Auburn Family

Behind the "I am Free Enterprise" Contest with Carrie Williams

As May approaches and the weather begins to taunt students of summer vacation, those seniors in college who are graduating have only one thing on their mind-To get a job!

However, getting that job is not easy anymore. Students are going to great lengths to stand out amongst the crowd and get themselves noticed. Now more than ever, students need to think out of the box in order to get the life they want.

“I am Free Enterprise” video contest is one of the many ways to get noticed if you have started your own business, created a new product or just have a great idea to share. All someone needs is a video camera and a good idea to enter for the $50,000 grand prize. Not to mention that $30,000 will be given to the second place video and $20,000 to the third place, so why not enter?

The rules are simple. You must be a legal resident of the United States and not a member of Congress. The video is to be original and no longer than three minutes. The video is required to be tagged with 14 different words such as, Competition, Challenge, Dream and Entrepreneur.

As long as the video explains what free enterprise means to you, then it can be entered.

More than 40 videos have been entered already and the top 25 most viewed will be in the running for the grand prize.

Auburn University’s Carrie Williams, who is a senior majoring in Radio, Television and Film (RTVF) has one of the most viewed videos in the contest.

“I entered, truthfully, not knowing about the $50,000,” says Williams. “At the end of the day I wanted [job] options, so I started searching for competitions. I just sent in my video and three weeks later, I found out I made the top videos.”

Williams, who is the station manager for Auburn’s TV station, Eagle Eye, did a story on two students who created their own businesses. In the video, Williams spotlights Emma Jane Keller and David Zima who have both turned their passions into a lifestyle.

“So why not take the risk, make your own employment and be your own boss,” Williams asked in her video.

Williams explains that she wanted to do the story because it is now a rarity to see students have their own businesses.

“People are relying on college to get them jobs nowadays and not being creative,” says Williams. “This video shows two students who don’t fit the mold by using the fundamental stills learned in college to open up their own business-why not do what you love and get paid for it?”

The contest has gained a lot of attention at Auburn over the past few weeks because of Williams’ video.

The public relations department has taken particular interest in helping publicize the contest as well as encouraging students and alumni to watch Williams’ video.

Robert French, a public relations professor, has been doing his best to use social media to get the word out on Williams’ video. French has posted multiple times on Auburn Family blog, PROpenMic.com blog and on his personal Twitter account.

The Blue Ribbon Panel will announce on May 10 the five videos that have moved on to the final round. After the announcement, the public is able to vote for their favorite video until the contest ends on June 2.

Williams has upped her campaign on Facebook and Twitter encouraging friends to watch her video.

In her last status Williams wrote:

“Help me win $50,000 in the American Free Enterprise competition. I need as maaannny views as I can get by April 16th. Let's really get this video fired up!!!! Spread this link everywhere! Thanks for your help!!!!”

All of these contestants just want to be seen, heard and listened to. They want to share their inspirational stories, tell how they created a business and encourage others to do the same.

“I really don’t care about the money,” says Williams. “I just hope someone will see my work and offer me a job. I want to feel acknowledged for my work.”

Williams’ attitude about the contest is positive and she is just having fun being a part of it.

The thought of winning $50,000 is something that Williams is excited about and although it was not her reason for entering it would be the perfect way to end her college career.

“If I win,” says Williams, “I am definitely going to give some of it to charity. But after that, it would really help me with my move to NYC and I would buy a very nice video camera.”

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Tags: AmandaPinto, Auburn, Carrie Williams, I am free enterprise, contest

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