Sophomore Matt Cloutier was just another Michigan student looking for a summer internship, until he tried something a little different. Instead of sending out a typical cover letter and résumé, he decided to use social media to attract his dream employer, Buzzfeed. Matt created a parody of the 80s hit, Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me”, refitted with hilarious lyrics specific for a video production internship at Buzzfeed. Here’s his video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWPjhLxDEgU):
Her Campus: How did you come up with the idea for your video?
Matt Cloutier: I chose the song because 1) who doesn't love the Breakfast Club? and 2) they pulled off a cover of it in Pitch Perfect. I'm also currently involved in a group on campus called Filmic Productions which produces videos and promotions for the University and other independent clients. I've always tried to make the best of what I have when creating videos. In my dorm room, I didn't have any of my filmmaking equipment with me. All I had was myself, a webcam, and my iPhone. Add some dollar bills, coffee, a euphonium, baton, and sunglasses and voila! Instant YouTube video!
HC: How did you get your video to go viral?
MC: Within the first day of posting it, I had more than 100 friends share the link on Facebook in addition to numerous other people I have never met. I am truly grateful to EVERYONE for helping me spread my video.
Matt's video was also shared by the University via Twitter using the hashtag #hirematt. All of this social networking paid off and the video now has almost 20,000 views on YouTube. However, the story doesn’t end here. Matt’s video ended up being viewed and shared by the UK editor of Buzzfeed, Luke Lewis. He was even featured in an article on the site, which you can check out here: (http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukelewis/you-have-to-see-this-guys-breakfast-cl...). After anxiously waiting for news, Matt heard back from the Buzzfeed office in Los Angeles. While their internships are typically meant for people already living in California, they were very impressed with his creative application and reached out to him twice about a video internship.
HC: What are your summer plans?
MC: Unfortunately, I couldn't make the Buzzfeed internship work. The cost of living in LA over the summer would have been far too expensive, but the experience was a ton of fun and has reignited my passion for video production. I did start producing more videos for my YouTube channel (Cloutius Maximus) and plan on continuing to produce them over this summer in addition to making videos for a local tech startup and some other independent clients.
HC: Do people ever recognize you on campu since your video went viral?
MC: I actually have had a surprising number of people on campus recognize me from the video. There have been a few times where I have introduced myself to people and they have said, "Wait.... aren't you the guy from the BuzzFeed video?"
HC: Any advice for other students applying for jobs this summer?
MC: My advice would be to be as creative and original as possible! For more advice, check out the video I recently made on how to apply for a job: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ea9DlFsKbg
Matt certainly didn't let his overnight internet celebrity status go to his head; he's still one of the nicest guys around. Matt's story just goes to show you the power of a creative idea and using social media for networking to meet your goals. Never be afraid to put yourself out there, because who knows, you might end up on Buzzfeed one day too!