My Job Could Be Your Life: Ben Cantin-Kranz,
social-media manager to the stars
In this week’s edition of our career-advice column, we find out how one Sheridan College drop-out went from working the sales floor at a Future Shop to managing the online presence of superstars like Will Smith, Jamie Foxx and the late Tupac Shakur.
BY: Wyndham Bettencourt-McCarthy, The Grid TO
Name: Ben Cantin-Kranz
Job: Manager of Marketing and Communications at DECOSTA Marketing.
In 30 seconds or less, tell me what you do all day at work.
I help manage our clients’ brands and develop their licensing business. Licensing is basically finding value in something and turning it into new products or services.
When you were finishing high school, were you planning on going into marketing?
Right after high school, I went to Sheridan for their Art Fundamentals program, and I dropped out in about three months. It wasn’t right for me at all. I thought I was interested in visual art, but what I was really into was how to manage visual content, which I sort of discovered while I was there. After I dropped out, I didn’t really know what to do, so I worked at Future Shop for three years. It wasn’t terribly exciting, but when you’re working on commission, they teach you to treat it like your own business, and really take ownership of that. Through selling stuff, I realized that what I wanted to do was marry business and visual communication. When I figured that out, I went to George Brown for marketing, and, about halfway through, I was headhunted by this company.
How were you recruited while you were still in school?
While at George Brown, I was part of this national program called Students in Free Enterprise, which encourages students to run business projects that achieve community goals. At the end of the year, you go to a conference with all the other teams and show a panel of judges the projects that you’ve done. One of those judges was the CEO of DECOSTA, so that’s how that happened. I did part-time contract work for them for a year and a half and then, when I graduated from George Brown two years ago, they offered me a full-time job.
Initially, what kind of projects did you work on at DECOSTA?
A lot of research stuff, as well as administrative duties: answer emails, schedule meetings. After a while, though, I was able to demonstrate my interest in social networking, and they started asking me to do social-network and web elements for certain clients, and that slowly became my job. For artists, social networking provides the opportunity of one-to-one interaction with fans, which is something they understand the importance of.
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