Tim Seavey (’15) took the time to share his reflections on his undergraduate experience in the School of Communication, and offers advice for current students looking to launch their careers post-grad!
Tell us about your work.
I co-own Vizolutions – a website development, search engine optimization business based in Newport Beach that specializes in helping small businesses grow their sales and image through digital media. On a day-to-day, I focus on new client acquisition through networking operations inside and outside of Chapman Alumni organizations. I also help plan and execute the online marketing plans to meet client goals, timelines, and budgets.
How did you start this company?
Initially, I secured an internship through a Chapman Job fair that led me to meet a solo business owner in the SEO field. I soon partnered with this gentleman and helped him grow this business while I grew my own client base and after 2 years of partnership I branched off with fellow Chapman Alum and former Debate Team partner David Taylor to help take the business to new audiences.
What do you love about this field?
My biggest passion is helping people find their voice in my personal and volunteer efforts outside the business, as well as professionally. Search Engine Optimization, website development, and social media advertising allow me to expand this passion to the business world, helping enthusiastic, charismatic businesses reach their desired audiences in ways they never thought possible. In short, I love making a tangible and lasting impact on the internet – especially because those changes translate to highly profitable communication and marketing channels for our clients.
How did the School of Communication prepare you for this work?
My senior thesis research was on the intersection of viral content and persuasive content in online media. This very specific field of study both influenced and was swayed by my professional pursuits. I had the rare opportunity of getting to design this study with my small research team in Intro to Research Methods, collect and synthesize data in my senior seminar course, and implement what I learned in my independent study course. My professors became professional mentors without knowing it, teaching me about persuasive and group-communication principles that I use every day in our business. Additionally, my 4 years in Speech and Debate at Chapman was invaluable for the interpersonal persuasion, research, and public presentation skills that have helped me at every step of growing our business. In total, the School of Communication gave me a skillset of multi-modal capabilities that are essential in every aspect of our business.
Is there a particular class/professor that stands as influential in your position?
3 key professors come to mind in adjusting the way I saw my communication courses and how I used them professionally. The first is the late Dr. Jake Liang. Dr. Jake was one of my closest advisors academically, professionally, and personally as I got the rare privilege to work with him before, during and after my thesis course – eventually getting the research accepted to NCA. Dr. Jake was an irreplaceable cornerstone of my parallel academic/professional development. The second is Dr. Sam Dorros for making Com Theory accessible and practical in real-world scenarios. Dr. Dorros ensured that her students had a functional knowledge of valuable Communication theories and I put them to use regularly both personally and professionally. The final is Dr. Lyndsey Christoffersen. Dr Christoffersen was the Director of the Chapman Debate team and became my lifelong mentor and friend. Dr. Christoffersen was the person who first paired me and my now-business partner David together on the debate team and pushed us to grow and perform under pressure. We put the skills Lyndsey taught us about persuasion, debate, research and presentation to use on a daily basis.
What advice do you have for current students?
The connections you make at Chapman are almost as important as the skills you learn. REMEMBER NAMES and in turn, people will remember you for taking the time to care. Being interested is an invaluable disposition because it leads you to connect with new people and ask good questions. The most valuable professional connections I have made come from asking good questions of alums and other professionals. Meet as many people as you can and seek to understand and help them. Chapman is a powerful community built on mutual support.
Anything else you want us to know?
Our business has allowed us to help develop nation-wide companies, work with several multi-national brands, and even meet senior US Public officials. But honestly, the most rewarding part of our job is watching companies flourish financially and socially as a direct result of our efforts online.