DePauw students listen to John Green and Mindy Kaling at internet marketing conference

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Mindy Kaling takes a selfie with DePauw University
first-year Lily Hickman.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHARLIE ISAACS

ExactTarget, a digital marketing company, hosted a three-day conference for business people to learn about Internet marketing. On Thursday, Sept. 25, the last day of the conference, they held a student day on which college students could register through their school and attend for free.

Several DePauw students took advantage of this opportunity, which was offered through the Hubbard Center. Many were Media Fellows, who had been notified of the chance via email. Students were able to see two high profile speakers: John Green, author and YouTube personality known for books like The Fault in Our Stars and Mindy Kaling, actress, writer, director and producer known for her work on the shows The Office and The Mindy Project. 

“It was so amazing,” said sophomore Media Fellow Madi McIntyre. “I'm so grateful for the experience and the networking opportunities.”

Students left DePauw at 7:30 a.m. in order to arrive in time for Green’s speech at 9 a.m. He talked about being authentic online, but in a way that engages, in his case, viewers and readers. He told about what it felt like to collaborate and interact with an audience, which is what he thinks people and businesses should account for with their Internet presence.

After Green, those in attendance could go visit different booths from companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Sears, Elizabeth Arden and DonorsChoose.org. People were encouraged to tweet using the hashtag #CNX14. However, many students did not spend much time with these companies, because seats for Kaling filled up quickly.

She also talked about how she uses social media to connect with her fans. She is very active on Twitter and Instagram, which she sometimes uses to interact with her fans. She discussed creating and running her own show where she could be the star. After she spoke, she answered questions from the audience. Some DePauw students asked her questions about career advice for an aspiring television writer or asked if they could take a selfie. Kaling said that the way she achieved success was not putting too much importance on networking events and to work at home and write and learn as much as possible.

First-year Lily Hickman got to join Kaling on stage and take a picture. Of Connections, she said, “It taught me how to efficiently network and that a great way to succeed is by being yourself. Also, getting a picture with Mindy Kaling was amazing."

DePauw students enjoyed the chance to get away from campus, learn about marketing and see the speakers. Said sophomore Claire Halffield, “It was a fantastic opportunity simply because Connections 2014 has made me realize how small the world is, and that it's easy to connect with people who want to help you succeed in future careers."