206 Student Services Building
1 Campus Drive
Allendale, MI 49401
In the News
Description of the Organization
The Grand Valley Lanthorn is the free student-run newspaper at Grand Valley, located in the lower level of Kirkhof Center. It has a website (Lanthorn.com), Facebook, and Twitter account, as well. The paper comes out every Monday and Thursday during the Fall and Winter semesters, and twice a month during the Spring/Summer semesters. The Lanthorn acts as a bridge that connects the students and staff members to the Grand Valley community by providing relevant content written by the peers of the audience and by allowing businesses to connect to them. The Lanthorn is divided into three parts, editorial-which provides the content of the Lanthorn products, advertising-which deals with selling advertising space and managing much of the brand marketing, and business- which handles all other business functions such as billing and distribution.
Description of the Tasks/Projects Completed
Before working as an advertising manager at the Grand Valley Lanthorn, I was an account executive and got the opportunity to travel to Miami and meet with newspapers and professionals from all over the United States. Upon my return, I used much of the gained insight to work on projects with the retiring ad manager. Our summer projects consisted of tasks such as developing a consistent brand image, designing a media kit, designing training manuals, training with professionals in the Grand Rapids area, developing the web and mobile products, planning next years special edition issues, designing advertising campaigns, planning promotional events, updating documents such as insertion orders and contract forms, writing new job descriptions and hiring new staff positions, and many other side projects to help develop the brand. I also spent much time meeting with different businesses and worked on advertising contracts with them.
Skills/Knowledge Gained Through The Experience
I have had a great experience working at the Lanthorn. I gained sales skills and knowledge through working with advertisers from all over the Grand Rapids and Allendale area and through training with professionals from all over the United States. For example, I learned different ways to communicate and understand clients. I learned about different questions to ask and what process to use to develop the best relationship and have the most success. I've also learned how to provide and present a solution (such as a customized plan) for clients and how to follow up with them and make sure they are satisfied. This means I developed communication skills, writing skills, and basic mathematical skills through these experiences. I've also polished other skills, such as managing, designing, leadership, and organizational skills by making more executive decisions for the Lanthorn. For example, I had to hire new staff members, design a training manual for them, and go through the sales process with them; as well as, meet with my own clients and customize advertising plans; as well as, completing projects to develop the brand. This allowed me to learn how to plan better, manage multiple tasks at once, and how to get in contact with certain people. It also taught me how to manage staff members and provide direction to keep things on schedule for deadline.
Favorite Part of the Experience
Traveling to Miami, Florida for a newspaper convention. It was before I started working as an advertising manager, but I got the chance to meet with large newspapers and college newspapers from all over the United States. I also had the opportunity to sit in on lectures and meet with recruiters. It was a great opportunity to do networking and learn from many other newspapers who deal with the same tasks and issues as our paper. Not to mention, we had time to spend on the beach, win scholarship money, receive awards, stay in a 5-star hotel, and eat delicious food. When I returned home, I had fresh new ideas and many new sources of information to help our company progress. In July, I will be going to an ad manager workshop held in Chicago to do more training and make more connections. I love traveling and meeting with professionals in the field. It is a priceless experience.
How the Experience Influenced Future Career Goals
After working here, I have a better understanding of what my strengths are and what I need to work on. This allows me to have a better understanding of what exactly I want to do once I graduate. Also, it has allowed me to work with professionals who may be potential employers after graduation. I am more likely to get a job with a company who has worked with me previously and that I've already built trust with.
All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of GVSU.
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