Madison Job

From a T-shaped Student to a T-shaped Professional

I found the article, How to Get Startup Ideas particularly helpful because it was packed with information presented in a way that I could draw my own interpretations and explore ideas further. I have never been exposed to a class like this so having guidelines on how to even begin to form ideas allowed me to get my thoughts flowing.

The list of three points to remember when crafting a startup pitch stood out to me. A pitch should be:

  1. Something the founders want
  2. Something they can build themselves
  3. Something few others realize

If an idea you come up with is not a product or idea you are passionate about, it would be very difficult to stick with it and see the idea through to the end.

Secondly, it is important to roll up your sleeves and get done what needs to be done when you are dealing with a startup. If you cannot make your product yourself, someone else may not be willing to spend their own time and resources to fulfill someone else’s dream.

Lastly, if there is a large enough and pressing enough problem or gap, chances are someone else already snagged that idea up— dig deeper and your idea will sprout. Now only to think of that idea…

Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 5.27.17 PM
Picture provided by MSU Career Service Network Career Handbook

This section reminded me of being a T-shaped student— a concept that was introduced to little Spartans at freshmen orientation. Striving to be a T-shaped student meant knowing many different skills and a deep knowledge on how to work effectively.

This would allow you to contribute to the workforce after graduation. Similar to Graham’s reading, an idea being well shaped meant going for the depth of an idea because that is what interests a small group of people who find great value in your product.

This is an idea people are willing to use and invest in now, not something they might use someday. I think the suggestion of keeping a journal of anything problems you personally experience in any given day is helpful because if an idea can sprout from it, it can be specific to that problem or industry you are working in.

Personally, I would like to find gaps or problems at my internship as the Public Relations intern for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. There is always room for improvements in the Marketing and Communications Department.

Similar to the Pew Research reading, the Art of Disruptive Innovation in Journalism reinforced the fact that newspapers are losing print advertisement money and have observed an increase in digital advertisements money. We discussed this concept in class, it is more expensive for companies to print their paper out and place advertisements in them rather to place them in within their website digitally. A shift in how people are consuming their news is changing.

The most interesting part of this article was the section about considering the company’s audience. Many professionals look to their key demographics when searching to increase their engagement. However, the data shows purchasing habits of these demographics and not a direct correlation. The article states that people don’t just walk around looking for something to buy, they stumble upon it and if it can make their lives better, they will purchase.

This concept about considering an audience in many ways relates to the ideas in How to Get StartUp Ideas. If your idea can solve a problem that a small amount of people really need, chances are the idea has room for growth.

One thought on “From a T-shaped Student to a T-shaped Professional

  1. Madison,
    First off I like your title because its different and directly hints at a subject in your blog post. Also I enjoyed how you tied the concept of the article to an MSU JRN concept – T shaped student. You have to have skills you can apply to whatever you want to do while also have a deep knowledge of the industry and be passionate about it.
    Adding at the end the info from the other article we read was also very important because you can’t really have a successful start up without a targeting audience. No audience means no profit. That was essential to include.
    I enjoyed reading it!


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