Twelve hours, 5,000 personalized messages and one intense pitch meeting. That’s what it took for marketing major Austin Mueller to win $10,000 – and some prime business contacts – in the Ultimate Job Interview Contest.
The contest asked participants to create and market a video for ChooseATL, an initiative by Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce to market Atlanta as a great place to live and build careers.
“I’m such a perfectionist that even though the video is only 90 seconds long, it took 12 hours to make. I’ve never had $10,000 on the line before, so I wanted it to be the best I could do,” Mueller says. “So once I turned it in and I saw the other videos, I thought my video was the best. But what I think doesn’t matter. It only matters what the market thinks is the best.”
To be eligible for the top prize, Mueller’s video needed to be among the top 10 in terms of getting votes. So he wrote personalized messages to each and every one of his 5,000 Facebook contacts, beseeching them to log in and vote for his work. His plan worked – garnering his video 1,200 views, several hundred above the closest runner-up.
Mueller, 23, is no stranger to marketing for others. He recently started Bravado, a digital marketing company, after taking Terry classes and serving as Webmaster for UGA’s chapter of the marketing fraternity Pi Sigma Epsilon. It was the second business he started, having sold his yard care service, Austin’s Lawns, to a competitor when he was just 20.
As for the Ultimate Job Interview Contest, Mueller spent his winnings on financing his final semester at UGA(he graduates in May) and paying off student loans. The cash, however, wasn’t his end goal.
Part of Mueller’s prize was meeting with Garret Gravesen (BBA ’03), founder of UGA HEROS and the Global L.E.A.D. Program, and Jeff Hilimier, an entrepreneur and founder of the mobile agency and game studio Dragon Army.
“It was almost like the money was secondary to the networking,” Mueller said. “I’ve always been interesting in mentoring. Every time there’s a guest speaker in class, I go up and talk to them and try to find a way to buy them lunch.”
While finishing up his last semester at Terry, Mueller plans to continue working at his company while exploring other entrepreneurial options.