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Finance graduate grows entrepreneurial passion with social media startup

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Headaches, stress, nagging parents and the terrifying notion of reality – all common symptoms of graduating seniors on the job hunt. Each understands the importance of landing the perfect job. But in uncertain economic times, more college students are turning to entrepreneurism to control their employment destiny.

Meet Austin Brown: 2011 graduate from Overland Park, Kan. majoring in finance with a concentration in entrepreneurship, member of Sigma Chi fraternity and, most recently, social media entrepreneur.

Austin joined Hurrdat Social Media, a startup company, in December 2010 as a business partner and brand manager. In his role at Hurrdat Social Media, Austin works with clients to develop social media marketing strategies and handles content creation, distribution, online monitoring and platform analytics.

Hurrdat Social Media was founded August 2010 by Austin’s friend, and University of Nebraska – Lincoln student, Blake Lawrence. Its mission is to provide social media solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to help businesses reach new markets,” Austin says. “We allow them to focus on the primary aspects of their business while staying connected on social media.”

Hurrdat Social Media isn’t Austin’s first venture in entrepreneurism. Last summer he started his own painting business through College Works Painting, a leadership development program that teaches college students fundamental business skills by running an exterior house painting company. This endeavor put his business education to work, giving him hands-on experience in management, accounting, sales and marketing.

As a School of Business student, Austin’s business passion grew as he took classes in entrepreneurial marketing, new venture creation and business plan development. He credits his business education for giving him a knowledge base to grow as an entrepreneur, teaching him the terms, processes and general functionality of business.

Austin plays a key role in new business development for Hurrdat Social Media and maintains relationships with current clients.

“Businesses understand the importance of social media but often do not have the tools to do it right,” Austin says. “That’s where we come in.”

Most of Hurrdat Social Media’s clients are based in the United States, but its reach spans the globe with clients in Australia and the United Kingdom. Hurrdat Social Media’s growing client roster includes non-profit organizations, law firms, elderly care facilities, athletes and musicians.

Business has been strong and Austin remains busy. He and his business partners also created HurrdAthletes, a branch of Hurrdat Social Media which provides marketing opportunities for professional athletes. HurrdAthletes manages social media platforms while connecting athletes with national and local brands and increasing online engagement.

“Social media is a generational thing,” Austin says. “We grew up blogging on Xanga and chatting on instant messenger. We know how to do it, and we have had great success so far. I get to do what I love and create value for customers in return.”

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