Developing My Portfolio During the Pandemic
While great internships and outstanding work opportunities are out there, the best experience for you may be right where you are, on campus!
I stumbled upon my previous on-campus job serendipitously. A friend of mine sent me a poster describing an opening for a student marketing coordinator position for my school’s events team. At that time, I was a junior studying marketing with limited job experience. It was the perfect time for me to start applying what I had learned outside the classroom! The role was perfect!
My desire to work in my university’s events department stemmed from my first trip with the National Millennial and Gen. Z Community in Los Angeles. My interest in the entertainment industry, specifically events, developed while touring different agencies and talking to people who worked there. Learning about different sectors in marketing, like experiential marketing, opened my view of what I could do after college. On top of that, I was excited to work with our social media handles such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
It was exciting working alongside a team that was focused on planning, promoting, and executing an event. The best part of it all was capturing the moments during the event and seeing everyone's hard work pay off. I was getting the exact experience I wanted and was happy that I enjoyed the work I was studying for in school. Then suddenly the pandemic hit, and I realized would never market an in-person CU Denver Event again. The way we planned events would drastically change as classes went online.
The pandemic was rough for my events team. After a full day of Zoom calls, many students were fatigued from online classes and did not want to participate in our Zoom events. Through these struggles, we stayed persistent and pivoted. Our new strategy was to capitalize on the fact that students were almost always on social media. On a personal level, I wanted to make sure that I had a portfolio of social media marketing campaigns to showcase to prospective employers when I graduated.
I tried everything from giveaways to creating a live morning show every Monday to gain and increase follower engagement across my Events team's social media channels. When I was about to graduate and was logging off on the Events pages for the last time, I acquired documentation of the social media campaigns I had done throughout the year. It was great to have a live record of what my marketing posts and campaigns had achieved. I showed what I did and learned from my job experience in my post-graduation interviews, which positioned me strongly as a candidate for prospective jobs.
Currently, I am the Marketing Coordinator at a shopping center. I handle our social media, but I also plan and promote community events! It was amazing to land a job working in events while also still building my social media portfolio. I have nearly the same responsibilities that I had during my student job, and I am so grateful that my first post-graduation job is in the field I graduated with. By making sure to tap into the opportunities I had available to me in my university, I was able to make sure that I was prepared for graduation, develop my portfolio and have a great experience!