Meet Mike Sklens: alumnus of the Marketing program, current student in the Integrated Marketing Communication master’s program, and Program Director for Marketing, Media & Communication at the FSU Admissions Office.
Name: Mike Sklens
Degree: Bachelor’s in Marketing, 2006.
Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communication, 2019.
Hometown: Rockaway, NJ
Current City: Tallahasssee, FL
Job: Program Director, Marketing, Media & Communications at FSU Admissions
Who do you admire and why?
Walt Disney, for his commitment to providing a consistently excellent product with outstanding customer service.
What Jeopardy category could you clear, no problem?
Either one about retro video games, or craft beer.
Favorite office snack?
Homemade cookies baked by a coworker or myself.
Best account to follow on social media?
@usinterior on Instagram. They post the most beautiful photos from America’s national parks.
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
Slow down. This advice was given to me by my wife, and has helped in every facet of my life.
Tell us about your job:
I’ve been in my career for 10 years, and started literally in the mailroom. My first job out of college was running our office’s mailroom, and since then I’ve progressed through a few different roles. My current role is Program Director for Marketing, Media, & Communications. I help guide our office’s communications at a management level, assist with technology efforts, and also plan and run all of our social media accounts.
What does your average day look like?
My days are pretty varied, but they always start with a cup of tea and a quick rundown of all our social media accounts. We have presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, and we always get a few late night messages from students that I answer in the morning – especially around deadlines and decision days.
From there I catch up on email, and then I’m usually off to a meeting of some sort. My afternoons are focused mostly on making progress on whatever projects are on my plate at that time. Right now, that’s the implementation of a new admissions application review platform.
How did your education prepare for your career?
My undergraduate degree gave me a background in marketing, but what I gained most from my undergrad years was personal growth and time management skills.
My graduate studies have given me tons of theory to help guide my actions and decisions. Since my graduate studies are concurrent with my employment, I’m able to take things I learn in class and apply them directly to my job almost immediately.
How has working in your industry changed the way you look at the world?
Working in college admissions exposes you to lots of joy and sorrow. Students work their whole lives to try and gain admission to their dream school, and when decision day finally comes it’s a mixed bag of emotions. Some students are overjoyed with their offer of admission, while others are deflated when their application is deferred or denied admission. It’s taught me to cherish my wins in life, because I know there’s somebody else out there that perhaps didn’t get what they wanted.
Share a notable (funny, embarrassing, exciting) experience you’ve had at work:
We get a lot of weird stuff in the mail from students trying to help their application for admission stand out among the crowd. My favorite was a box of cereal named “Seminole-Os”. It had the student’s picture on the front in place of a cereal mascot, and the nutritional facts panel had been replaced with a run-down of the student’s academic qualifications.
Who do you look to for inspiration?
My wife. She recently changed careers, from IT support to graphic design. She had to basically start over from the bottom, in addition to managing a freelance art career on the side. It’s really inspiring to see how much work she puts in to achieve her dreams.
How do you handle work-life balance?
I try my best to clock-out at 5PM and leave work at work. But, given that one of my primary roles is social media, I always end up doing a bit of work from home here and there. I try to do that when I’m alone, so as not to take away from time with friends and family. If I’m out in the back yard with the dogs for their late-night walk, I’ll check my phone and answer a few work emails or tweets from students.
What advice would you give yourself in college?
My undergraduate years were some of the most formative in my life. College helped me come out of my shell and grow into the person I am today. I’d tell myself to get out there, and don’t be scared – you are going to grow so much.
Connect with Mike