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Students with impact

Today I was allowed to present the Work Field Awards to talented graduates of Avans University of Applied Sciences in Breda. Personally, I find it very important that there is always a good connection between the work field and study programs. After all, my future colleagues come from these courses. That is why it is important for a company that there are always good new students on the job market to inspire us, old-timers, with their new visions and views of our profession. For years now, we have been working with students from the Communications course who carry out an internship at TALK ABOUT.

It is a win-win situation, because we can teach students what the practice entails, what it means to actually carry out the profession they learn in theory at the school and what skills and activities are involved.

But also to be able to show them what it means to have a paid job, to get out of bed on time every morning and get to work (even if you had too much fun partying the night before). What does it mean to consult with a client, call a journalist or tell a supplier that you are not completely satisfied. Or hearing from a colleague that the concept you came up with is not quite what is expected. Those are great lessons!

On the other hand it is also a win-situation for us. We learn a lot from students; they show us the latest developments, the trends and their own vision of our work. Sometimes that is confronting, but most of the time it is very inspiring. It is precisely this reciprocity that appeals to us enormously.

That is why I thought it was an exellent idea to present this prize as chairman of the jury on behalf of the work field. The work field award is a prize that Avans University of Applied Sciences presents annually to communication talents with a demonstrably high impact in communication practice.

But what is that exactly: having IMPACT in practice?
Having impact is a broad term. It means that you have influence and that there is a result of what you do. But I would like to add: the right impact, because you can have impact very quickly and it not being the desired impact. If you stand on the Tour de France course with a sign saying ‘Allez Opi et Omi’, you have a lot of impact, but not the impact you want to have.

Impact can be the result of very long-term thorough research or a big action, but it can also be caused by a subtle gesture. A hand on your shoulder at the right moment or a wink can have a big impact too.

Having the right impact is hugely important, especially for the work field. And especially in this measurable world with ROIs and SLAs. Clients want to know the impact of the activities you’ve done. They want to know if they are getting good value for their money. Logical, but I’m not into the culture in which the quality of your performance is solely measured by the resulting numbers. But I am very critical of the right impact. Because if there are no good results, why would you undertake something and invest your time and money. If you want to achieve the right results, you have to agree beforehand on what your goals are.

Of course, sometimes you may have to adjust your actions if you are not achieving the intended results or goals, but that’s fine if you still get the right outcome in the end. In any case, always remain critical of the fact that you are adding something with what you are doing.

In summary my 3 short tips for more impact from your actions:
1. Always think carefully about what you want to do and why.
2. Be critical and curious.
3. Be open to new ideas or modifications to your plan.

Lastly, I thought it was really great to see the nice young communication talents receiving their diplomas today. All fresh-faced, sharply dressed, high-heeled and wearing beautiful dresses. And how well they told their own story; I was really impressed (that was also partly due to the charming setting: the Grote Kerk in Breda.) It is incredibly nice that so much talent is entering our job market again. That’s what we need!

Emma van Dam: you were the well deserving winner of the PR training course at TALK ABOUT. You are most welcome to join us at the office!

Natasja Gregorowitsch

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