Buffalo State to host Fred Cook

Annaliza Guard, Reporter

Fred Cook, CEO of Golin (international communications firm) will bring his unconventional yet widely popular career advice to students at SUNY Buffalo State on Thursday, March 5.

Cook will be speaking based on the contents of his new book, “Improvise: Unconventional Career Advice from an Unlikely CEO,” a story to inspire students to find the skills that lead to a rewarding career. He will share his experiences as CEO and unusual advice to public relations students as well as anyone else who would like to attend.

What makes his career advice so unique is that he speaks about improvising and how it can be the one thing that sets young people apart as they head into their future careers. He considers it a critical skill that will help them get ahead of their competition.

He understands the pressure that a college student experiences to get the perfect job after graduation. His unconventional advice is based around his beginnings in various not-so-appealing jobs (including cabin boy, doorman, leather salesman, and many others) and his rise to CEO in a major public relations firm.

He has experienced first-hand that college is not easy and he understands that not every student gets their dream job right after graduating. However, he encourages students to embrace those experiences and learn from them for the future.

Cook said he will also speak on other skills that will become indispensable. Some of these abilities can be something so simple as trying new things. Cook said that trying new things keeps one from becoming a creature of habit, stimulating creativity.

He said he encourages asking questions and students need to learn to ask questions to people in high positions if they want to become one.

Relating back to the lackluster jobs he had, he insisted upon the importance of customer service. It is a skill that makes a CEO like him successful. It is easily overlooked, but he said remembering names is his secret.

He accredited all these things as the reason for his success.  He had rebranded Golin from GolinHarris. Golin, where he worked for 25 years, is headquartered in Chicago and has 34 offices around the globe. He been CEO of the firm for 10 years. He also received the Golden Anvil Award, considered the most prestigious, at the 2014 Public Relations Society of America International Conference.

He has numerous skills that a college degree and various internships will not teach, which he hopes will give encouragement to students experiencing the stress of getting the right job, right away.

The event, hosted by Buffalo State’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, will be held at 12:15 p.m. in the Bulger Communication Center West 2 (second floor). Admission to this event is free for students.


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