Originally, Hawk Communications was not on my spring semester schedule but due to another class being cancelled I jumped at the opportunity to join. The course offers students the chance to work with real clients and work collaboratively in groups, which is a great opportunity to gain experience in the field. During the semester I was assigned to work on two accounts, both of which challenged me to go outside of my comfort zone, especially after taking upon a leadership role for one of my assigned accounts.
Thanks to the encouragement from my classmates and Professor Green, I had the chance to take on a leadership position for one of my accounts which was with the Garden State Wine Growers Association. Initially, I was nervous to take on a leadership role but I realized that it would be a great opportunity to work directly with the client and learn some new skills.
Almost immediately, I settled into the role comfortably despite my nervousness. It helped knowing that I could rely on the other account leads to help guide me through the meetings and assignments. Another bonus was that Tom Cosentino, the Executive Director at the Garden State Wine Growers was helpful and easy to communicate with.
During our weekly meetings we would discuss ideas and goals that would help promote the association. My focus for the group was on the Research and Planning Team to help the client with promotions for its new app. My team and I researched more about the organization and the goal of the app, which was to create a virtual passport that could help expand consumer’s experiences at the various winery locations in New Jersey.
We were also assigned to research and create a list of Instagram influencers that could potentially collaborate with the association for the new app. Additionally, we helped by creating a press release about the app launch. Working on these assignments helped me better understand the importance of communication between team members because we needed to rely on each other to complete the given tasks. As a leader, I had to take this into account and would check in with my group members to ensure that there were no issues and to solve any if they appeared.
In addition, I worked with the Monarchs which is a non profit organization that helps disabled and special needs children learn new skills through ice skating and hockey. While I was not a lead for this account, I was a part of the Research and Planning Team and helped with our given tasks. For example, the client asked about creating a new website design where they could post rosters, schedules, and take payments all in one place and I was able to conduct research and provide them with possible platforms. I also worked with my group members to create press releases for the team, create a survey for parents to share their experiences with the team, and do research finding schools we could contact in hopes to spread the word about the program.
Overall, the course definitely helped me push past my boundaries which allowed me to showcase the skills that I’ve expanded on throughout my time here at Montclair State. Hawk Communications provided me with the opportunities to create relationships with clients, improve communication skills within a group setting, and problem solve through creativity. Despite being anxious at the beginning of the semester, I can truly say that the experiences in this class have helped to improve my skill set and given me the confidence to move forward in my career.