On the Job with Michelle Czarnecki

Describe some of the aspects of a routine day for a marketing professional.  

The Otter Student Union is just finishing up our process to become an official auxiliary organization, and I just started here in July, so I can't say I've had a truly routine day yet! The closest I might get are the days when I have my marketing team meetings and my individual one-on-ones with my student graphic designers. We are in the process of building a style guide right now, and our marketing team meetings are the creative hub for that. It's been rewarding to watch the students' excitement and passion for the project!   Not so routine? While we are "just beginning" across a lot of areas, social media has definitely been our most challenging to start and adequately maintain. I've been trying to empower my student interns to manage this work since it is their interest area, and we've been 95% successful.

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

Attributes? Punctuality, responsiveness, and grace... as marketers for student unions we are often doing work with student organizations or student leaders. Being able to be responsive to their needs both in regard to marketing requests as well as turnaround time is incredibly important to ensure students feel like they can trust us and the quality of our work. If your department is perceived as too difficult or unresponsive, you could instead expend a lot of your time trying to impress branding guidelines.  

Skill sets? Adobe Creative Suite, social media marketing, web design and development, customer service, project management are a few. One skill set perhaps most crucial is assessment. Being able to analyze the data you are gathering from social media and for the other work you are performing so you can advocate for increased resources for your area.

How are students involved in your marketing efforts?  

I have two student interns who work specifically in our marketing/graphic design area. Currently, as projects come in through our request form I assign them on a rotation and try to assign even levels of projects to them. For example, one student intern is currently working on designing responsive boxes for an email newsletter we are going to build in-house to utilize student involvement data. Since that's a fairly major project, I gave my other student intern the responsibility of designing a new logo for our Pride Club on campus. I'm trying to ensure they have a variety of projects for their professional portfolios.  

Outside of projects that come in from our constituents, one intern is working on managing our social media presence and the other manages our student staff highlights.

Describe one of your finest success stories.

I'm most excited about our most recent reveal for our spring concert. I worked closely with my student interns to think out our plan for rolling out the announcement, as we've had mixed success in the past. We decided to go with an all online reveal through our social media and text service. My students worked hard to develop a video that mimicked the artist's most popular music video, but with our campus as the focus, and then developed a color scheme for the marketing/communications efforts that matched the artist's preferred colors. The consistency across our online, social, video, and print pieces is something I am extremely proud of. Our social interactions on the release day were off the charts for us and have continued to drive interest in our page.
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