Posted April 20, 2012

Faces of Temple: Robert Lawton Jr.

Name: Robert Lawton Jr.

Year: Senior

School: Fox School of Business

Major: Marketing

Home town: Williamstown, N.J.

Why I chose Temple: "The campus location attracted me here. The city always appealed to me. I went to high school not too far from the city in New Jersey. You could see the Philadelphia skyline from the campus of my high school. I've got family members who attended Temple, but it was the allure of the city. When it came to choosing a program at Temple, my mother made me go to Fox. Really, she made me! But I'm glad she did. I've gained tools and useful skills by being part of the marketing program at Fox. I've learned so much more about leadership. I've got a competitive edge now."

Transformative moment: "I'm the general manager of WHIP, Temple's student-run radio station. I want to stress — completely run by students. When I first took on the role of general manager, I was pretty scared, to be honest. I had a lot of ideas for the organization, but I never had to be the one to make them happen and come up with a plan. I had to put together a team of people that I could trust and I could depend on.

"We used to average 50 listeners a week. Now we're in the thousands. WHIP recently joined the iHeartRadio broadcasting platform, owned by ClearChannel. Previously you could only listen to WHIP on your computer. Now, via iHeartRadio, you can also listen to us on an iOS device, a BlackBerry, an Android or a Windows mobile device."

"But when I became general manager, my focus wasn't on gaining listeners. My focus was on building a strong foundation — everything else would come. I had a really impactful management internship at Target. One of the things I took from that experience was that with strong leadership and a sense of unity, you can do anything. I wanted to bring that unity here. Now, everyone's a big family, a big team. This semester has been really challenging because we started a new 'block programming' format. Organizing the details and getting everybody on board with the new format has been a challenge. But another thing I learned in my internship: When you're trying to change the culture of an organization, you have to be persistent, and you have to be visible and present.

"Working as general manager, I've learned how to interact with people and lead people and motivate people. I think that will be really important no matter what profession I go into."