Tepper graduate sheds light on entrepreneurship and jobs

Lilah Buchanan Sep 23, 2013

Micah Rosa (TSB ’11) in his two years out of school with the launch of his media consulting business, Shoutside Media. The company was featured in the Pittsburgh Business Times earlier this month.

Rosa’s knack for entrepreneurial endeavors started well before he graduated, when he created Shoutside Media’s predecessor SurhRosa in the course Introduction to Entrepreneurship.

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, SurhRosa was “a Web design agency that grew from a class project to a business serving restaurants around the city.”

Now a CEO in the world of media advertising, Rosa offered advice to current and recently graduated Carnegie Mellon students.

Above all else, Rosa advocated for the importance of computer skills in an increasingly online world.

“No matter what department you are in, find a computer science student and be friends with them,” Rosa said in an interview. Otherwise, “bring the computer center cookies,” and ask to watch.

“You need to know computers. You need to know someone who really knows computers,” he said.

In the same vein, Rosa emphasized that students should “forget Spanish, forget Chinese, forget Japanese … and learn Java or HTML5.”

Shoutside Media provides mobile website design and online advertising for companies looking to participate more effectively in the information age. Calling on the skills of computer programmers, Rosa has carved out a profitable niche in the media world.

According to Shoutside’s website, “Marketing does not just mean TV and Newspaper anymore. From YouTube ad campaigns to Facebook Like Gate promotions — we know what it takes to increase your social reach.”

“Understand that the Facebook news feed is the most read news feed in the world… Facebook will give you a lot of image, but will it give you $60,000 worth of image?” Rosa asked.

That’s where Shoutside Media comes in. For most companies, the development and maintenance of a media presence doesn’t warrant a full-time position. Shoutside Media has a staff that will work with companies to create an effective online presence.

For Rosa, career events such as the Technical Opportunities Conference (TOC) and the Business Opportunities Conference (BOC) last week failed to incite the traditional Carnegie Mellon nervousness and anticipation.

By that time in his education, he already had a job: running SurhRosa.

From his position as a self-employed student, and his newfound perspective as a CEO, Rosa offered advice specific to job fairs and the recruitment process.
“You are at Carnegie Mellon, and that’s why we are here. We know you are fine. What we really need to know is ‘Do you make me feel good having you around?’ ”

Rosa recommended that students attending the TOC, BOC, or other job fairs break out of the traditional interview structure and “get recruiters to talk about themselves.”

Perhaps the most striking advice Rosa offered was directed toward presentation. Most students attending job fairs like the TOC and BOC aren’t yet employed, and it’s important to keep that in mind when applying for a position.

“Be professional, but don’t be a professional. You’re not,” he said.