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Mentorship Through Junior Achievement

How a Local Student Found a Mentor in a JAPBTC Board Member

Local Marketing guru and JAPBTC Board Member, Sam Edwards, volunteering with students

Image caption: Local Marketing guru and JAPBTC Board Member, Sam Edwards, volunteering with students

When recruiting volunteers to deliver our programs, we often find community leaders and innovators that can act as resources for students to further their education and professional development. In Sam and Julian’s case, they found a common bond in their passions for marketing.

Sam Edwards, Chief Marketing Officer for SEO.co, spoke to Mr. Baker’s tenth grade class at Wellington High School in November 2021 as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). There, Sam shared valuable insight on the world of entrepreneurship and his experience in marketing. Little did he know that one of the students in the audience, Julian, would be so inspired that he would follow up with Sam with hopes to learn more.

“There were two things in Sam’s presentation that inspired me to take that first step and try to reach out to him,” noted Julian. “The first thing was our common interest in guitars, which made me feel a connection with him and it made him seem more human even though he’s a CMO. The second thing was a quote he said at the very end of his presentation, ‘Sharks die if they stop swimming, so be a shark, keep swimming, never give up.’  That quote really moved me and led me to want to reach out to him and see if I could get an internship.”

But Julian has not always been interested in marketing. In fact, he said that Sam and his GEW speech are the reasons he shifted his career goals and decided to see what the marketing industry is all about. Since speaking at Julian’s school, Sam has taken Julian under his wing and taught him valuable marketing skills like search engine optimization, A/B testing, and monetizing marketing initiatives. Sam has also taught him how to work with tools like Google Ads and has even given him homework assignments for Julian to begin working on ad copy.

Sam said, “We’ll go through a lesson first, for example, on what qualifies as good ad copy, like best practices for writing different ad variants, and then we review everything together and work together on how we can make improvements.” Julian even went as far as saying, “The homework Sam has given me is probably the only homework I’ve actually looked forward to doing.”

But, the mentoring does not stop at marketing! Sam has helped with Julian’s resume, prepared him for professional interviews, developed his personal brand, and even shared information on the stock market. Both Sam and Julian are optimistic in their relationship and the positive impacts it will surely have on both of their futures.

Julian said, “Working with Sam has raised my ambition and Sam has also motivated me to succeed, never be mediocre, and be the best person I can be every day.”

Currently, Sam is working with Julian to secure him an internship, and Julian has qualified for a state-level DECA competition. After graduation, Julian hopes to attend college at Palm Beach Atlantic University or Florida State University where he will major in marketing, entrepreneurship, and music before continuing to get his Master of Business Administration. With a mentor and ally like Sam on his side, we have no doubt that Julian’s future is bright.

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