Unicorns Speak Easy

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By - Monica

Can A Student Advise A Successful Company?

We’re heading for the holidays and before you know, semester two is upon us and I bet you it’s going to be hell on earth. OK, slightly dramatic, and first we’ll have to finish our first semester exams the coming weeks and it’s fine so far but ask me in a few weeks when we get our assignments for the second semester…

I’m not actually at the university until tomorrow but today was my first day at “the Office”.

You might wonder how did I get there? It’s a great story about how helping other (good) people you can help yourself.

I was involved in the development of a website for people who want to get their HS diploma and got recommended by the owners of this website to their friends who run “the Office”. And I am entirely grateful and tell you helping other good people pays off. But going back to my story.

On Tuesday night Chiefy e-mailed me and told me to come in this afternoon to start work – I asked what time, and if I needed to bring my laptop.

Did she reply? No, she did not. I turned up at 1 p.m. today anyway and she swiftly apologized for not getting back to me. She sat me down in the office and said she had things for me to do – a look of dread crossed my face, and as she turned around I was trying to pick up my bag and find the escape route.

She sat down and simply said, “We would like you to carry out a full marketing audit if that’s OK?” Um… sure? I was expecting her to ask me to part the Red Sea, or build an ark, but a marketing audit I can do, yes sir.

But wait for it. Next week I have to complete my findings, put it nicely into writing, and hold a meeting telling everyone what is good and bad about their marketing technique, offering advice on how they can improve. Hello? Second-year university student, not a hotshot entrepreneur.

I love the fact that I’ve been given a marketing audit to do because this is my forté, but then consulting with them on their practices scares me. Who am I to tell them what to do better? A company that has enjoyed successes for over 20 years. Granted, their marketing is, in a word, shit. But okay, I’ll show them I can write a great analysis of their “non-existent” online marketing activities and knock their socks off.

And they create their posters on Paint. Not even Paint Shop Pro, which I could forgive them for because j’adore that software but PAINT? No no, this will not do. So this is the first thing on my meeting agenda (*note to self* must purchase a briefcase).

The next thing I want to discuss is their use of social networking – no Facebook group, no Twitter, no Instagram. How they’ve got this far in the 21st Century is beyond me.

So after wandering around the building with my notepad, scribbling notes about their in-house posters and use of marketing I retired to the boardroom – oh yes, Donald Trump can kiss it – and thought about how I could tell them they were totally useless. Let the un-leashed class rule and come up with a good story so they’ll change their strategies entirely!

I don’t know who designs the posters but chances are they’ll be [planted] in the meeting and I won’t know about it – and chances are I will possibly offend somebody. I think I’ll need to talk to a good friend of mine who’s a bit older. He might give me some useful advice. So far I’m mentioning lack of color, poor use of space, no brand identity, and the killer blow – not goddamn good enough. They’re gonna love me, yes?

So the week has started shaky but I am beyond for the rest of the week – I have a two-hour lecture tomorrow on Marketing Management, then next week. on Wednesday it’s Responsible Management, finishing with Entrepreneurship on Thursday. Let the stress commence again and we’ll see how the end of the year will go.