Where can a Keuka degree take you? This is the sixth in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2012.
Nick Simpson ’12 graduated Keuka with a degree in management and has been employed since May with Places.Mobile, a company that provides mobile marketing for businesses, and was certified by Google on May 1 as the upstate New York contractor for Google Business Photos. Thanks to the new Google program, a company such as an auto dealer, coffee shop, restaurant or other retailer, can give prospective customers a 360-degree interactive virtual tour of the inside of their establishment. The virtual tour is directly attached to Google search results, maps or ads and can be embedded into a businesses’ website or Facebook page.
Simpson is one of three Keuka students working as independent sub-contractors with Jim Hilker, Keuka’s director of educational technology, and owner of Places. Mobile. Simpson, who served as president of the Keuka Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team, connected with Hilker during the spring semester for a training session on how to market enhancements to a business’s Google Places listing so merchants could capitalize on mobile marketing to smartphone users. Now, he is handling panoramic photography, while the two other Keuka students are focused on sales and marketing.
Even before this door opened, Simpson said, “I wanted to get involved with all this stuff because Jim kind of led me into the whole Google universe and the opportunity that existed there. He’s grown with that to find new and better opportunities within that Google sphere.”
According to Hilker, the efforts of the three Keuka students gave Places.Mobile a top three standing for Google in its first month, and for June, was Google’s No. 1 certified independent photo contractor nationwide, based on its number of photo shoots.
“I think it has the potential to turn into a true full-time position,” said Simpson, who has traveled to Rochester, Syracuse and other locales to shoot the panoramic images.
While Simpson said he could not yet make direct correlations between his classes and the responsibilities of this job, he felt what he learned from Keuka goes beyond textbooks.
“The lesson may be getting up in the morning and doing a full day’s work, or advice from professors that you have to be flexible and not limit yourself. You might say, ‘I want to be an advertising consultant in Rochester, N Y,’ but it may not be what you thought it was going to be. You need to run with the opportunities presented to you and make the most of them.”
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