SAN MARCOS, Texas — Founder of Jump Influence Dustin Lien spoke to students about tools to build a portfolio and the importance of freelancing on Oct. 17 at Texas State University.
During Mass Comm Week at Texas State, Dustin Lien, a Texas State alumni and founder of a digital marketing agency, spoke to students about freelancing. Lien graduated from Texas State in 2011 and said it’s best to start freelancing before graduation to get started working with companies and to explore and advance in different skills.
“I didn’t realize until senior year that I picked the wrong major,” he said. “I had to be self-taught from videos on the internet to learn the skills I needed to learn to get the job I wanted. I wish I started freelancing earlier, and I would’ve had the opportunity to test different careers out.”
Lien’s he introduced a statistic from career builder stating that about 81 percent of employers have some level of difficulty filling open positions due to a skill gap. Lien said employers don’t always know what they’re looking for, so it’s helpful to not only provide a resume, but a portfolio providing examples of what you’re capable of doing. Maraea Quezaire, a sophomore journalism student at Texas State, said that figuring out about freelance work is helpful for experience.
“I never thought of freelancing as a career,” she said. “Now I know that I can advance in my skills and learn about what I am interested in while getting experience for my future career.”
Lien pointed out the top four reasons to start freelancing now, to help them get a job with their experience, improve their skills, provide extra income before a full-time career, and encourage them branch out and try new things. Another Texas State alumni who said he had a positive experience with freelance work is Taylor Tribbey.
“I have gained more experience while freelancing here in San Marcos with photography,” he said. “I graduated with a degree in journalism last year in August and am now doing freelance work taking pictures for the San Marcos Daily Record. I am hoping this experience will help me get the job I want later.”
To learn more about Dustin Lien and Jump Influence, visit the website here.
By: Danielle Feldman