I love learning. If I could make a life out of studying I would take on every degree out there that doesn’t involve extensive math skills. While my love for the classroom is fierce I realize its limitations in providing real life experience. Last Thursday, Anna Kim, Monique Lewis, and I partnered with iMedia graduates, Renée Robinson and Lou Tufillaro IV, at Sales Factory + Woodbine for Create-A-Thon 2014.
Create-A-Thon is a 24-hour marketing marathon held throughout the United States and Canada that provides local nonprofits with marketing strategies and creative materials as part of Pro Bono Week. This year the event was held on October 23rd through October 24th. Sales Factory + Woodbine aided 30 nonprofits over the 24-hour period with the help of 47 volunteers. For Anna, Monique, and myself the event was a way to give back to the community while testing our skills in a real world experience.
Anna worked with NC Dance Project, a nonprofit that works to provide affordable, high quality dance lessons to promote modern dance throughout North Carolina. She worked with the organization to design a brochure that explained the organization and provided details about their spring schedule. “It was interesting because I didn’t have a lot of control over the information going into the project but it was eye-opening and I learned a lot”. One of the most useful skills Anna learned was how to open multiple art boards in Adobe Illustrator.
Monique partnered with Mary’s House in Greensboro, which provides housing and life skills training for women recovering from substance abuse. “I loved the environment of the office. Even though it was really fast-paced and there was a lot of pressure, I had a lot of fun”. She redesigned a informational brochure, combined two of the organization’s former logos, and created a new letterhead for Mary’s House. “It was a real-life experience and it made me love my career choice even more”.
I worked with two organizations, HandyCapable and Seven Homes. HandyCapable is a nonprofit that provides developmentally disabled adults with meaningful work in a nurturing environment. For Create-A-Thon I created a tri-fold newsletter to inform donors about what the network has accomplished in the last year. Seven Homes is a foster care and adoption agency in Winston-Salem and for their organization I designed a two-sided flyer and promotional folder for their new adoption profile network. Working with a client in such a fast-paced environment was eye-opening and I’m still reeling over the multiple Illustrator artboards.
Anna, Monique, and I agree that the experience opened our eyes to what life will be like after graduating next May. We learned so much from our clients and everyone at Sales Factory + Woodbine and we can’t thank them enough for inviting us and helping us grow. I encourage everyone to take a chance outside the classroom and put your skills to use. I look forward to attending more events like Create-A-Thon and pairing my classroom knowledge with real-world application.