[INTERVIEW] Jerod Morris: Marketing & Entrepreneurial Professional
After graduating, what’s next? That’s a question on every student’s mind when approaching their last semester. For advice, we sat down with Jerod Morris, VP of Marketing at Copy Blogger Media. Read our interview below to learn the value of internships, and the surprising turns your career can take when you’re finally out in the real world.
Where did you get your education, and what did you major in?
I went to school at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. I double majored in Finance, with a specialization in Real Estate, and Entrepreneurship. Interestingly enough I’m currently working in Marketing as the VP of Marketing of Copy Blogger Media.
After graduation, where did you start your career, and what did you want to start out as?
Well, when I originally graduated I wanted to be a teacher. I was going to do Teach for America, but ended up teaching in an alternative school in Florida for about 6-7 months. After teaching, I took a marketing job at a company that was located in Florida as well.
The thing is, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I graduated. The altruistic part of me decided to do something that might have the greatest impact on society, which led me to teaching. It was a very interesting experience to say the least.
You mentioned some of your education background was in Entrepreneurship – How did that come into play when you founded the website, Primility?
The whole idea of Primility is balancing pride and humility. It’s an idea that I had been thinking about for a long time. I started the site 3 or 4 years ago without really planning for it, and it’s only just starting to crystallize.
My background in Entrepreneurship helped me because most of the jobs I’ve taken since teaching have had an Entrepreneurial element in them. That’s how I ended up working at Copy Blogger Media.
I moved to Dallas about 3 or 4 years ago, and met a guy named Derick Shaefer and joined his small agency that taught small businesses how to use the Internet. Over the course of those 3 or 4 years we developed our own webhosting platform for WordPress sites called Synthesis. Eventually, Synthesis was acquired by Copy Blogger Media, which is when I joined the team.
In one-way or another, Entrepreneurship is something I’ve done since leaving college. That said, I’ve naturally learned a whole lot more about Entrepreneurship by working with it in the real world with it.
We saw on your site that the idea behind the word “Primility” came to you in 2005. So this must be something that you’ve been sitting on for quite a while.
I’ve always had the idea, but hadn’t been able to codify it with a word until then. The marketing company I was with was kind of like an entrepreneurship incubator. They wanted you to think like you were building your own company from the ground up, right to the name of the company. I’ve always had a fascination with combining two words into a new one. For example, I may look at the words wonderful and terrific and think “wonderiffic”.
When it came to naming my own company I thought of the two elements that were most important for me to succeed with, which led me to pride and humility – Primility.
As the VP of Marketing of Copy Blogger Media, what do you look for in candidates when you are actively hiring?
We actually just went through a hiring process at Copy Blogger. We’re a unique company in the respect that we don’t necessarily have a headquarters. We have about 45-50 employees who are scattered all over the world, and working together requires a special type of person with a high level of initiative. Many times we work with people on an individual basis and carve out roles for them based on our internal needs. You also have to be able to trust each other.
Recently, we found we had a need in our editorial department and had worked with someone in the past that we felt had the initiative to bring our team to the next level. That said, extending the offer to her was a gradual process. She was proactive about building relationships with our staff, and contributing to our website as a reader. She seemed like she would be a great fit to the culture of our company, so we extended a full-time offer to her. It’s a great example of how being proactive can really pay off in the end.
It sounds like her experience was a little like an internship. Do you feel internships can be beneficial, or would you suggest people to only look for jobs exclusively?
I definitely feel internships can be beneficial, but it comes down to what the opportunity cost of taking the internship is. It’s important to consider if you’ll be getting valuable experience based on whom you’re working with, or what you’re working on. Accept opportunities based on what you will be able to get for your career in the long-term.
What advice do you have for students who are still in school and are looking to get into marketing, but may not have the necessary experience?
That’s a great question. The most obvious piece of advice is to read. As I mentioned before, I did not graduate with a background in marketing. I learned a lot about marketing through first hand experience, but it’s important to realize that a lot of what works in marketing today is what has worked in marketing 50 or 100 years ago. The tactics, and mediums may change, but the underlining principles stay the same.
Are there any other pieces of advice that you feel might be valuable for our readers?
My top piece of advice relates actually relates back to Primility. Primility’s concept is something that has stuck with me for a very long time. I personally believe that you’ll always be able to do anything you are passionate and capable of doing if you are capable of keeping your pride and humility in balance.
If you are too prideful, you’ll believe you have all the answers. If you are too humble, on the other hand, you’ll never be able to be noticed. Finding the balance between the two, and combining that with a clear direction of where you want to go, you can do anything, marketing or not.
Great advice! Thanks so sharing your thoughts. We appreciate you taking the time to talk with us.
Sure – Thanks for the opportunity! This was a lot of fun.