Making My Difference: Being A Part of Oglethorpe’s Online Strategy

Chandler Anderson '13 shown in one of his favorite spots on campus, the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art.

One of the best things about a small school like Oglethorpe is the potential for students to contribute in a big way to the campus, either through student organizations or by working for the school itself. When I returned for my senior year after a year of studying in Japan, I wanted to make sure that I left my mark on the school before graduating and going into the real world; I took every opportunity I could find to be more involved, which initially included taking a more active role in my fraternity, Chi Phi, and joining SGA as a Senior Senator.

In August 2012, I met fellow student Mon Baroi in the university’s café. We immediately connected based on our interest in technology and web start-ups, and through Mon, I learned about Pegasus Creative, Oglethorpe’s student communications agency. Mon, who at the time was working for Pegasus on a Test Drive ad campaign for adult students, sold me on what sounded like a great opportunity: the chance to work with a talented group of people whose job was to make this university look good.

As a Pegasus web content developer, I was responsible for helping to maintain Oglethorpe’s websites. This included co-planning the design of the new summer and special events sites on WordPress, making timely edits to out-of-date web pages, and editing images and videos to be put on Oglethorpe’s websites. Also, I got the opportunity to look at Oglethorpe’s Google analytics statistics, which gave me tremendous insight into the kinds of traffic Oglethorpe attracts online on a regular basis.

Chandler (far left) shown with other Pegasus members during their behind-the-scenes tour of CNN, courtesy of alumnus Joe Sutton '09.

The most interesting thing about working at Pegasus was integrating what I have learned in my business courses with the work I was doing with online media, which would usually be stereotyped as communications field work. As a senior business administration major, I have pretty much gotten a taste of everything the business division at Oglethorpe has to offer, from management courses that evaluate business strategies, competitive advantages, and internal and external forces, to economics courses that analyze the relationship between supply and demand and satisfying needs in the free market, and marketing courses that look into how producers attempt to read consumers and shape products for a target market that will encourage transactions and customer satisfaction. When I decided to take this internship in my last spring semester, I saw it as a great opportunity to apply what I had learned in these courses to online media.

At Pegasus, I got to work with an awesome and fun group of people that made me look forward to coming into the office for work. My experience with Pegasus was a great way to give back to Oglethorpe, and being involved behind-the-scenes at Pegasus has given me technical and analytical skills that will no doubt prove invaluable in the business world after I graduate.

 

 

OU Student Government President Explores American-Israeli Relations at D.C. Meeting

Joscelyn meets a fellow student government president.

In early March I had the honor of being invited to attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s Policy Conference 2012.  The Policy Conference is held each year to educate men and women from around the country about the importance of a strong Israeli-American relationship.  The conference is three days of big speeches, breakout sessions, and opportunities to lobby one’s representatives to ensure that a strong Israeli-American relationship is one of America’s continuing priorities. 

Every year, AIPAC brings out hundreds of student delegates to attend the Policy Conferences.  This year, I was one of 217 student government association presidents invited to spend the weekend in Washington D.C. learning about AIPAC’s mission and all of the ways in which I—as a student, as a member of a community, and as one of the youths that is going to propel our country forward—can make a difference

The theme of this year’s Policy Conference was “Shared Values, Shared Vision” and the majority of the speakers used this theme to highlight all of the ways in which Israelis and Americans have continually worked together to ensure the safety, health and vitality of our nations.  We heard tons of stories about how Israel and America have worked together in the past, and we heard pleas for this continued relationship to stand strong against Iran, making sure that Iran is unable to make a nuclear weapon. 

That was the big picture AIPAC experience: major speakers, heartfelt stories and calls to action.  In the smaller picture though, I had some amazing experiences:

  • I got to hear President Obama, Israeli President Peres, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, and countless other politicians speak.  All of them took the stage and their first remarks all made a point about how many students, especially SGA presidents, were in the room.
  • I sat in a breakout session about Arab Spring and got to see what I’ve learned in Core in action.  The speakers were discussing “being on this side of history,” and I was able to see what they were saying in the context of what I’ve learned in Core. 
  • I got to meet 216 other SGA presidents and spent the weekend learning from them.  We shared stories of our experiences with each other, and gave each other advice for how to make changes on our campuses.
  • I spent a beautiful spring weekend in Washington D.C. and was able to squeeze in a little bit of amazing sightseeing.  My favorite part, outside the conference, was going to the Newseum.  As a media studies major I walked through a museum dedicated to chronicling the changes to the news media since its inception.  It was like walking through a textbook, in all of the best ways imaginable.

As I was leaving D.C., I thought about everything I’d done and learned over the weekend.  I had definitely figured out what AIPAC wanted me to walk away with from the experience.  I’d learned about the importance of staying informed, making sure that I used my voice, and staying involved.  As cliché as it sounds, I walked away with a renewed understanding of how I can make a difference.  And whether or not I choose to use my abilities for furthering American-Israeli relations—or for making sure other students have the same Oglethorpe experience I love—as long as I am fighting for something I’m passionate about, I’m doing everything in my power to make a difference.  And that is what is truly important.