Higher Edu Marketing

And we’re back! So much happened this summer that I haven’t had enough time to update you all!

Aside from working at early childhood education teachers assistant with a group of two and three year olds, I had a marketing internship!

I was working with dining services at  the University of Vermont to promote their meal plan options.

I found many aspects of it interesting, I’ve even learned a little bit about Adobe Indesign!  The thing I’ve found most interesting is getting to do the event planning and the newsletter writing experience I’ve gotten.  While I don’t see myself going into higher education marketing or food service marketing,  lots of those skills are obviously very transferable to non-profit marketing. It has been a truly education experience!

If you are into Higher Education Marketing here are some interesting articles!

7 Tips for Successful Higher Education Marketing

Five Ways Higher Education Marketing will change in 10 years

 

 

 

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Getting re-adjusted

After you go on a long trip, it can sometimes be very difficult to get back in the swing of things.

I am most certainly experiencing this since returning from Uganda.  Even driving felt a little odd after not being behind the wheel for three weeks. The biggest issue was just the general hustle and  bustle of life in the states compared to how low key things are  in Uganda. While Uganda is very populated people just don’t appear to be in as much of a rush as here.

While Entebbe is one of the more ‘western’ areas of Uganda, it is still very different. Different is not a bad thing in this case though.  I loved Uganda, or at least the part of it I got to witness. Like any country they have their struggles , but the people are generally kind and generous.

While  I would love to travel all the over the world some day but my current focus is on getting back to Uganda because of the immensely personal connections I made with the people there.  For this reason I have made an IndieGoGo campaign to try and get back after I graduate in December. While it may seem soon, the only way to figure out if I can get back to Uganda is to begin fundraising

Feel free to support! I would be so grateful for the amazing opportunity to go back.

My IndieGoGo page!

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Children, Dogs, and Chapati. Oh My!

Last week I returned from an incredible three weeks in Entebbe, Uganda where I was staying at an amazing childrens home called “Malayka House”

It is difficult to put my experience into words to those who were not there but I intend to try!

On our first day we arrived at 7:30am Entebbe time and got to Malayaka House by 8:30. The children were on vacation so they were all right there to greet us.  I do not think I’ve ever received so many hugs in such a short time!

Shakria, Maggie and Sali!

Shakria, Maggie and Sali!

We quickly bonded with the children and settled in! Malayaka House had become like a second home!

The children of Malayaka House are so incredibly resilient,strong and loving! I have worked with children a long time and have never been so impressed with a group of children!

The Aunties are the people who keep Malayaka House running. They are the caregivers of the children. They are 7 very dedicated, friendly and hospitable women! I miss them all dearly and can’t thank them enough for all they do, both to take care of our group and to take care of the children.

Auntie Winnie with Amina!

Auntie Winnie with Amina!

During our time at MH we did a lot of projects to try to help out. Everything from painting to doing the dishes and laundry and even some gardening!   It wasn’t much but it was the least we could do to help out this hard work group of people!

I really admire the way Malayaka House structures the kids lives.  They have very clear expectations that all the kids are aware of and I love that!  Some of the gardens are named after children who worked the hardest to plant them!

Me and Hannah!

Me and Hannah!

Our group was also able to take the kids on many field trips like to the beach and the zoo.  So much fun!  I’m not sure who had more fun…me or the kids. We also spent a lot of time doing homework to keep the kids caught up over their vacation.

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Many volunteers at Malayaka House have the opportunity to stay for many months, we were only able to stay for three weeks.  So lets face facts, this trip was more for my group to expand our world horizons and experience a new culture than it was for them. However, when I graduate I would love to go back for a longer time and form even stronger connections.

I feel like a different person since coming back already. I love the entire Malayaka House family and I think of them every day. I could go on and on about my three weeks there but this blog post would go on too long.

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Walk for Thought 2013

The Walk for Thought 2013 is  coming up soon May 18th at Oakledge Park here in Burlington!  I have participated in this walk for the past two years, and it is always an enjoyable experience!

This is a totally awesome event that is put on by Brain Injury Association of Vermont to raise money for victims of traumatic brain injuries. Their goal is to raise $40,000 this year to provide much needed services to victims, caregivers and their families.

This is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart, and I am so sad I won’t be in the states to participate in this years event! I will be Uganda volunteering. However, many of my family and friends are attending and will be doing the 1 mile walk around the Burlington area!

Please visit the BIAVT’s website above to learn more about the walk and the work that they do. If you are in the Burlington, Vermont  area, consider joining them in Oakledege Park on May 18th!

Walk for Thought 2012

2011 Walk for Thought

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Volunteer Management

As someone who has both managed volunteers and been a volunteer I have thought a lot about how to ensure your volunteers have everything they need and that they feel appreciated for all their hard work!  In my mind good volunteer management is almost identical to good leadership

I have complied some advice on how to successfully manage a group of volunteers so that the next time you are planning an event or fundraiser things will go more smoothly!

1)  Don’t force it! You, and your organization, need to be appreciative of the work your volunteers put in now matter how much.  Do not guilt trip them into attending a meeting  or taking on a project they do not have time for.  Your volunteers often have incredibly busy lives outside of volunteering so be respectful of that.

2)  Provide training.  During my time as a mentor with the  DREAM program  they have provided numerous trainings to the mentors. These trainings are especially important if your volunteers are working with children or animals.  Trainings can also ensure that everyone involved is on the same page regarding your organizations procedures and policies.

3) Feed them! Providing food at meetings or after an event is such a simple way to show how much you appreciate all the hard work they have been committing to this event.

4) Be a positive role model! This is a no brainer; you should always model enthusiasm ad good communication skills to your volunteers! Good communication skills mean being clear in e-mails and being accessible to your volunteers when they need your assistance or something!

5) Show them how much you appreciate them!  To me this is the most important thing you can do. The Center for Service and Civic Engagement here at Champlain College recently had a wonderful recognition dinner for all their volunteers, and I really enjoyed myself. They had dinner for everyone and gave out awards, it seemed that everyone felt really appreciated. It was a great way to say ‘Thank you for a great year!’  There are so many ways to thank your volunteers so get creative with it and have some fun.

The over arching theme of all this is just to be respectful of your voulnteers time and resources.  You want to leave your volunteers feeling good about the experience; wanting to do more for your organization or cause.

Photo courtesy of Center for Service and Civic Engagement

Photo courtesy of Center for Service and Civic Engagement

If you are interested in reading more about this subject here are some other great articles!

6 Tips for Successful Volunteer Management

Best Non-Profits Volunteer Management Tips

22 Delightful Ways to Say Thank You

22 Ways to Say Thank You

THANK YOU on speech bubble price labels

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Marketing Ethics

Ethics  can be a very tricky business…especially when money and making a sale is involved.

I am working on my senior capstone project here at Champlain College and as part of this class,we had a pretty extensive conversation about marketing ethics. We talked about what they are, what they mean for our careers and looked at some examples of ethical and unethical campaigns.

We also took a look at the Ethical Norms and Values for Marketers as written by the American Marketing Association  which was pretty thought provoking and detailed which I appreciated.

I think these ethics can relate to companies and organizations depending on what they are doing.

For example, for a non profit this means being transparent with your donor base about where the money is going and what you are doing in terms of field work.  If you are not careful about this you risk alienating important donors and supporters which would be detrimental to your organization.

For a  for a profit company, this means being honest about the features and quality of the product or service you are providing.  Some of the biggest examples of misleading advertising come from fast food…think about it, when was the last time that burger looked anything like the picture?

It can be so tempting to stretch the truth in order for your business to do well but that is exactly why this ethical code has been created.

Ethics in marketing all comes to down to being transparent and honest, while obviously portraying yourself in the best possible light.  The AMA talks about everything from responsibility, honesty, fairness, respect, transparency and citizenship.  All of which are very important.  The thing that struck me the most was when they discussed  ‘special commitments to vulnerable markets’ such as children. This is very important to keep in mind when creating a campaign.

I recommend everyone involved in marketing in any respect read the Code Of Ethics and take time to reflect upon them!

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Children and Technology

As someone who works with children of all ages and someone who loves technology and social media…I find the relationship between the two very interesting.

When used properly, technology can be an amazing tool to aid in a child’s education. However if not monitored it can have the opposite effect. The question then becomes, how much is too much?  Here are some of the best apps for kids from Parenting Magazine

kidsandtechnology

I am a senior in college and I was recently told by a local Burlington business owner that the high school students are no real competition to us because they lack the ability to be personable.

I see it in the a few of the older kids I work with. The teens love their phones and their laptops and would rather sit and send SnapChat to their friends than interact with the other human beings around them.

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I do not think kids should be heavily restricted from  technology. Let’s be honest, it is important for our kids to know how to use these tools! I just believe it is important that our kid’s don’t forget how to have real interactions.  I think it’s a dangerous line and one parent’s, mentor’s and care giver’s need to be thinking about.  I’m guilty of it too, if I have a kid in my car and they ask to play a game while we drive I have often handed it over without a second thought.  Next time  I’ll  ask them to tell me about their day before  I let them play Fruit Ninja, as a starting point.

We also need to be education our teens about their online presence and privacy settings!  These things can get them a lot  hot water and too many of don’t realize how serious it is.

If you have children, or work with children it is important to start to begin thinking about how you will help them to navigate the digital world.

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