The most technological generation

By Evani Shah

According to a digital marking expert, the millennial generation will make up over half of the workforce by 2020, which means most workers won’t have to learn about technology and media on the job because it will be something they grew up with.

“Our generation will be the most educated generation in history,” Shama Hyder, the CEO and founder of Marketing Zen Group, said.

Recipient of Forbes’ “Top 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs” award, Hyder spoke at the Moody College of Communication as part of the Gwyn David Lecture Series on Sept. 18. The late Gwyn David, a 1979 Moody graduate, was the senior vice president and media director of GSD&M, an Austin-based advertising agency. The lecture series is in her honor and took place during a lower-division advertising class offered at Moody.

Hyder highlighted the importance of adapting to a technological, media-driven, constantly changing world in order to further a career. “Find ways in which you feel you can really add value to the world,” Hyder said.

“I don’t understand how people aren’t always high-fiving each other,” Hyder said about the stretch and reach that technology and social media allow for. She said that she is in awe of the new crazy ability to connect with people. “For me, technology is still a cool plus thing.”

Hyder outlined the “top three trends in social media currently”: an identity-based ecosystem, content curation and the use of video.

“The primary reason people use social media is to showcase their own identity,” Hyder said about the first trend.

To explain content curation, Hyder said context changes everything and that it’s not just about what the information is, but how you present it. Closing with her emphasis on video use, Hyder promoted the use of Facebook Live because it gets three times more visibility than any other posts.

Harumi Rangel Nishimura, a student in the audience, called the lecture “super inspiring.”

“Shama taught us a lot about social media trends and it’s just awesome, we need to take advantage of when people come because we can learn a lot from them.”

An advertising student in the audience asked Hyder for her advice on how to make a communications degree marketable outside of the classroom. Hyder responded “I used to think communication was a thing that everyone was good at. Let me tell you, I was very wrong.”

Hyder received her graduate degree in Organizational Communication and Technology in 2008 from Moody. She was 22 when she graduated and said she had a hard time finding a job because “the industry did not exist,” so she started her own company.

Hyder said that the job landscape was very different at that time, and it was all about “embracing where social media was going.” Her company is now a team of 30 people based all across the country working with a variety of companies and organizations including the Dallas/ Fort Worth International airport and Haggar Clothing Co.

“Technology isn’t so much a thing that we use, it’s the ecosystem that we live in,” Hyder said. “People are now the media.”