Civic Leadership- Capstone Project

The basics of social media & marketing: UCO Offices of Student Conduct & Title IX

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Position Discription
  • Timeline and Planning
  • Partnerships
  • Social Media Content
  • Leadership Connection
  • Reflection

Preface

For this capstone project I am utilizing my internship experience with the Offices of Student Conduct and Title IX at the University of Central Oklahoma as their social media and marketing intern. The Offices of Student Conduct and Title IX is located in the Nigh University Center on the third floor, in room 323.

The office consist of the Director of Student Conduct and Title IX, Assistant Director of StudentConduct, an Investigator, an Administrative Assistant, an office assistant, a student worker, a forensic science intern and myself. In total, there are only eight people who are in the office.

The office staff is pictured below.

It is a small office, but work gets done that is challenging and has a significant impact on the university as a whole. The university outlines on their website that The Office of Student Conduct is to determine responsibility in reported matters of misconduct and concern through timely and equitable investigations which result in the application of educationally appropriate resolutions on behalf of the University of Central Oklahoma.

The purpose of the office is to ensure students are made aware of UCO’s policies and standards of behavior, rights, resources and responsibilities to uphold those polices and standards. As the social media and marketing intern my mission is to positivity promote the office, be transparent about the work being done, and build connections with other offices on campus. 

Introduction

The Offices of Student Conduct and Title IX at the University of Central Oklahoma sought out interns to do their social media and marketing. I have the honor to be one of those interns to help post on social media and showcase a positive light on the work that they do. This office handles difficult situations, that might not turn out the way they were expected, and being able to provide students, faculty and staff transparency of what the office does is important. By effecting communicating their efforts it helps create a positive and welcoming environment for the UCO community. 

Position Description

For my capstone stone project, I served as the social media and marketing intern for the Offices of Student Conduct and Title IX at the University of Central Oklahoma. I mainly focus on managing and building out their social media accounts, specifically Instagram, where most students are plugged into. The content produced included resources that are available through their office and on campus, frequently asked questions, fun tips, the purpose of the office, how the process of a hearing works, and other general information.

These concepts have been built out through interactive posts, videos, highlight reels and more. In addition, to the social media aspect of the position I help encourage student on campus to see the value the office has on campus and help them fully understand what the office does.

Not only does the social media and marketing strategies serve a purpose for students, but it also speaks to faculty, staff, parents and the UCO community. The overarching goal of this position is to build transparency and awareness to the office. 

Timeline & Planning

At the beginning of the semester I was able to sit down with my supervisor, Kelly, and her boss Erin, to plan out what it was they were wanting the social media to consist of. For example, they wanted to highlight those who work in the office so people could connect faces with names. They wanted to provide tips on Tuesday regarding student conduct and Title IX, highlight partnerships and other offices that they work closely with.

In addition, they wanted content related to the months that are national recognized like Black History Month and Women’s History Month. Being able to post content related both to our office and the national recognition was important to them. After we had a plan of what we were wanting it was easy to start planning out the weeks and what we wanted to cover. It is a team effort to ensure that we got everything covered we want to in the timeframes that we had set for ourself.

Partnerships

In light to the timeline and planning one of the big goals the Offices of Student Conduct and Title IX had was to create partnerships with other offices on campus that they work closely with. The hope is that each office would promote each other and build awareness on different topics. Up to this point OSCTIX has partnered with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, The Center, and Project SPEAK. They are planning to work with others in the upcoming months.

Below you can find some content that was created through these partnerships.

Social Media Content

This portion of the internship is slowly coming to an end. But, up to this point I have created posts that highlight who works in the office, information regarding Black History Month and significant leaders, how to avoid plagiarism, the Dixon v. Alabama court case, our partnerships and so much more!

Check it out!

https://www.instagram.com/uco_osctix/

The best part about making the social media content was being able to be creative and have freedom on how I wanted to display the message. It really test my skills on how to get serious messages across a social media platform but also keeping it engaging for the audience.

Below are some of my favorite content pieces!

Leadership Connection

Question: How did your expectations differ from the reality in working with site of your capstone activity?

At the start of this internship I had set expectations in my mind of what my tasks and duties would be in the position. During my interview it was discussed that I would be in charge of the social media for the office. It would include creating valuable, interactive and informative information that pertained to the office. I had my expectations set for just that.

However, those expectations have differed ever so slightly while working on site. During my time up to this point creating content was not what I thought it would be. The office didn’t have any social media, or content ready to be posted, or planned out. It had to be built out completely from scratch. Some days it is challenging to find time to do research, post and plan ahead. I knew it was going to require time and attention to detail.

Creating post worthy information is tedious but it allows you to be creative with the insight you want to bring to the table. In all respect, I truly have enjoyed my time as the social media and marketing intern for the OSCTIX.

Question: What leadership challenges have you encountered?

During my time spent in this position I knew that there was going to be challenges that I would face. Throughout my time I worked with other offices on campus to collaborate on special projects to post content on. Not having proper knowledge and education on some of the topics was a slight challenge. Consequently, it allowed me to grow in more ways than one and challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and gain knowledge on topics that I wouldn’t have gotten to learn about otherwise.

 All that goes to say, I had to work with other student workers, employees, and leaders on campus. It was a challenge often times to get in communication with them. Once getting in contact with them it was hard for them to follow through with the ideas and plans we had set in place. My supervisors were excited to see these partnerships play out and have a significant impact not only our offices but for the university as a whole.

As a result, I quickly learned that not everyone has the same drive and efforts towards the ideas as I do. Some people didn’t see how important the content would be for the goals we had set as I did. Consiquently, myself and my supervisor worked efficiently to produce the necessary materials, as other offices didn’t give it much thought, which was hard to come by.

Question: What leadership strategies have you utilized in working with the challenges?

I expected to be pushed as a leader when accepting this internship. Not only have I grown my understanding on social media and marketing tactics, but I’ve grown as a person and developed leadership strategies that are beneficial now and will have a significant impact in the future. When sitting down and planning out content material I quickly learned the importance of asking what was specifically needed of me and the requirements of the posting they were wanting completed. It is risky just to assume what they are wanting and putting out wrongful information. In the same manner, I have learned that being respectful and assertive to those you are working with is sometimes needed to ensure you’re getting your tasks completed.

Being able to communicate the reasoning and why behind something is important. It helps keep all parties involved and on the same page. In addition, during this opportunity I have fully learned what it means to have a seat at the table. I have been able to speak up and voice my opinion on projects, explain my reasoning as to why and how we should create specific content, and feel valued as an employee but as a person.

Lastly, one of the greatest strategies that I have gained from my time at this internship is voicing when there’s too much on my plate and being able to justify not stretching myself too thin. It’s important to me a person and leader to produce valuable work and sometimes asking for help and saying “I can’t get to that yet” is significant. 

Question: How does your capstone project help the organization you’ve worked with?

By serving in the internship role it relives pressure off the office to find time and effort to manage their social media and build new materials. The OSCTIX has a lot going on, more than what the normal person would realize, and with a small office there’s not enough people to get all done.

By taking this position off the hands of my supervisor it gives her the ability to provide her undivided attention to the bigger requirements of her job as an investigator. In the same light, I am able to help the organization by adding my positive and personal experience in the office.

The office deals with tough and sensitive situations and doesn’t always have a positive light shining upon them. Being able to unapologetically be myself and bring smiles, joy and laughter to those in the office is special and I will cherish it forever.

Additionally, being involved on campus and in organizations holding leadership roles, I’m able to encourage my peers about OSCTIX and the positive role they have on our campus. 

Question: How does your capstone project demonstrate your leadership skills ?

My leadership qualities of being organized, active listening, being positive, and attention to detail were demonstrated throughout my capstone project. At the very beginning of this internship I made it a priority to sit down with my supervisor and her boss to realistically lay out what they wanted me to produce content on. Having the opportunity to sit and discuss what they wanted accomplished and what was expected of me provided a firm foundation of what my time during this internship was going to look like.

During that meeting and looking forward my organizational skills were used to plan out what I needed to do each week. Being able to actively listen to other offices and how we could better support the collaborations was vital and I was able to use that leadership quality to my advantage. Having a positive outlook on this internship, being hopeful of the outcome it has on the public, has been important and has made the experience one to remember. 

Reflection

At the start I was skeptical of what this position would really intel and I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into. It was a lot to take in and knew that there was a lot of work that needed to be done. I had never been in a position that had so much freedom up until this point. It was walking in an unknown world, but looking back on it now I have paved my own way on how to successfully complete what needs to be done.

During my time at this internship I was able to connect my skills, abilities, and tasks to the academic material that was being taught throughout the semester. Specifically, we have been reading the book Thanks For The Feedback by Douglas Stone and Shelia Heen throughout the semester. I have been able to use their tips and advice on how to give and receive feedback effectively during my time in this position. I quickly connected that I have to ask for specific feedback. I have to know what I’m looking for. Is it going to be appreciation, coaching or evaluation? When specifically asking for coaching, which is what I used most in this position, it allows both parties to know what to expect and give to each other.

Another aspect of the academic material that I took advantage of during this internship was the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. I enjoyed learning about my leadership style and my preferences. It was clear to see the connection between them and how I preformed in the office. My type came out to be ESFJ and it was evident to see my judging preference shine through during my internship. I was organized, scheduled, made short/long term plans and tried to avoid last minute stress. Knowing my type through the Myers-Briggs was beneficial during my work efforts but also knowing how to work with others who are different than me.

Additionally, I found the value and importance of asking for help and knowing when I had too much on my plate during this internship. I am thankful to have had this opportunity not only to learn more about the digital communication world, but to learn more about myself and the abilities that I have. Because, of the experience I have become more confident in who I am as a person and knowing how to hold myself in a professional light when working with others.

I can confidently say that your outlook on a situation is all it takes to make or break your experience. I can see myself acquiring a social media and marketing job in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as the social media and marketing intern for the Offices of Student Conduct and Title IX. 

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