June 15, 2021 msuproductions

A Journey to Realizing My Full Potential

Madelyn Ibanez Montclair State University

Written by: Madelyn Ibanez

The day I registered for Hawk Communications; I did it without knowing exactly what the course was about. To be completely honest, I was under the impression that it was more of a “PR agency” specifically focused for students majoring in Public Relations. It wasn’t until a few weeks prior to the start of the Spring 2021 semester, when Professor Keith Green sent out an email explaining and clarifying more about Hawk Communications.

Unlike some of my fellow classmates who had previously taken the course, or perhaps heard about it through word of mouth, what I knew about Hawk Communications I learned from the course description during registration. I knew very little, and I was hesitant about taking this course at the beginning of the semester. Ending it, I know enrolling in Hawk Communications was the right decision to make prior to graduation. I know so much more than I knew coming in, and now feel prepared to take on the workforce with the skills I have acquired in this class. This student-led communications agency offers students the opportunity to work with clients, similar to an internship. Therefore, I made this course a priority for myself as it prepares students and allows them to get a taste of what it’s like to work in a communication agency.

The course consists of students from all majors within the School of Communication and Media, who share an interest in social media, advertising, media pitching, content creation, and research skills, among others. The agency works with internal departments from the university and with local businesses. Each student in the agency is assigned to two accounts, and throughout the semester students work in teams to help meet the clients’ needs. I didn’t know anything about client or social media management but being able to have worked with the Garden State Wine Growers Association and Heepsy, I’ve enhanced those skills.

I was lucky to be placed with the Garden State Wine Growers Association since they were my first choice. This account helped me see the leader within myself as I was assigned one of the three team lead positions. This was a bigger account, consisting of 12 students broken down into smaller teams within the team for better organization. I was fearful of this leadership position, but I decided it was time to step out of my comfort zone and take on the task of leading a team, something I had never done before. The team had a rocky start in the beginning, as we were not all on the same page and lacking communication, which caused delays. I realized then that communication was the most important factor when it comes to making sure every team member is up to date with information from the client.

As one of the leads for the Wine Growers, I shouldered the responsibility of organizing the entire team. I created a document for member sign ups and created GroupMe chats. I was heavily involved in the process of our team meetings, email threads, and creating content to post on my team’s assigned social media platforms. By visiting three different wineries, I was able to acquire picture and video content. The process to get us started with this account was difficult in the beginning, but we managed to get the ball rolling.

Working with Heepsy was a different story. This account was smaller and consisted of three students, making it easier to communicate and organize ourselves. I would’ve never known about Heepsy if it wasn’t for working with Hawk Communications as they were located in Spain and with the six-hour time difference, I thought it would be difficult to find the time to meet with this client. But being a small account turned out to be in our favor. Our weekly meetings consisted of us brainstorming ways to promote their influencer marketing platform.

Throughout the process, Hawk Communications enhanced my resume, helped me build soft skills, and has given me an insight on what it’s really like to work and take on the real world after graduation. I will forever be grateful for discovering this course as it was a journey to realizing my full potential. I was clueless as to what I was getting myself into at the start of the semester with Hawk Communications. Now I feel I have the confidence and skills necessary to move forward with my career in media – and that I owe to this course.