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Students open their own marketing agency

Alvernia’s Marketing and Communication Association has undergone a redesign: It’s morphed from a student-led club to a student-run marketing agency, called Professional Edge, where tomorrow’s marketing and communications pros are gaining real-world experience in the field today.

Sophomores Deven Samson, pictured above, and Shannon Browne led the club’s transformation, guided by advisor Audrey Hoffman, marketing coordinator for the marketing and communications department, and Brad Drexler, the university’s vice president of marketing and communications.

The agency’s first client was the Jesuit Center in Wernersville, a national destination for retreats and spiritual development. At an initial meeting last fall, Samson, Browne and Hoffman met with Jesuit Center Marketing Director Pam Kubacki to trade ideas. Since then, the agency has “hired” managers for marketing research, advertising, graphic and web design, and social media and recently met at the Center for an in-depth brainstorming session.

“Our main focus is the beauty of the Jesuit Center’s grounds,” says Samson. To showcase this beauty, the agency may create a virtual tour. Also in the works: a new logo, website redesign, increased social media presence and an analysis of the center’s demographics with the goal of attracting more Catholic high school and college students to its retreats.

“We will be developing new ways to share the center’s core assets … its talented spiritual leaders, gorgeous facility, picturesque grounds and the amazing testimonials of its past guests,” said Samson. “Our goal is to not only to create new ways to advertise and market the Jesuit Center, but to train the Center’s staff on how to continue to use new techniques and technologies moving forward.”

Did you know?

A National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America's Promise study found that participating employers and recent college graduates agreed on the necessity of out of the classroom experiences. The study emphasizes the importance of providing students with important knowledge and skills but also experience putting that knowledge and skills to practical use in "real-world" settings.

Did you know?

Seventy-six percent of participating employers put "teamwork skills and the ability to collaborate with others in diverse group settings" at the top of their list of desired capabilities in new employees, according to a National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America's Promise study. These are among the skills fostered by real-world learning experiences.

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Service learning is a method of providing personal and academic development through work with established nonprofit organizations in the community. It is an avenue to introduce students to a professional environment without the extensive commitments of an internship.

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Service learning provides ideal real world learning opportunities. According to SmartBlog on Leadership, doing volunteer and service work for a non-profit organization that is connected to your major or academic program of study helps develop leadership skills, expands your perspective of the world, allows you to discover new skills in a safe environment, and develops a larger network of real world contacts to draw upon once you graduate.

Did you know?

Service learning can take you outside of your comfort zone, giving you an opportunity to work with new challenges, people, politics and interpersonal dynamics. It also offers new perspective on priorities. Hanging out with people who have had different life experiences encourages you to tackle challenges from different angles. Julie Zolfo, founder of Make Success Matter said that she volunteered for six weeks at the schools in New Delhi, India.

Did you know?

"Alvernia's Career Development Center works with students to find avenues for employment, internships, co-ops, career exploration, resume development, and graduate school options. Center staff help students assess their options and identify their own "brand" to complement their life after Alvernia.

Did you know?

A recent career fair at Alvernia attracted more than 55 employers who were seeking to hire employees, co-ops and interns for their organizations. Career fairs like this one are fertile ground for students seeking real world learning opportunities and to reap the benefits of such as employers look to to hire staff members who have honed their skills and abilities via practical experiences in real situations.

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Since its inception, Alvernia has offered real world opportunities with an emphasis on service and careers that help those in need. Field experiences in areas like criminal justice, social work, nursing, occupational therapy, health care science and teacher training among others provide our students with rich learning opportunities to test drive what it's like to work in that profession.

Did you know?

In a recent American Association of Colleges and Universities survey of 302 employers, 79 percent said institutions of higher learning should emphasize helping students apply what they learn in real-world settings, and 66 percent said that completing an internship or community field project would help prepare students for success.