President & Founder of Macquarie [University] Marketing Student Association
“It was … basically a small business.”
The biggest challenge (which I thought I would absolutely nail) was to maintain morale and culture within the team and continuously increase team engagement. For me, I had never stepped out of my comfort zone before and started something new like I did with MMSA, so I was never familiar with not only managing my own team from scratch but forming a team of individuals that would aim to achieve the goals of the society as much as I did. This was unexpected as it was all volunteer work for students, but it was also basically a small business.
Initially I had quite a few people join the executive committee and I interviewed them myself, but soon after they decided to leave. It was important for me to then realise that we needed to establish a great culture within the society and so … instead of booking meeting rooms, I planned team lunches and dinners to get the team motivated as well as get to know each other a bit more. We now have a very strong executive team behind all of the works, and will soon be on boarding our directors so we can achieve, bigger and better, in 2018.
Although we are an established society, our biggest win so far would be selling out our Industry Event in late October this year. This was … right in the middle of [the] assessment period before finals.
Who would show up to an event at 6PM when they've got 50 assignments due in the next week right? But our marketing was absolutely amazing thanks to my team and we made the event a success and every individual that attended had benefitted.
What’s on the horizon for 2018?
In 2018 we have big dreams of planning a variety of social and industry related events, through which students and our members are given opportunities to develop their marketing technical skills, as well as develop professionally. We aimed to increase attendance at these events. MMSA currently has 130 registered members, and we aim for this number to reach 400 by the end of 2018.
One of MMSA's biggest aims in 2018 is to increase the number of industry connections. We believe that students and the society can benefit through managing relationships between companies and industry mentors, so we would love to design some sort of program which will enable students to apply for a mentor from the marketing industry.
"Simple – get OFF campus (briefly)"
Plan a team lunch outside of your normal meeting times or have the team over for dinner if someone has a large enough dining room to cram everyone in. In the working world, companies have staff retreats, picnics and celebrations to get to know one another outside the office.
Take the chance to build strong friendships and watch this cross-over into improved working relationships and improved results.