I have always been a big, big believer of bringing guest speakers to my classes, especially the social media class I teach at the University of Louisville. It’s one thing for me to share my own experiences and insights on social media, but it’s another having some of the best in the business share what they have been working on and their tips and best practices for the students.

However, I realized another opportunity came about a few years ago that became not only a tradition, but a community in itself. These were students who had the class (and survived!) and working in social media.

They were part of the class, did all of the assignments, and were able to utilize these for their new roles, jobs, and internships. These were the students who were part of #FrebergAlums.

This really all started a few years ago when I invited four students from #Freberg14 (my class from Spring 2014) to my Spring 2015 class (#Freberg15). I realized at that point, this was a class change I would need to keep up with for future classes. So, with each semester since then, I invited students from the previous year to come by to my class and share their tips, best practices, insights, and advice to the current class. Plus, this allowed the students to all come together to be part of the same community where they can chat, network, and reach out to other students from other classes.

I had the chance to invite a few of my former students from my social media class last year (can’t believe this because it has gone by so fast – just seems like yesterday!). Danielle, Chase, and Kendall (appearing via Skype because he started his new digital coordinator job in Indianapolis) came to class to share their insights with #Freberg17.

With that being said, here were some of the highlights from today’s class:

Bring in different perspectives to the current class.

I invited four students who all were at different places and had various perspectives to share. That’s what I think is one of the great things about social media is the fact you can apply it in any industry, company, and area you want!

It was also awesome to hear some things to keep in mind about the class. Quinton (another great student who I invited to the class) couldn’t make it to the class today due to a professional event he had to attend, but he shared this blog post with the class. I have to admit – the heading got my attention pretty quickly! But I was very touched by the advice and kind words Quinton shared in this post. This may have to be a reoccurring reading for all of my future classes from now on. Plus, it had a point dedicated just to coffee. My work here is done! 🙂

Chase, Kendall, and Danielle all brought forth how they were able to use this class to pursue their various interests. For example, Kendall is now the Digital Coordinator for Delta Upsilon Fraternity Headquarters after doing two amazing internships in Louisville (A+H Marketing and Yelp!). Danielle worked on the social media team for Kentucky Derby and is now interning with a top level horse racing magazine where she is talking to professionals and riders all over the world. Chase is actively engaged in writing posts and articles for Front Office Sports while helping out with the Louisville Bats, and working at UPS (wow!)

Shift the spotlight on the guests

This activity was all about the students today and I wanted the current and former students to be actively engaged and ask questions not only during class, but continue the conversation afterwords.

The spotlight (and microphone) was given to the former students to allow them to share what they have learned in the class, what they are doing now, and any tips and advice they could share with those in the class right now.

Creating an experience

I am a firm believer of this both as a professor as well as a professional in social media. The best way in learn about social media is to “do” social media. I have shared this with my students over the years, and noted that this is one of the very few classes I have no exams.

With that being said, I wanted to not only create an experience in the class, but also one online with our class hashtag. Promoting these amazing students as guests of our class was a natural step to take. What did we do? We created images using Adobe Post (awesome tool here!) as well as created a Twitter Moment capturing some of the tweets that were sent out for the class.

In summary, it was an amazing class and I am so proud of all of my former students who took the time out of their day to come to speak to our class. Thanks Kendall, Chase, and Danielle! I am excited to see who out of #Freberg17 will be invited to be part of the #FrebergAlums panel next year! Special thanks again Quinton for the great blog post!

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,