Graduation Year: Spring 2011
Why did you decide to come to Columbia College?
I was honestly looking at cities when I chose Columbia College. I wanted to live in a diverse, urban area to experience what life is like in a city. I didn’t know what I wanted to do career-wise until I took social change communications. In that class I learned about using marketing to position an idea, rather than a brand or product. Also, networking is key. Columbia College encourages you from day one to get out there and meet people. You learn from their experiences and grow as an individual. Experience the city and take advantage of all the opportunities it presents.
What advice would you give to students interested in Social Change Communications?
Find your passion and get involved in any way you can. What seems like extra work now can turn into professional experience and networking that will put you a step ahead. Stay on top of news, and know what industries affect your issue. Watch documentaries, read books, and take internships (I had 3 over my college experience)- immerse yourself in the conversation. Target people who need to hear your message through well-planned, strategic outreach efforts.
What type of tasks do you perform at Groundswell Educational Films?
I am the marketing communications and outreach intern, so I have been doing research for a film about the fresh food movement relating to the problem with our current agricultural system. I created a strategic media plan for the company that is currently being implemented.
What are your career aspirations and why?
My career aspiration is to create change in our world. I want to make my impact a positive one. I believe that as a marketing communicator I have an intimate understanding of social trends and targeting key audiences. The information needed to change the world is already out there. My role as a marketing communicator is to get relevant information to the right people in order to move them to take action. By making big issues accessible to the individual (my goal with window farming), change is not as daunting. I see symptoms of our faulty system in overflowing trash landfills, oil spills, increasing natural disasters, social unrest, and starving children. We cannot ignore these issues much longer, and I want to communicate the exciting solutions to our problems while demonstrating the benefits through strategic campaigns.
Lena developed a marketing plan to propose getting a window farm at Columbia College. Window farming is a do- it- yourself solution to growing food in harsh winters. You take recycled materials and assemble a hydroponic garden in your window. Lena was able to bring the first window farm to Chicago. Learn more about Lena and what she has done by watching the video below.