Marketing grad Michael Jacobsen eager to give back to Centre for Business through mentorship program

2016 School of Marketing graduate Michael Jacobsen

For School of Marketing alumnus Michael Jacobsen, becoming a mentor to current business students was an easy decision. 

“When I heard about the Centre for Business’ Student-Alumni Mentorship Program, my first thought was, ‘Wow, I wish they had this when I was there. I could have saved a lot of time and avoided some mistakes if I had someone who was previously in my shoes giving me advice,” says Jacobsen, who completed the Digital Media Marketing program in 2016. 

“I believed it was my responsibility to help the business students navigate their career paths and avoid any communication pitfalls along the way. It’s such a rewarding experience and a great opportunity to network with future CEOs, entrepreneurs or even future co-workers,” he says. “You never know who you are going to meet or help along the way.” 

In fact, Jacobsen credits the professors and administrative staff at George Brown, along with chosen guest speakers, for fostering a “defining chapter” of his life. 

Jacobsen also discovered through a mix of courses that the two subjects he was the most hesitant about — project management and data analytics — ended up being the most useful in his career managing advertising accounts. 

A program that provides 'skills needed to thrive in your field'

After graduating, Jacobsen worked at Yellow Pages Canada as a Campaign Management Coordinator and then Campaign Manager to help over 150 small businesses across the country grow their online presence. After four years, he moved to an agency called GroupM as an Account Manager, where he focuses on buying and planning paid social media for companies, including some that are a part of the Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 lists. 

“The Digital Media Marketing program is really built around giving you the skills needed to thrive in your field,” he says. “The courses themselves were a good mix that touched on many different aspects of a career in marketing. It’s with these soft and hard skills I learned that I was able to grow over the last seven years in my career.” 

Offering career growth advice

Now, Jacobsen is enjoying giving back. He’s worked with three student mentees in the last year, covering job search skills, presenting oneself in a corporate setting and keeping up a positive attitude. 

“My biggest piece of advice to students is to put into their experience what they want to get out of it,” he says. “Putting in the effort and doing that extra step makes a big difference. Things such as going to networking events, volunteering, chatting with guest speakers and continuing to learn outside of the classroom are key for your overall growth.”