands the importance for quality entrepreneurship and that we have to get out and do, that that drive is inside of a person and can’t be quantified, that that comes in the quality in a person and entrepreneurship comes from people,” Sparrow said.