Taking Over @sfucmns for Welcome Day 2018

ABOUT SFU CMNS
The SFU School of Communication is part of the Faculty of Communication, Art, and Technology, one of the eight faculties at Simon Fraser University.


Here is an except taken from the SFU CMNS page for undergraduate students:
"Our school emphasizes critical thinking, reading, analysis and production in the field of communication. Students will study the cultures, histories, technologies, and ideologies of the media and communication infrastructures in our society. Successful graduates from our program are literate in media and information technologies with an understanding of social and ethical implications. Project and group work are used to apply theories of communication to promote social change and community engagement. Our faculty address the most pressing environmental, economic, technological and political issues in our society through the translation of theory and research into practice and action."


The Communication program is one of the most popular programs at SFU, as it is a versatile program with lots of fields to study in. As an undergraduate Communication student, you can take courses in areas such as media studies, advertising, news and journalism - communication really encompasses the world around us! After graduation, popular job prospects for students include media, creative services such as graphic and web design, public relations (PR), and journalism, to name a few.


BEING AN AMBASSADOR AND ROLE MODEL TO THE SFU CMNS COMMUNITY
In the span of one year at SFU, as a transfer student coming from a smaller post-secondary institution in the Greater Vancouver Area, I have already done so much on campus and had so much to share to students. In that one year, I had taken relevant CMNS and IAT (Interactive Arts + Technology) courses, and applied my knowledge and skills in many clubs I joined, notably SFU SMA, Her Campus at SFU, and SFU CAC. I had a few graphic design and social media gigs here and there in which I could finally utilize those skills I learned from the classroom, to life.

When I found out about SFU Welcome Day, it sounded like an amazing opportunity to me. I applied, thinking I would simply be showing admitted first-year students the ins and outs of SFU, but an additional opportunity was presented to me by Grace Hui, the Social Media Manager of SFU CMNS. She had discovered my exceptional talent that she wanted me to do an Instagram take-over on @sfucmns for Welcome Day. I quickly seized at that opportunity, as I was eager to pass on my experience to new and potential students.


ROLE & BRIEF OVERVIEW
During my all-day takeover on the SFU CMNS Instagram account, my main responsibilities included showing our followers who were not physically present during Welcome Day, all of the events and activities that were going on during this event, through the social media practice of storytelling. The way I wanted to do this takeover was from a student perspective - what a typical day as a SFU student entailed.

Since this takeover was very spontaneous, and I had no experience conducting one at all, there were many things I had to prepare myself for, when it came to the festivities that were going on during Welcome Day. In order to keep my followers engaged throughout the day, some storytelling aspects I incorporated in my takeover included adding neat tidbits about our faculty and SFU as a whole, and using some of the features that can be found when using Stories, such as Polls and Questions to interact with my followers.

WELCOME DAY 2018

WHAT DID I LEARN?
1) When it comes to handling a social media project, such as an event, expecting spontaneity.
SFU Welcome Day 2018 followed an itinerary, like many large-scale events. However, things may go behind on schedule, or go ahead. Nonetheless, I had to be prepared with what to expect at Welcome Day throughout the day, and even mundane things here and there, such as those "in-the-moment" moments during CMNS Jeopardy, or cool and inspiring performances and motivating speeches happening after lunch time.

During CMNS Jeopardy, something unexpected did happen, and that was the fire alarm going off during the middle of our game. While everyone was waiting outside, waiting for the sign to go back in, I took this chance to do a Reddit-inspired Ask Me Anything (#AMA) segment where followers can ask me questions regarding my CMNS and general student life experience at SFU.

2) Social media can be for the introverted and extroverted - but when it comes to managing an account and a campaign, you're going to want to break out of your shell and interact with as many people as possible, for best results.
I'm already an extroverted person to start off with. I have no problem talking to people I'm unfamiliar with. However, being part of such a huge environment full of new faces means that there is so much to learn from, as well as new challenges to expect. During Welcome Day, I had the opportunity to talk to hundreds of incoming first-year students in FCAT, other undergrads in my program who were also Welcome Day leaders or just general volunteers, and staff from all eight faculties, not just the ones I know from CMNS, SIAT, and FCAT. They all shared their experiences with me as to what it's like to be in the top comprehensive school in Canada, and it made for a great Instagram Story takeover.

3) Using Instagram Stories as a marketing tool.
It's amazing the things you can do with Instagram these days. When Instagram Stories was first released back in Summer 2016, many users were opposed to the idea, saying that it was comparable to the Stories feature on Snapchat. Over the years, Instagram Stories has become quite a useful feature, garnering more traction than Snapchat Stories, as a matter of fact. By doing a takeover for @sfucmns, aside from the evident fact that I shared with our followers, my experience at SFU, I got to learn firsthand, some tangible social media and marketing skills that I can transfer to my main profession in graphic design, such as creating and implementing a social media strategy, and the improvisation of creative ideas on the spot.

TOOLS
• Social Media Marketing
• Storytelling
• Content Creation
• Copywriting
• Customer Service/Community Engagement

SOFTWARE
• Stories Feature on Instagram
• iPhone 7+

DATE
August 2018