Smeal Alumni in Profile: Marketing graduate cultivates community connections

Smeal Alumni in Profile: A Penn State Smeal College of Business degree prepares students for a vast array of career opportunities. Catch up with recent graduates of Smeal via our regular Alumni in Profile feature, which details the unique paths alumni take as they embark on their professional lives.

Penn State Smeal College of Business alumna Ally Greer (marketing, 2012) is pairing her marketing background with tech-savvy new media know-how in her position as community manager for content curation platform Scoop.it, headquartered in San Francisco.

“People assume community managers don’t know anything about business because they’re all about social media,” said Greer, “but the traditional marketing knowledge that I got from Smeal is what connects me with how to run a business.”

When Greer signed up for an internship in Paris through Intrax at a global career fair at Smeal, she didn’t know anything about Scoop.it — it was a startup company still in private beta, and access was invite-only. When she moved to Paris for the summer internship after her junior year, the company was only six months old.

“I was the first American employee of Scoop.it,” said Greer. “Then after my internship ended, they said they wanted to keep in touch during the next year.” As she neared graduation, Greer accepted Scoop.it’s offer of a full-time community management position and moved to San Francisco in June 2012.

“I’m basically the liaison between the company and the community,” she said. “A big part of my job is making sure our users are happy.”

She spends much of her time supporting customers’ use of the platform, reaching out to new and potential users, managing the company’s social media presence and facilitating connections among existing users.

“I’m constantly learning new things about community management, technology and other things you really can’t learn in college yet, but I think my traditional marketing background from Smeal is really beneficial in my day-to-day activities,” Greer said. “Ultimately, everything you’re doing comes down to knowing how to run a business and how to measure impact.”

Since Greer started with the company in 2011, Scoop.it has grown to about 300,000 users who are curating and sharing content. It is popular with small businesses as a content marketing and professional development tool, and as a way to demonstrate expertise on various topics.

Most people are already curating content, said Greer: “If you’re on Twitter and you like to share content on a certain topic, that’s you curating content for your audience.”

The advantage of doing it through Scoop.it, she says, is that you create a more permanent collection of content on various topics and attach your own thoughts and insights. “Your name and your insights are attached to the content to show that you’re knowledgeable about a certain topic, and that connects people directly to you.”

Though a position in community management may seem like a nontraditional path for a marketing graduate, Greer says that her Smeal education gave her a solid foundation from which to build her unique set of skills.

“People assume community managers don’t know anything about business because they’re all about social media,” said Greer, “but the traditional marketing knowledge that I got from Smeal is what connects me with how to run a business.”

Intrax is a company that connects students with volunteer or work experiences abroad. Students can connect with Intrax through SmealConnect or find out more at www.intraxinc.com.

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Last Updated September 10, 2013