A whirlwind encounter with a next-gen energizer marketer

A Polish tornado blew into our building this summer, and I’m still thinking about the aftermath.

This particular whirlwind goes by the name of Krzysztof (Chris) Dargiewicz, a 21-year-old marketing student at Bucks New University in England.

Chris, a native of Poland, has spent the last two summers in the Twin Cities. He emailed me after finding our company website and asked if he could come in for a meeting. I’m always happy to do that sort of thing, so we set a date for the next week.

What greeted me that morning was a slight, smiling young man who, without being jittery or wired, somehow managed to give off more sheer energy than anyone I’ve met in years.

“Guy With Ideas,” his business card said, and did he ever have them. Within five minutes, he had his Mac laptop out and was showing me his work: as a European acolyte for permission-marketing guru Seth Godin, as an online network creator, as a marketing agent for his university.

Naturally, I was curious about him. Why are you here, I asked. He shrugged: “Minneapolis is a great marketing city. You have a lot of great companies here. When I finish my schooling, I want to come here and work.”

Given the breadth of his experience, I figured he must have been online since he was a baby. Not at all. He only really got interested in online marketing two or three years ago, Chris said, but once he discovered it, he went for full immersion.

Taking the plunge
“You just jump in and do it, you know,” he said. “This is where everything is going. The Internet is where all the power is.”

A year ago, Chris’s university was trying to expand its recruiting reach. Chris persuaded the admission officials to let him take a crack at it. He created several online networks and put out the word about Bucks.

Chris Dargiewicz
Courtesy of Chris Dargiewicz
Chris Dargiewicz

Within days, he had hundreds of responses asking for more information. He created a traveling presentation and went on the road to high schools in the European Union. Result: More than 150 new European students enrolled at Bucks.

I saw Chris a couple more times at marketing events later in the summer, working the room and asking questions of everyone.

You don’t meet someone like that without it leaving a mark. I’ve been thinking about Chris these past few weeks, and the experience has taught me a few lessons.

Embrace what’s new. Chris didn’t worry about what he didn’t know about the Web; he jumped in and learned it.

Take initiative. Nobody asked him to go and recruit a raft of new students for his school; he saw an opportunity and took it.

Be fearless. Chris isn’t shy about promoting himself; click here if you want to see “The Best Resumee [sic] In the World.” Yes, it belongs to Chris. And although the claim reflects his youthful brashness, it’s hard not to be taken by his energetic presentation.

These are blindingly obvious insights, I know. But I’m glad to have been reminded of them by this energetic young European.

I emailed Chris this week, asking how he was.

“I am doing great,” he replied, adding that he has two job offers from London marketing agencies.

Good for him. But I plan to keep track of him in the months to come. He’s someone I’d like to see here in the Twin Cities, making a strong marketing community even stronger.

“The Guy You Need Is Chris,” it says on the last page of his resume. He’s not getting any argument from me.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by becky blanton on 09/29/2008 - 05:21 pm.

    Wow. You described Chris perfectly! I’ve never met him, but I’m on a social network with him – Seth Godin’s http://www.triiibes.com. And Chris is as much a joy there as you seem to have described him. He’s an energetic and forward thinking kid and whatever company ends up hiring him has a jewel on their hands. Thanks for posting about him. He’s remarkable!

  2. Submitted by Greg Swan on 09/29/2008 - 10:34 pm.

    Chris tracked me down to talk about both my music blog and role as a social media marketer at a large PR firm here in Minneapolis. Fantastic guy and a shining example that the millenial generation will soon quickly embrace, master and advance the social media tools we struggle to comprehend today.

  3. Submitted by Cynthia Barber on 03/01/2009 - 05:44 pm.

    Having known Mr. Reinen for years I’d say I would have taken your recommendation to chat with this young man on that fact alone. But…coincidence or great networking has it that I crossed paths with Chris via LinkedIn and agreed to give him my two cents on leads in this market. I too was impressed and it is refreshing to know to see someone straightforward in their goals and curious with questions to lead to the right answers with such manners to boot. I agree, we will read more on this rising star when he visits this summer.

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