Alum Q&A: Edan Patternson
Meet Edan! He was a dedicated four-year member of AMA, our former VP of Membership, and now serves as the Mentor Program Manager for AMA Puget Sound. Today, he puts his marketing expertise to work at Chair 10 Marketing, a local Seattle agency, as a Digital Marketing Associate. Keep reading to learn all about his journey from student to professional, how he navigated his undergrad experience, and his tips for students preparing to graduate.
Q: What was your involvement in AMA?
AMA was the very first organization I joined back in the fall quarter of my freshman year. I was a member for three years, served as the VP of Membership my senior year, and am currently serving as the Mentor Program Manager for AMA Puget Sound!
Q: What other organizations/activities were you involved in at UW?
In addition to my involvement in AMA, I was also the VP of Operations for Delta Sigma Pi, a Section Leader for the Leadership in Theory and Practice seminar, and a Dawg Daze Leader through First Year Programs!
Q: Where do you work now? What do you do there?
I’m a Digital Marketing Associate at Chair 10 Marketing, where I build, launch, and optimize digital marketing campaigns on search engines (Google, Bing) and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram) for clients across the U.S. and Canada. Our agency specializes in pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and reputation management—while our agency serves a wide variety of industries, most of our clients are senior living & care providers, higher education institutes, or franchise networks.
Q: How did AMA impact you and help you get to where you are now?
AMA was instrumental in building my professional network, both as a student and as a professional. Participating in AMA meant never taking a Foster class without a friend and never prepping for an interview alone. UW AMA members also connected me with some of my first professional experiences in marketing, including a communications and marketing internship with Make-A-Wish and various freelance copywriting opportunities in the Greater Seattle Area. I have met some of my favorite people through AMA and will be forever grateful for the many lessons and insights I gained from my membership.
Q: What is your favorite AMA memory or favorite event that you attended?
My favorite AMA memory would have to be the Leadership Team Retreat I attended with the 2018-2019 officer team. It was a joy to share that time with such a talented and enthusiastic group of people, and it felt truly special to help plan one of our chapter’s most successful membership years… even if it meant getting lost in the woods to do so.
Q: What is something that you wish you knew in college?
I wish I knew that there’s no one true formula for success, so take every piece of advice you receive with a grain of salt (including any advice you may receive from me). A hundred different industry “experts” will tell you a hundred different things you “need” to do to advance your career, and each one can only speak from their own personal life experiences. Take the Goldilocks approach! Try different things until you find what’s right for you! Everyone is doing the best they can to do the best they can. Your life is your own, so live it the way you want it lived.
Q: What is your #1 piece of advice for students preparing to graduate?
Ask for help! Ask frequently, ask directly, and ask everyone. There are so many people willing and able to assist you on your path to employment, none of whom will do so if they’re unaware you’re seeking assistance. There’s an unrealistic expectation of invulnerability in the business school, where everyone seems to feel the need to pretend that they have their entire lives figured out (at the risk of appearing ~unprofessional~ if they admit they don’t quite know what their next step will be). That’s insane! That’s an insane way to live! Don’t do that. Swallow your pride and ask for help. I promise you won’t be judged harshly for doing so.