By Rachel A. Aquino
Upon applying for courses this semester, I was thinking about the classes that could benefit me for the future, rather than just taking a course because it’s required to achieve my degree. When thinking about taking Hawk Communications, I was hesitant. I had no idea how the semester would work out for me. I had no true experience in PR and was intimidated by other classmates with more experience. Keeping that in mind, I knew that although I was uncomfortable with having very little to no experience, that this was an opportunity I should take.
The first day of class came, and it seemed as if everyone had already known each other from past semesters. Professor Green introduced himself and the class introduced themselves. Clients then came in to speak about who they were, and exactly what they would be needing from us this semester. We were then separated into groups to focus on certain clients, and some students were assigned with being the lead of the group.
Being anxious about whether or not I would be able to get into the groups with the clients I wanted, I was hoping for the best. When groups were announced, I was so excited to work with the clients I had hoped to, including the Garden State Wine Growers Association. But soon after, I found out that I was to be the lead for that group this semester. I started to get nervous because I have very little leadership and group experience, and I was nervous about embarrassing myself and making myself look bad.
Working one-on-one with clients is something I had never experienced. I had weekly calls with Tom Cosentino, Executive Director at Garden State Wine Growers and we developed what exactly our group would plan and execute. While managing the Instagram page for the organization, Tom also wanted to bring an idea he had to life. He wanted us to go out to a couple of the wineries and create content for the social media pages to attract people to the wineries for their peak times of the year. Our group had a schedule to visit many wineries. Our plans were to go during or after Spring Break, giving viewers enough time to head out to the wineries for the summer. Unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to fulfill that plan.
After Spring Break, we shifted our plans and managed the GSWGA Instagram page to promote the wineries that remained open. It was up to us to think of creative posts to promote the wineries for curbside pick up and delivery, but in a safe way. In a way, our boundaries as a group were pushed due to the lack of content to post on social media. We actually helped create captions that do not encourage people going out during a time of quarantine.
Hawk Communications is definitely something that has benefited me overall with the way it has helped me step outside my comfort zone. Working directly with clients, using teamwork, as well as reconstructing plans are experiences that I gained over the course of this semester. With being anxious about the course in the beginning of the semester, I am glad I didn’t let those worries get to me.