James Wilson gains lifelong experience from CM Life

In a series of interviews, we asked our Alumni about their experiences at CM Life. Read on to see how James Wilson shares his "Life Story."


In celebration of CM Life's upcoming 100 Year Anniversary, we asked alumnus James Wilson to reflect on his time at CM Life and how it helped him get prepared for the job he has today.

Q: What year did you begin working at CM Life?

A: I started working at CM Life in summer of 2013. I served as the social media coordinator on the editorial side. It was in March 2014 when I started integrating social media services with the advertising side through Social Cafe.

Q: How long were you here?

A: I was at CM Life for 2.5 years before I accepted an internship at UComm to meet my internship requirement to graduate CMU.

Q: What position did you work in?

A: At first, I was the social media coordinator on the editorial side. I then co-founded Social Cafe with Anthony Lazzaro.

Q: What were some of the highlights or favorite memories while working for CM Life?

A: One of my favorite highlights was giving Insomnia Cookies free advertising accidently. This was my first time interacting with Kathy (I’ll let her tell that story). I also really enjoyed developing Social Cafe. Working with so many amazing CMU students and clients on a weekly basis helped us all grow as professionals. To this day, I have so many people tell me how much of an impact Social Cafe had on their professional career.

Q: How did your experience at CM Life influence your career?

A: Right after college, I got a job doing social media for the University of Michigan. My former boss, director of social media Nikki Sunstrum, told me that Social Cafe/CM Life was the highlight of my resume. It was also mentioned in my interview when I became the marketing and communications specialist at the Center for Entrepreneurship. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the opportunities CM Life gave me.

Q: Do you still keep up with CM Life regularly?

A: Absolutely! CM Life was my family during CMU. #CMLifeForLyfe

Q: Where do you work now?

A: I now work as a digital account executive at Franco. I handle a lot of digital strategy for our clients and assist in marketing efforts for the agency as a whole.

Q: What advice would you give to current CM Lifers?

A: Relax. Take time to figure yourself out. Don’t compare your skills and accomplishments to others. Everyone’s journey is different. Figure out who you are and do it on purpose.

Also, learn anything and everything. Dabble in design, video, social media, writing, editing, etc. You’ll be surprised what you like and don’t like. This industry is full of possibilities. You don’t even know what you don’t even know.

The 100 Year Anniversary celebration will be at Soaring Eagle Casino and Conference Center on Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. Click here to purchase tickets. They must be purchased by Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. in order to attend.