Joel Williamson

Graduation Year: 2017

Employment Organization/Title: General Motors, Asst. Mgr, Member Communications
LinkedIn Profile 

Why did you choose the NC State GLAM program for your graduate education?
I was at a point in my career where I felt growth was stagnant. I had a desire to learn something new, and pursue new opportunities. I remember praying for guidance, because I didn’t know what the fruition of my desire looked like. Then I came across information on the GLAM program. I felt like a heard a still small voice say, “Apply”, and I did.

How did your experience in the program contribute to your professional achievements and successes?
There are a lot of moments in the program that challenge you to think about how brands influence consumers and consumers find brands valuable. In my current role thinking about this is vital, as my decision influences monthly communication to over half a million members.

For example: In a recent conversation, I had to share thoughts on a creative pieces that was being put into market. I took a moment to pray and breath. This was a big decision to make, as this creative piece would touch our largest population of members. I began to speak about consumer values and being focused on creating material that’s simple to digest and displayed in a way that adds personality to messaging.

The results of this was consensus that the approach we’re taking is the best for the consumer, which ultimate builds a stronger relationship with our brand.

What did you enjoy most about your time in the GLAM program?
PARIS! I miss the people, coffee, and landscape. In fact one of my goals it to take my family on a trip there in the next year or so. During my time in Paris, I was blessed with the opportunity to visit companies and meet people I may have not had the been able to. I remember the crepe shop and owner I’d visit twice a week, and challenging myself to order food in French. I also recall visiting museums and the hometown of one of my program friends. He took us to the Palace of Versailles, and shared the history of his city and country with us. I will cherish these memories for the rest of my life.

What do you miss most now that you have graduated?
The camaraderie and experiences the program offers. The GLAM program places unique people and opportunity all around you. One thing you realize, once you graduate, is that it’s rare that you have exposure to so many different cultures and experiences at the same time.

What are your lasting impressions of the GLAM program?
Fun, Challenging, and WORTH IT! 

What advice would you give for prospective and current students who are interested in your industry/profession?
Don’t be afraid to speak up and think big. The Automotive industry will change more in the next 10 years that it has in the last 25 years. The time is ripe for people with big ideas, a desire to learn, and ability to empathize to join in the conversation and help drive change in the Automotive industry.

What advice do you have for prospective GLAM students?
 A desire to learn, empathize, and be a person of good character are some of the most important qualities to have in order to succeed in the program. This program is challenging at times, stressful at times, and quite humorous at times; however, it’s not unmanageable and is well worth it. The important part of the program is not what you do before, but while your enrolled.

Could you give a brief explanation of your current line of work, and what has led you to it?
I’m currently over the member communication strategy and creative direction for the world first automotive rewards program.

During the program, we learned about the three areas of luxury; Personal, Experiential, and Transportation (4 if you count tech). I had a strong interest in a subset of the transportation area; Automotive. I prayed about which company to apply to; General Motors, Volkswagen, or FCA. Shortly after I attended a career fair, and stopped at the General Motors booth. Again, I heard a still small voice say, “This is it!”. I applied and after going through the recruitment process received an offer.

What do you believe is your most interesting accomplishment since graduation?
My wife and I having a son! I know it’s not related to the program, but I’m a proud DAD so I’m listing it!