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Posted on Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 11:57 a.m.

After the interview: U-M social media director applicant pleased with spread of campaign

By Kellie Woodhouse

Twenty-two-year-old Lindsay Blackwell has received several informal job offers over the past ten days— but none from her dream employer and alma mater, the University of Michigan.

The Ann Arbor-area resident launched a sweeping online campaign —using outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and a self-created website— for her dream job: becoming U-M’s first-ever social media director.

The school announced the newly created position —which pays between $90,000 and $110,000 annually— earlier this month.

Blackwell’s website,, targets U-M Director of Global Communications Lisa Rudgers, her potential boss.

Since the launch, Blackwell has interviewed with Rudgers, been the subject of four (now five) media pieces and even been asked out on a date. Her website has received more than 7,000 hits from more than 50 countries, Blackwell says.

“Most of the people I’ve been hearing from in the past few days have been total strangers,” Blackwell said. “The way that this has spread on blogs and various publications ... it's really incredible.”

And while it's created a lot of buzz in the world of social media, it’s unclear yet whether Blackwell’s tactics will land her the U-M position.

Blackwell declined to discuss the contents or length of her interview with Rudgers, but offered this: “I am happy with the presentation I gave and I know I’ve got a long way to go.”

And while Blackwell has received some criticism online for being too open and candid with the information she shares on her Twitter and Facebook, she says she wouldn’t do anything differently.

“This campaign has really gone in the direction I wanted it to,” Blackwell said. “I don’t have a lot of salaried experience in this industry and I needed a way to demonstrate to Lisa and to the University of Michigan that I am capable.”

So what about those other job offers?

If you look at her Twitter “you’ll see that, yes, I have received other offers,” Blackwell says, adding that “people have contacted me privately.”

Is she interested?

No comment.

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Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Tony Dearing

Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 12:49 p.m.

A number of comments have been removed because they contained false information and commenting on this story has been closed.


Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 8:19 a.m.

since at least 6 comments have been deleted so far, one can only imagine that people feel really strongly about this - kind of ridiculous. who cares what this girl ends up making (or doesn't end up making)? her site is cool, perhaps in a bit too much (as far as bombarding this woman lisa rudgers) , but still rather novel. admittedly, i don't know that she qualifies for this particular job but she certainly has drive.


Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 3:39 a.m.

U of M's salaries are too high. Government needs to cut more from their funding.


Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 1:05 a.m.

@lumberg48108, The first thing I thought when I saw her page and was that, unfortunately to everyone else, this girl might get the job. And of course she got the interview, before others as you say. Why? Well, Lisa's probably smart enough to realize that if she ignores it, or doesn't hire her, she's going to get BOMBARDED with cry babies calling, emailing, twittering that this girl deserved this job because "she's my friend!" or, "the site is so cool!" Not to mention that Lindsay herself is going to post everywhere about how she should have gotten the job. If this happens, I'll lose all faith in the job world. At least most of it. Side note: I hope she got fired from her symphony or whatever job. Desperately begging another (bigger, better) employer for a job like this while employed... not right.


Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 12:59 a.m.

Joe, you're completely right. No one (regardless of what they can or cannot do online) should get such a high-paying job, right out of school, with next to no experience. All the craze this has brought on is ridiculous. I agree-there must be other more newsworthy stories out there. I've had enough of this girl.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 11:43 p.m.

Allow me to play devil's advocate, because this article (and the ensuing comments) lends itself so readily to this particular hobby of mine. On salary and entitlement: It's illogical to criticize this woman based on the salary posted for the position. If you have a problem with the salary, your issue is with the university. As for Blackwell's attitude on the site, confidence can easily be misconstrued as arrogance or entitlement. However, in today's competitive job market, one cannot afford to appear less than absolutely sure of their skills, talents, and abilities. On design: Yes, a site compatible with i-devices would clearly be ideal. However, this position has no web development responsibilities. Proficiency in developing a website compatible across browsers AND devices might be desirable, but certainly isn't required. As long as we're criticizing this woman's abilities, let's stick to the relevant ones, shall we? On coverage: If—and I'm not suggesting that I think this is true, but if—this coverage is the result of personal connections, that is a reflection upon the journalistic integrity of, not Blackwell's candidacy. A moot point, though: the poll in the last article had over a thousand responses, there were over thirty comments, and this sort of "developing story" lends itself to follow-up; it's common journalistic sense.

Kara H

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 10:01 p.m.

This tactic could have backfired on her but it didn't. I doubt she would have stood out in the tradition resume mill, so I say good for her. The purpose of your resume and the application process is to get an interview and hers did that. The purpose of the interview process is to get the job--or a job. I've interviewed applicants who we didn't offer that specific job to, but were impressed enough by that we offered them another when it became available. If UM is building a social media team and I were the hiring manager, I would definitely look at someone like her as a potential team member. She got in the door, which is 90% of the battle job-hunt-wise. In the end, the results speak for themselves (fortunately not you arm chair, bitter, "flash sucks" critics). She got the interview. The rest is in the hands of the hiring manager.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 9:32 p.m.

Not news.

Kara H

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 10:05 p.m.

Then don't read it.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 8:25 p.m.

Some younger job applicants can't seem to grasp that sometimes over-exposure is toxic to your employment chances -


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 9:36 p.m.

And apparently, some traditional folks don't understand that sometimes you need to be creative in applying for a position instead of assuming that your tired, operate by the book, never be daring style is what management wants. She may not have enough experience for the $90,000 - $100,000 position, but she'd be a good hire. And, she may get hired because of the buzz her website has created. Finally, while she's created a simple website that folks are criticizing, it isn't just the technical skills a website is judged on. It is also the content and the brevity of the text that matters.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 8:23 p.m.

wow, Im amazed at how "heterlike" many of you sound. I think that what she did was very clever, in the world of social media, anyone can learn how to use them and how to develop "smartphone" capable campaigns, however, not everyone is creative enough to actually think of campaigns that will drive attention and response like she has.... so I say BRAVO... if I was lisa Rudgers I may debate as to whether or not to give you this 100+ salary position, but I would definitly want her on my team. .


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 9:38 p.m.

The ability to market yourself cleverly does not necessarily translate to success in a management position. For a salary of $100,000, I'd want to see at lease five to ten years of management experience with increasing levels of responsibility.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 8:24 p.m.

i meant to write "hater-like"


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

Gee, She wrote a webpage..that any IS major learns how to do in a 200 level course. Gee, she knows how to use facebook and twitter...that apparently several million others also know how to do. Is she on any up and coming social media sites? 4square? Google+? Linkedin? She isn't anything special in my book, if creating a webpage makes you a top candidate then a couple million college sophomores need to apply too.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 6 p.m.

I'm curious to know why is "showcasing" this one particular job applicant? I doubt they'll write such articles on all the other applicants. How did this come to be newsworthy?

Kara H

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 10:16 p.m.

@joe: Really? In this economy with job hunting so hard for so many? Novel approaches to the job hunt are interesting. Why does her bold approach offend you so much? Based on the posting, UM is clearly hoping for a heavy hitter in social media (and as a world-class U deserves one), but her tactics stand out and provide some insight, for those who are willing to see, into alternatives to the traditional resume on cream linen paper.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 7:30 p.m.

This article, and the others that have been written about her, have attracted a lot of attention. The news business is about supply and demand just like everything else.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 7:04 p.m.

@djm Kellie Woodhouse?


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 6:26 p.m.

in this's who you know...wonder exactly who at the staff of the "applicant" is friends with either personally, or on FB, or follows on twitter...blah blah I's who you know.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:09 p.m.

I am curious how she got an interview when the position has yet to close (applications) Social Media Director Posting Begin/End Date 9/27/2011 – 10/24/2011 <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Standard protocol is to close the posting and then vet the resumes and then interview I wonder if her interview was a token interview for her ... i could be wrong but most colleges simply dont start interviewing when the posting is still open! Lastly - @Joe -- I doubt there are many people with decades of social media experience since it (basically started) with the explosion of Facebook in 2008... because of that many companies are hiring younger people simply because they understand the medium better than some one who was late in the game to discover it because of age etc ..


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 7:41 p.m.

&quot;It used to be that to earn such a salary...&quot; jeez, you sound like Grampa Simpson talking about &quot;back in my day during WWII&quot; ... things change - deal with it -- there are plenty of other (real) reasons to be worried about this generation - this bright young lady is not one of them


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 7:32 p.m.

U of M often hires recruiting firms to fill a role. Once they have a finalist, or are close, they post the job for 7 days to meet legal requirements, then fill the job with the candidate that the search firm found. That's how CMO of Athletics was hired and many other jobs. The posting is just a CYA.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 6:53 p.m.

@lumberg48108 I interpret her &quot;WHY YOU WANT ME&quot; pitch to Lisa as both presumptive and suggesting a certain air of entitlement - yes. Knowing that the posted salary is $90, 000 to $110,000, yes I believe she would &quot;expect&quot; to earn that if offered the position. I would not have felt it appropriate to apply for a job with such a high salary when I first gradualted - perhaps I'm old school. It used to be that to earn such a salary, you had to work your way up the system by gaining years or even decades of experience. I'm concerned with the growing new paradigm where some feel they can merge directly into the fast lane without paying any dues.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 6:24 p.m.

I've been on FB at least as long, longer on Myspace...really starting social networking way back when the young lady in the article was what 9 or 10 years old? But then again I guess only young people think they know


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 6:19 p.m.

I guess you seem to be punishing her for thinking outside the box and setting her goals high ... should she NOT apply because the salary is too high (in your mind?) she could impress and get another position, or impress and make contacts that lead to things down the road. The premise that she &quot;expects to earn $90K&quot; is yours and yours alone and you are pushing your prejudices on her. Having said all of that, if you applied for a job out of college and they offered you $100K to start, would you turn it down???? Here was have a young person working hard and trying to reach goals -- I read nothing of entitlement in her comments (and there are plenty of young grads that think the world owes them something) but still, you choose to insert that sentiment into your comments????


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:46 p.m.

@lumberg48108 -- I understand that, with the newness of social media, there aren't individuals with decades of experience &quot;in this field&quot;. My remark was more it equitable for a 22 year old in a newly created position to earn say $100,000, when for example, a 55 year old accountant with 35 years' experience might earn $75,000.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

As plugged in to current web technology as she claims to be, her website is programmed entirely in Flash - utterly inaccessible to most smartphones and tablets. How social is that?


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 8:07 p.m.

lol, this sounds like something my brother would say..the irony is his name is also Ben


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 6:20 p.m.

oh snap!....


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

Here we have a 22 year old, right out of college, who feels entitled to a job with a starting salary of $90,000 to $110,000. There are tens of thousands of employees at the University, with decades of professional experience, who earn less than this. And we wonder why America has such a disparity of income and wealth........

Wolf's Bane

Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 12:06 p.m.

Joe, you are just jealous. Pft.


Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 3:37 a.m.

I say U of M salaries are way too high. That's a problem most tax funded entities have. It's too easy to overpay employees.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

You're comparing apples to oranges (pun intended). Steve Jobs started out his career at a low paying position with Atari. His success came when he started his OWN computer business. Even as CEO of Apple, his annual salary was just $1.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 9:05 p.m.

&quot;I agree with Joe, with her only being 22 she can't have a &quot;ton&quot; of experience is the business world.&quot; Its a very good thing that Joe wasnt in control of hiring Steve Jobs.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:24 p.m.

I agree with Joe, with her only being 22 she can't have a &quot;ton&quot; of experience is the business world.

the thing is...

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 4:55 p.m.

Did you look at her site? She is not &quot;right out of college.&quot; And she has tons of social media experience. Whether she's right for the U-M job or not is for Rudgers to decide, but U-M is the one offering that salary for the position. Blackwell is pursuing the opportunity, not &quot;feeling entitled.&quot; Sheesh.

Wolf's Bane

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 4:06 p.m.

&quot;...spread of campaign.&quot; Sounds painful.