Emma Fedorchuk is a fourth-year Media and Communication Studies student at Brock University. She worked with the CSC as a Marketing and Communications Assistant for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 terms.
Wow! I can’t believe my time with the CSC is coming to an end…What a great experience!
I was taken on at the Centre for Sport Capacity as a Marketing and Communications Assistant back in September 2020 and have spent the past eight months learning, growing, and improving my skills in the marketing and communications field.
When I first started at the CSC, I felt extremely empowered with how much trust and responsibility was given to me and felt as though I was immediately welcomed into our small team. Given that this position was entirely remote, my supervisors Julie Stevens and Cole McClean did a great job of keeping me in the loop and checking in on me via our weekly meetings, and they also made a strong effort to be available to me throughout the day to answer any clarifying questions I may have had. Although the three of us haven’t met in person due to COVID-19, we all got to know each other quite well and created a positive virtual work environment where ideas and discussion were encouraged.
My time spent at the Centre has strengthened many of my skills; most notably my self-motivation and problem-solving. Because I was at home working alone rather than in a more traditional workplace environment surrounded by other people, I didn’t have someone looking over my shoulder making sure that I was keeping up with the tasks that were assigned to me. It was up to me to schedule my work for everything to be completed at a reasonable rate, while also leaving room for more pressing tasks that would pop up, as well as balancing my schoolwork, my internship with the Niagara River Lions, and my life outside of school/work. Knowing how to manage my time and stay motivated throughout working independently were both skills that were essential to my success at the CSC.
Through this remote placement, I also learned the importance of getting creative with your problem-solving skills. Because the CSC is still a relatively new organization, oftentimes I would have questions that our team didn’t have the answers for, so it was my responsibility to use the resources that were available to me to figure them out myself. YouTube tutorials and industry research became my best friends and solidified the fact that many of the answers that you are looking for are out there if you look hard enough. The CSC also taught me the importance of growing a contact list of people with specific expertise. The more I talked to various faculty members at Brock, the more I knew who to reach out to if I ever had specific questions. I would then take the answers that I received and report back to my supervisors as well as keep note of the solution to pass on to the next student that works with the CSC.
I accomplished a wide array of things at the Centre, but I am most proud of the work that I put into our social media and the time that I spent creating a communications booklet for future students.
Noah Nickel, the student that held the Marketing and Communications Assistant position in the summer of 2020, did a fantastic job at creating a social media strategy for the Centre and getting both our Twitter and LinkedIn accounts up and running. Noah handed me the torch after his co-op concluded, and it was my responsibility to continue growing our social media and to create an identifiable brand image for the CSC. With the help of countless YouTube tutorials, I strengthened my Adobe Illustrator skills and began creating graphics for the Centre’s various educational resources, events, student blogs, and member showcases. I also made a strong effort to get members more involved in our social media by paying close attention to the various projects and events that they were involved in and sharing this activity with our network. Not only do I believe that the Centre now has a solid foundation in which we can continue to grow our brand image, but I also believe that the effort I put into showcasing our CSC members made them feel more connected to the organization.
As for the communications booklet, I built upon Noah’s original social media strategy and added content that can best be described as “tips and tricks” that I have learned throughout my placement. In the booklet, I added a contact list of faculty who students will most likely have to reach out to, dimension sizing for Twitter and LinkedIn graphics, tips about using Hootsuite, tips about how/when to post, instructions about how to complete Member Showcases, and gave suggestions for future posts. I believe that if future students continue to add to this booklet and detail their best tips and tricks, that students will be able to start their placements/co-ops with the CSC with the context that they need to quickly gain their footing and get straight to work.
My advice for future students who will be working for the CSC is to try not to get overwhelmed. You will be entrusted with a lot of tasks and will have a busy calendar; but, don’t feel like you’re alone! You have supervisors that are more than willing to help you, and you have a long list of contacts that you can reach out to for specific questions and advice. People want to see you succeed. Stay organized, use your problem-solving skills, reach out to others, and keep an open channel of communication with your team and it’ll be smooth sailing!
As I mentioned in my previous blog, the main reason why I love sport so much is because of the communities that surround the various games that we play. My placement with the CSC has helped me to bridge the fond memories that I have playing sport with a workplace setting, and as I approach graduation, has also helped me to narrow down the type of communications work I would like to pursue. I now recognize just how much potential working in sport has to offer and will continue to seek out various sport-related positions.
Thank you, CSC!