My STEP signature project entailed serving as a project lead for the planning, marketing and execution for Buck-i-Frenzy a lifestyle event attended by over 20,000 students here at Ohio State’s campus. I had the opportunity to assume a leadership role and take on tasks including but not limited to leading the weekly planning meetings with university staff, establishing meetings and training the new Event Marketing and Communications Intern.
After completing my STEP project, I definitely had a better understand of who I was as a person and also about my personal leadership style. I was able to learn a little bit more about both my positive and negative traits as a leader. An area that needed improvement in my leadership style was that I needed to learn how to delegate more. At the beginning of my project, I had a fear of delegating specific components of planning Frenzy. Although it was my job to train Joanne (the new intern), I still had moments where I was afraid to let things go and entrust her with different tasks. I would slightly micromanage things, overcome with my fear of letting go and entrusting my peers. In the beginning I was able to train Joanne on the processes of the office and the tasks that needed to get done, but it wasn’t until later on the summer that I no longer felt the need to watch over every single step of the process. As someone who had the experience on the event, I had to constantly remind myself in the beginning that I started where she was last year. As the summer progressed, I was able to work on delegating more tasks and having trust in my partner and new co-worker. Obviously, we would still use both sets of eyes to proof read and look over agendas, marketing materials, and pieces, but now it was less so I could have control over everything but so we could catch any small errors. Through this process I was able to realize how crucial it was to effectively work with others.
A positive trait that I found was actually my love for working on a team. After overcoming my slight hump with my issues regarding delegating, I realized how much I enjoyed working with others. It is said that a leader only as good as their team. Through this experience I was able to learn a lot about effective leadership and how to manage and work on a team. Teamwork is a crucial part of nearly any business project that needs to be done in the world, especially in the marketing field. Through this experience I learned not only the importance of teamwork but that I really enjoy the collaboration and the sharing of ideas that comes from working with others. For our Buck-i-Frenzy project we would work with other staff in the marketing and graphics department, Rec Sports, Ohio Union staff and other Student Life Departments. After learning to delegate more I was able to see how effectively a team can work with each person doing their part and bringing something to help complete the project or in this case, plan and set up the event from start to finish. I had the opportunities to contribute of graphics designs and promotional pieces created for the event on a content management system and the opportunity to work closely with an amazing staff who worked tirelessly to physically set up the event. After completing the project, I also had a new found confidence in not only my abilities as a leader for such a large project but also in transitioning into a career that involves marketing, logistics, and event planning.
The main focus of my leadership position was to serve as the leading student coordinator on Buck-i-Frenzy, a signature event during Ohio State’s Welcome Week. I was able to work on the process planning the event from start to finish. This began with contract reviews for legal documentation that would eventually be sent out to hundreds of vendors nationally and locally. Afterwards I would be conducting sales to try and pitch the event to those companies.
During this time, I assumed a role that was a large part of what helped me develop as a leader. The previous student coordinator who had mentored and trained me would be leaving the position. I would experience going through the hiring process, which taught me a lot about desirable traits and communication skills for a team. Once we hired my new co-worker, Joanne, I began the training process. I not only had to familiarize her with all of the procedures and responsibilities of planning Buck-i-Frenzy, but also with her role as a student intern in Student Life. Helping to train Joanne for the job truly helped me grow as a leader and as a professional. Going through the process I was able to become very introspective about how I guided, taught, and communicated with people. I was able to grow my confidence in others (Joanne as my coworker and teammate) and also in my self-confidence. I was able to gain confidence in my choices as a leader and for the project, whether that was smaller decisions like how many posters needed to be printed off or something larger like assisting in the coordination of an impactful road closure decision.
After the growing and learning period, I was able to (with the help of the rest of the team of university staff) help to build an event that was attended by over 70 vendors and 20,000 students. I was able to lead and structure weekly planning meetings, assist with the creation of both print and digital marketing pieces for the event and plan the physical layout of the event. I also had the responsibility of helping to coordinate not just our planning team for the event, but also a large group of Mount Leadership Society Scholars volunteers.
All of the steps in creating this event allowed me to interact with some amazing people within Student Life. I think that one of the best relationships that grew out of my experience was one with my supervisor, Kellie Uhrig. We would attend weekly touch base meetings to update her on what we were working and making sure that we were accomplishing our goals for the project. The relationship that I had with her allowed for enough responsibility and autonomy within the project that I felt like I was planning and marketing such a large event, but it also provided me with guidance along the way as well as a mentorship. Something that Student Life has worked into their student employment is also conducting GROW conversations with all of their employees. By having this conversation with Kellie, I have been able to really reflect on how the experience has impacted my learning and also the applicable skills that I can take into future positions. Through the process I have also been able to work closely with Jen Cottrell, the director of Student Life Marketing. Working closely with her has also help me to shadow and observe what a leader in the marketing field would look like. All of my interactions with both of my supervisors and the rest of the Frenzy planning team have truly shaped my growth and experience as a leader in a marketing related project this summer.
Learning about who I am as leader was a crucial experience for me to grow as not just leader but as a person overall. By going through this experience, I have been able to develop leadership skills not just this internship, but also in my classes and different student organizations. I think one of the most important things to growing as a person is understand who you are. That can include things such as your work preferences, your leadership style, and how you communicate and interact with others. Through this leadership role, I have been able to reflect on all of those things and how I am as person. I have seen this self-awareness positively affect my leadership position in my sorority where I serve as Public Relations Vice President. In my chapter, I manage a department of ten people and through the skills I have learned on teamwork and about my leadership style I have been able to effectively manage the department. I have also seen this translate over to my classes where I find myself working in many group projects. I am able to take initiative in group projects, while also making sure everyone has a role and not overstepping on any projects. I found I have also greatly improved both my verbal and written communication skills. Finally, this leadership role in marketing has helped inspire my future professional goals. I have been able to observe others in leadership positions within marketing roles at the university and it has further inspired my motivations to work within the marketing field. Furthermore, I am excited to see how the skills that I have learned in leadership and in this position such as team work and effective communication can be applied to future jobs and roles after graduation. BUCK-I-FRENZY_sales_sheet_2019 (2)