I applied to become the community relations director when I entered my capstone course. I did this because I knew I wanted to be able to interact with the residents of Pineville.
However, halfway through the semester, I was asked to step in as the qualitative research director. In this new position, I became in charge of collecting data from the Pineville Community Kick-Off, the community roundtables, and the creative workshops. This data helped create the research that led to Pineville’s brand colors, fonts and logo.
When I stepped into this role I was excited, but I was also nervous. The team had a chapter deadline approaching, and I felt very behind. I headed to the library and spent hours compiling information. I needed to understand the common themes surrounding the community member’s opinions about Pineville.
As I gathered information for the chapter, I began to realize the importance of the events we had during the start of the semester. Every question we asked at the Community Kick-Off and community roundtables was significant to our research. It helped us establish Pineville’s strengths and weaknesses. This role has given me a greater understanding of the Pineville community, which has also helped me in my role as community relations director.
Being the qualitative research director hasn’t only bettered my understanding of the campaign, but it has also greatly improved my time management skills. My research partner and I worked around the clock on our primary research chapter. We spent a lot of time in the library, and we planned multiple work meetings to make sure all of the tasks were being completed. As I wrote the chapter I was able to improve my writing skills. I really had to consider my wording because I needed to present readable data for the campaign book.
Here’s a list of tips and tricks I picked up along the way:
1. Always plan ahead.
We hit several bumps in the road while writing the research chapter. Luckily, we were ahead of schedule, which allowed us to work through any issues without getting behind.
2. Lead the reader by the hand.
Dr. Colistra always tells the #BrandPineville team to lead the reader by the hand. This means writing concisely and making sure information isn’t lost in a dense document.
3. Talk to your professor.
I was feeling overwhelmed by the chapter, so I went into Dr. Colistra’s office for a meeting. She set my mind at ease immediately. Sometimes talking about an issue makes it seem less scary!
4. Time management is key.
It can seem daunting to start writing a chapter for a campaign book. You will cause yourself less stress by scheduling a time to work on it each day.
We finished our chapter at the end of October. Seeing it printed out, ready to hand in, has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my semester. Jumping into this role has been nerve-wracking, but it has also been worth every second.
My name is Kayla Asbury, and I am the community relations and qualitative research director for BrandJRNY’s #BrandPineville team. Ask me about my favorite vegetarian crockpot recipe. Follow me on Twitter, @kasbury_.