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Samantha Wheatley
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And just like that, we are in the final hours of the capstone experience! My presentation this afternoon, and the submission of the report, will mark the end of my time as a student consultant for the UC Alumni Association. It has been a wild, but incredibly rewarding journey where I learned a lot about the real world application of marketing concepts, and even more about myself. Here's my advice to future students: Be comfortable with change. My final presentation and report reflect a significantly different product than what I had anticipated when I finished my project charter. Don't let... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
Week 11 is in the books, and this week was all about learning and improving from the second project review. My project review could easily be defined as frustrating. Although I thought I was on the right path with my project, ultimately, I was trying to do too much instead of focusing on one good solution. Although the project review left me feeling frustrated, it was all for the best, and I was able to turn that frustration into a solid 48 hours of work. Now, I feel like I have several good ideas to present. Today officially marks one... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
Week 10 is in the books, and my main goal of this past week was to dedicate some portion of time, everyday, to working on some element of the capstone. This includes adding to the Brand Development module, continuing with research on similarly positioned universities, and putting together the presentation. One of the biggest surprises I have experienced during this capstone project is how often I have to revisit and revise previously completed deliverables. Although this has come as a surprise, I have also found it incredible useful as I work towards assembling my presentation and paper. For so long... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
Week 9 is in the books, and this week was all about continuing progress. This week was weird because I didn't necessarily have any kind of a breakthrough or knock out an entire module/deliverable. Instead, it was about easing into the brand development module, as well as reviewing/updating everything I have worked on up until this point. Although the final presentation is fast approaching, I feel comfortable with how this week went. Beyond the brand development module, my main focus for the week was to circle back on a lot of the initial research I had conducted at the start... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
Week 8 is in the books, and this week was all about the focus group! I was feeling nervous heading into the focus group, but I thought it went really well. We had a small turnout, which we knew going in, but in the end I liked that we were able to have a more thorough conversation where all participants were able to speak. I also walked away feeling very appreciative for the support my client Kim has offered me all semester. She was a huge help in organizing the focus group, and she was able to help fill in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
How is it already week 7? Time is flying by, and the pressure is most definitely mounting. This week was all about preparing for the focus group. On Wednesday, I will be heading to Cincinnati for the day to conduct a focus group, so this week was all about finding participants and putting together the list of questions and topics I plan to cover. Luckily, my client was able to provide me with a list of 30 potential participants, and I was able to find a handful of UC Alumni that were willing and able to participate. I am nervous... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
Week 6 is in the books, and this week was all about getting feedback. I started the week by speaking with my client for a progress report. I thought the call went really well! My client, Kim, was very receptive to the ideas I've generated so far, and, most importantly, was more than willing to collaborate with me. For a long time I viewed Kim as someone who I would simply report to, but she has been so much more than a client. Kim is a graduate of the MS Marketing program, and has been such a great resource and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
Week 5 is in the books, and this week was all about getting back on track. My main priority this past week was working on the first of my modules, the core competency analysis. Working on this module actually put me at ease with regards to my progress to date on the capstone. I think it is really easy to feel overwhelmed since the capstone is the kind of project that is constantly on your mind for nearly 4 months. However, when working through this module, I was comforted by how familiar I felt with the information I was working... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
Week 4 is in the books, and this week was a bit different due to me traveling abroad. Although I did not have as much solid time to work through modules and deliverables, I was still able to go through and see how the research I have already done is going to be applicable to some of my earlier modules and deliverables. This week I got the approval of Drew and my client, Kim Burdett of the UC Alumni Association, of the modules and deliverables I suggested in my project charter. Between the charter and the traveling, I am feeling... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
Week 3 is in the books, and this week was all about the project charter. Before finalizing the charter I had the opportunity to speak to several other members of the UC Alumni Association staff. Not only did I find this to be beneficial as it was a great way to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes at the UCAA, but it also helped to refine the focus of my project. I spoke to four different employees who all work on different areas of the UCAA, from college relations to diversity and outreach. I asked each employee... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
Week 2 of the capstone is in the books and this week was all about getting organized. I spent a lot of time reviewing my several pages of notes from the initial client meeting and trying to organize a game plan for the next few weeks. I went ahead and typed up my notes, and in the process was able to expand upon a lot of my initial ideas that I had written on the sides of pages. This enabled me to highlight any areas that I thought would require research on my end, and areas where I felt it... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
Week one of the capstone is in the books and I'm feeling good! On Friday, I had my initial client meeting with Kim Burdett of the UC Alumni Association. Although we had our fair share of technology issues while trying to connect, we eventually had a really great conversation. She was able to give me a lot of quality insight into the work going on right now at the Alumni Association, as well as her honest input on what she thinks they are doing right, as well as the areas where they could improve. I walked away from our conversation... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
This past week hasn't been the best week for my capstone experience. Due to travel for athletics, I had very limited time to work on my project. Other than a free hour in the hotel every few days, the most I was really able to do was jot down ideas as they came to me. I realize now that I'm at a point that is make or break for my capstone. There are two different directions I can go, in terms of my final "product", but neither has me feeling confident. I'm starting to realize my weaknesses, as well as... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
Over the past few weeks, the Capstone project has constantly been on my mind. Even when I'm not actively working on it, I'm thinking about it. This project is so consuming, but at this point I feel like my ideas are starting to make sense. After last weeks in class session my final project started to take shape. I feel very fortunate that I was able to talk through it with Drew, and see how my thoughts on this project align with his. The ideas I was brainstorming started to seem like something that could actually work. This project deals... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
As week four comes to a close, and I reflect on the work that has been done, I think I'm starting to finally feel comfortable with this project. There were so many questions initially about what the project would look like, how it would compare to others, and how I would even manage to pull it off. These questions still linger in the back of my mind, but I now feel like I am making progress, even if it is in tiny increments. My project is unlike any other. It is going to require a lot of research and prep... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
After getting off to a slow, and at times completely overwhelming, start, I finally feel like I am moving in the right direction. A lot of this can be attributed to my talk with Professor Hardin late last week. Not only did she help me by answering my long list of questions, but, most importantly, she helped me emerge from the black hole that I was stuck in. I was constantly trying to compare my project to others, which essentially left me lost and confused about what the end result should even look like. I felt like there was work... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
We are officially two weeks into the semester and the MS Marketing Capstone is proving to be just as challenging, if not more, than previous students have stated. I constantly transition from feeling completely overwhelmed by the workload to bouncing with ideas, and then right back to being overwhelmed. I got off to a bit of a slow start trying to figure out the full scope of my project, but my initial client meeting was a huge step in the right direction, and helped to clarify a lot of my lingering questions. At this point, I think my biggest challenge... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2018 at CAPSTONE!
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Jan 9, 2018