May 20, 2020 msuproductions
Rayane Yamout

Student Life During a Pandemic

By Rayane Yamout

The cultural shift caused by this pandemic affected millions of individuals nationwide. Along with my Montclair State University classmates, I had to adapt to completing courses remotely and online.

As a junior majoring in Public Relations, I am always looking for ways to further my education and gain experience within my field. Over the course of the spring semester, I had the privilege of working alongside three clients in a student-run organization called Hawk Communications. Our clients included NJ Warriors, Autism MVP and Montclair Art Museum (MAM). As a whole, all three organizations needed help with media outreach, social media posts, and content to be shared on multiple different social media platform accounts.

As Robert Schuller once said, “Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.” With no time to waste, we quickly utilized our resources to complete our goals for the remainder of the academic year. We harnessed our creativity through interactive conversations and managed to create a crisis communication plan along the way. Through many email chains, text messages, and Zoom conference calls, our main focus was delivering the results we had set out to accomplish. I believe relying on each other and team work allowed us to be resilient to the new changes. Each team had a leader which worked as a liaison to relay information back and forth with the client and the rest of the group. This created a clear path of what needed to be managed and when deadlines must be met.

Although the outcome of the semester was not what we had hoped for, I am fortunate to know I have impacted each organization in a positive way. I remember a NJ Warriors hockey game I attended in February with a couple of group members. Arriving with the idea that we were only there to capture some pictures and videos, we were asked to work some tables and sell raffle tickets. I walked away that evening proud to have helped raise a large number of money in such a short period of time. Along the way, I interacted with and talked to many team members of the team and their loved ones. Their enthusiasm and devotion to the sport and organization gave me clarity of the hard work I must put forth to see this nonprofit succeed in the years to come. I believe it is very important to attend in-person events to create and build meaningful relationships. When you witness the events playout behind the scenes, it changes the way you look at the content posted on social media. This is because you saw, first-hand, how much work was put forth to create that content. I look forward to applying all the skills and lessons learned from this experience in my future endeavors. I am also looking forward to being a member in Hawk Communications again in the fall.