On the Job with Hali Schaefer

Describe some of the aspects of a routine day as a marketing professional at University of North Carolina–Charlotte's Otter Student Union.

Our marketing team is unique in that we provide marketing support to not only the Popp Martin Student Union and our Cone University Center, but also to Student Union, Activities, and Recreation. Therefore, we stay busy. Truthfully, a routine day for a marketing person in the student union is almost nonexistent, and that is what makes our jobs enjoyable.  

We have a list of design projects that our graphic designer primarily works on with help from two student designers, we have 25-plus websites that require daily attention, we maintain the Campus Events web calendar, and we provide social media support as needed. At any given moment, though, a colleague can walk into our offices and completely turn our normal day of websites, graphics, and social media upside down.

Hali SchaeferWhat are the best attributes and skill sets for someone working as a student union/center marketing representative?

I come from a journalism background and was the front page designer of the Charlotte Observer before joining Student Union, Activities, and Recreation marketing here in 2015. I feel like my training and experiences as a writer, copy editor, and designer helped me get my current job because I was able to offer a variety of skills to the team. I think people who are fun, creative, and truly passionate about their work, their university, and working closely with students to help them achieve their goals flourish as student union/student involvement marketing professionals.

How are students involved in your marketing efforts?

Student Union, Activities, and Recreation marketing currently employs two student graphic designers and a student social media coordinator for Campus Events. I also oversee the student social media coordinator for Popp Martin Student Union. Our student graphic designers can boost their portfolios, and when they graduate, they have a number of work samples to show potential employers. The Campus Events student social media coordinator is a new position this year, and we are very excited to be able to provide a communications student with professional social media marketing experience. We wouldn’t be able to produce the high volume of work that we do without the support of talented students. Some of our previous graphic design students have even placed in ACUI’s Steal this Idea competition.

Describe one of your finest success stories.

The first thing that comes to mind is homecoming because it is one of our annual signature events that brings together the entire campus community and really boosts school spirit. Our team provides a full range of marketing support to homecoming programming, from posters, banners, promo items, website design and support, social media marketing, and event promotion. Our entire team, including our student employees, pulls together to crank out the work, and when you’re in the middle of the weeds, you can’t always see the end in sight. We always manage to pull it off, though, and produce quality marketing materials. It’s a great feeling to see packed events and know you helped get people out and excited about UNC–Charlotte.
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