Matthew Sommer is a partner and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at Brolik. Brolik is a digital agency that focuses on web, video, branding and digital strategy. Sommer received a music industry degree from Drexel University. Matt is able to use his music knowledge to score, mix and engineer video projects for Brolik.

(Photo Courtesy of Matthew Sommer)

(Photo Courtesy of Matthew Sommer)

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What are some attributes a recent graduate should have to better their chances in landing a job in the tech industry?

“We look for driven self-starters who show not only a talent for the tasks specific to their roles, but a desire to continue growing and improving their abilities. It is important to us that each new team member will fit within our company culture, but also bring a layer of diversity and a different perspective. We try to grab people as they are growing and learning, so that we can develop together, as opposed to someone who is set in their ways.

I personally like to see that someone has had at least one manual labor or service type job in the part. It shows that they know what hard work is and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. It only took me a few months of catering before I realized that I would do just about anything to get out of there!”

What advice would you give aspiring IT associates?

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“Start learning more right now. Nobody is looking for you to have a degree in social media marketing or pay-per-click ads. The programs just don’t exist. People aren’t learning these things in a university setting, but by researching themselves, learning and doing. For designers and developers, the educational background will factor in more heavily, but it’s certainly not the end all decision maker.

There is tons of material available online about conquering the different disciplines and platforms of digital marketing, web design and coding. Find top influencers and blogs, bookmark them and check them out every day. This is the best way to both build a foundational understanding and keep up with the trends in a constantly changing industry.”

How has business practices changed for students seeking work while in school or who recently graduated?

“In the last few years there has been strong push-back on the “intern” model, that seems to be growing straight out of college programs who are encouraging students to push for more, both in salary and position/title. These days even changing the name of a position from intern to temporary associate garners a lot more interest. Beware, though! It may be just the same role with a shiny new name.

Also, as huge marketing budgets are being allocated more to digital initiatives each year, and digital marketing focused companies grow and thrive, competition for great people is making it a jobseeker’s game. This effect pushes for higher salaries and more fun, flexible work environments.”

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Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. She reports on various topics such as: Social Media, Local Events, Entertainment, Food and Drink and more. Her work can be found at