I haven’t had the time to blog for the past week and a half. With the end of my academic spring semester inching closer, I am currently being swamped under essays, group projects, and Marketing Club responsibilities.
Currently, I am a Director of Public Relations for SFU’s Student Marketing Association (SMA). My term started in the summer of 2013 and will end in spring 2014. For the past year I’ve been in charge of SMA’s social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, etc.) and been the gatekeeper for all the written promotional material. This includes the writing, proofing and editing of brochures, website content, sponsorship packages, and monthly newsletters. My partner and I conducted weekly meetings with our PR Committee and held workshops in public speaking, agency tour planning, and traditional media.
Sometimes people tell me that SMA is just a school club. For me, functioning on SMA’s Executive Team of Directors has been like working in a real organization.
Our mailing list has over 1,000 general members and our directory of active Associate Members vary from 50-70 students. We are one of SFU’s largest business clubs and our signature events have attendees of over 140 students and industry professionals. At the end of the day, all of us are still full-time students, but the SMA life with its busy schedule of signature events, planning, and meetings have helped me grow greatly in the areas of professionalism and time-management.
I first joined SMA as a first-year student interested in marketing. Now as I finish up my last term as PR Director, I am happy to have obtained the opportunity to work on the exec team in a school organization that I’ve committed to for 3 years. I don’t know if it’s possible to grasp how much work is actually involved in operating a large student organization if you haven’t tried it yourself. Or there are also the people who were involved in a school organization, but claim they didn’t learn anything. I will probably continue to meet people who undermine my experience in SMA and simply dismiss it as something insignificant.
I don’t believe the organization itself is the sole source of experience. I believe it’s the people you work with – above you, under you, beside you – and the relationships you form with them that give you the experience. It’s not the large office building in downtown Vancouver or the fancy title you get to write on your resume. Experience is learning and learning can happen anywhere and anytime, depending on you. The cliché but true university slogan is “You are responsible for your own learning”. If you take something seriously, it will become serious. Whether it is a school project or a volunteer opportunity, take it seriously and do it as if it’s your job. Then, it becomes an experience.
Good luck to the new Exec Team 2014-15 and thank you to everyone who helped make my term engaging, motivating, and fun!
P.S. SMA also has a blog on Word Press called SMArt TALK! Members blog about project management experiences, event recaps, and also thoughts on marketing-related topics. Check them out!