Archive for the 'recruiting' Category

24
Apr
08

The benefits of high-quality photography in recruiting efforts – Part One.

First off, let me start by saying my apologies for not having blogged in such a long time. Finding that balance between full-time employee, student, and friend has been difficult this semester. The last three weeks have been particularly crazy and have seen me virtually disappear from the social media world (aside from Twitter). But I’m back now and ready for the final semester push that includes final projects and commencement.

Anyway, this is a post that I have been working on for quite some time, and I’m not quite sure that I am done with it yet, but I’m throwing this initial piece out there to start some discussion. I’ll give you some background as well since this is really where this post started.

I’ve been trying to think of what to do for my final in graduate studies. I have three choices: comprehensive exam, thesis paper, or a project. I am not a paper person, so I immediately ruled that out, and I really don’t like taking tests. Not only that, I love working on projects, so that was really the only choice in my mind. The more difficult choice was choosing what to do for it. I wanted to do something that would not only benefit me, but something that I could use in my job. My first idea, however, did not go over so well. So, I talked to one of my professors about doing a tutorial with me this summer that would be the prelude/beginning of the project and he has agreed.

I will be working with my photography professor on a very intensive research and building project. The research will involve studying good photography and really breaking down why the photographs are good. I want to pay particular attention to higher education photography and portraits since that is what I will be shooting most often. I think I have a good eye for getting good shots, but sometimes I feel like my technical knowledge is not put to use. I can explain photography to people all day, but then I don’t always illustrate it in my photos.

Building may or may not be the right word to use here, but it’s all I can think of. I will be building a new collection of photos for the campus for use in admissions recruitment purposes and for marketing. I will be primarily photographing students because we already have plenty of campus scenery shots that are good. And the students are what a university is all about right?

The reason I am doing this is because students nowadays don’t want to see those setup shots. And believe me, they can tell. I’ve co-hosted some focus groups recently which we asked the students a variety of questions, one of which was whether they felt we portrayed the university accurately. Most said yes, but the no’s all referenced our brochures. And that my friends is why I decided this would be the perfect project.

Alright, I think that is it for this post. Over time I have realized that this is something that is really going to take multiple posts, so I’m going to split it up. I’ll bring you along in my progress and hope that you enjoy the ride. I have some other drafts started that will give some examples, etc. of the old verses the new. I will also go into more detail about HOW it will help.

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05
Mar
08

In my spare time.

**WE ARE LIVE**  It took a couple of days, but now we are officially LIVE in Google Earth!  Check it out by downloading Google Earth 4 and fly to “1 University Dr, Springfield, IL” and we will be there!  Make sure you enable 3D Buildings as well in the lower left hand “Layers” box.

UHB

**My Jing account only has 1GB of bandwidth that apparently I reached after 5 views yesterday…I’m going to work on fixing that today, but if you cannot view the video, my apologies.**

I’ve had something lately that I haven’t really had for a while: spare time. I’ve decided that I wanted to put some of that time to good use. I stumbled across a video on YouTube about the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO.

So I thought, why not do that for my campus?! I really enjoyed my 3D design class, so I told myself, “Self, you’re gonna do this!” I went to Google Earth to figure out what to do. They have a program called Google Sketchup which I downloaded, and after a couple days of testing and trying to figure it out, I was able to construct something that I thought looked pretty good. Watch the video below that I made using a service called Jing, something I had forgotten I was able to get. @Joe, Jing allows me to do screen captures for free! *Shakes head…

For now, I cannot embed my screencast video. Click here to view the screencast of my Google Earth Video.

I plan to be able to complete all the buildings within a month or two (it took me about 4 days to do UHB). It may not be a very widely used service, but I think some students will enjoy going in and playing around with it. Plus, it gives our online population the ability to see our campus without having to actually travel here. 2D photos can only do so much. So go download Google Earth and type in our address “1 University Plaza, Springfield, IL” and play around with it. Let me know what you think!

04
Mar
08

Using Twitter for Higher Ed

There have been a lot of posts lately about the uses of Twitter. Andrew Careaga asked Should Universities Tweet?, a University of Auburn student, Brett Pohlman posted about Twitter, Chris Brogan wrote about a company that Uses Social Media to Announce, and The Chronicle questioned whether it would take off with professors. Last week we brought in Shel Holtz, a consulting agent who spoke about social media in higher education, and he talked a lot about using Twitter. But I was really hoping that he would go into HOW to effectively use Twitter for Higher Ed. This is something that I have been running through my mind for some time now. I have been using Twitter for a good couple of months. The uses in my life are easy to track. I use it to keep up with not only my friends, but also people in higher education that I share similar interests with, etc. It gives me ideas and lets me keep up with what projects they are working on. Here’s an example…FJ Gaylor is an excellent Higher Ed photographer, Shel Holtz who I mentioned before, Matt Herzberger is a Web Rockstar at the University of Texas A&M, Brad J Ward is the Electronic Communications Coordinator (ie visionary) at Butler University, Heidi Cool is a web designer at Case Western Reserve University, and Seth Meranda is the Assistant Director of Interactive Media at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

twitter feed

I mention all this because these are all people that I follow (and who follow me) so that we can keep each other updated. We do it as friends and we do it as professionals.

However, I have been searching for a convincing manner in which to use Twitter for Higher Ed effectively. Amongst all the turmoil in my head lately (hence the lack of blog postings), I came up with an idea. The Admissions Department at UIS has been thinking about ditching the chat feature on our page for something much better. It is a very expensive service that doesn’t get used that often. So I thought, why not set up a UIS Admissions Twitter account and post that on our website? Most people in the chat use it like an IM and use very short sentences. Not only that, they don’t have to wait until a chat date to talk with someone. Our Student Ambassadors (as well as myself) can/will check the Twitter account during the day, and I will monitor it at night. It probably wouldn’t get that much use normally, but on days where we have advertised chat sessions, a group of ambassadors would be logged in and could post responses to it.

Now this may not be the best way to go about a live chat, but for all the time where the chat isn’t live, I think this would work well. Students have to log in to the chat anyway, so why not get them started on Twitter and build a community before they come to college. That way when they get here, they already have some connections.

If anyone has any good suggestions for a Live Chat service, let me know because the one we have now is not attractive and very expensive. This is definitely one area in which we could cut back costs since our governor keeps reducing our budget…that’s just my own personal insight and not necessarily shared by others.

I did want to mention one last thing though. Shel Holtz mentioned that the University of Michigan implemented Twitter as a FREE Emergency Notification System. There has been a lot of talk about ENS’s lately, and I know UIS has invested a lot of money into a cell phone notification system. The fact that someone at Michigan said why not use Twitter to send text messages to students is brilliant! I only wish I would have thought of that first…
31
Jan
08

I am getting the bug back!

So as I sit here, bitterly enjoying my Subway sub and looking at lenses for my camera, I am thinking to myself: “I really miss taking photos.” Over the course of the past week or so, I have been able to take a lot of photos of a variety of different things. I’ve been able to hang out with some friends and shoot photos with them, and more importantly, some of my girlfriend! As I thought about it over lunch, I realized the reason I quit enjoying photography was because I was shooting too many things that I wasn’t passionate about. Not only that, but it was usually on a last minute notice thing and more often than not, after hours. And while I enjoy attending events, I wish I had something to show for it. I talked with our creative director the other day, and ever since I started here I’ve been trying to get some new camera equipment. I’ve been begging for a good telephoto to replace the 28-200 G lens that I have now. Performance wise, the lens takes nice photos outdoors. Inside shots with low light, and autofocusing though are awful. I don’t think I’ve ever used a lens that focuses as slow as this one does, and is also not that accurate. Also, the zoom is not very tight (and is backwards from every other Nikon lens I’ve ever used…) and slides out while moving around. Aside from all that, it does take nice photos when the lighting is right. Unfortunately for me, I take a lot of photos in very poorly lit places and in places you’re not supposed to use a flash. In these situations I resort to my trusty 50mm f1.8. Like these photos here, the left one being pretty much my trademark shot:

Eddie Smith Dunk at UIS Eddie Smith Dunk at UIS

Now, my friend Joe, of FJ Gaylor told me yesterday that he had a lens he might be able to sell me which would be amazing! Hook me up! Another reason I have been excited about photography is because the FJ Gaylor was updated to include all their fall 07 shots. Let me just say that they have their act together! If you need photographs of your college, I would highly recommend them! And I’m not the only one.

 

Moving on, last night at the library (I briefly mentioned this earlier) I was helping Jordan find some things. I came across a book titled “Memoirs of Mary and Martha Washington.”

Memoirs of Mary and Martha Washingon

 

Then I looked at the copyright date in the center on the bottom of the page….1852.

Mary and Martha Washington
Martha Washington

Isn’t that amazing?!?  It’s crazy to think that book is actually in my universities library.

Martha Washington

It’s hard to read, but this book was given as a gift on Christmas in 1853.  These photos were taken with my iPhone.  It does a decent job for a camera phone in low lighting.  But so anyway, I was really amazed and I think the artistic aspect of that book really made me enjoy photographing them (even just with my phone).

 

Alright…last thing…I mentioned bitterly enjoying my sandwich.  Last time I got a tuna sub from Subway I got a six inch.  They put three scoops of tuna on my six inches.  Today I was starving and decided to get a foot long.  I watch as he applies the tuna and see him put only four scoops on my sandwich.  Now…it’s been a while since I’ve taken a math course, but if there are three scoops on a six inch, shouldn’t there be six scoops on a twelve inch sub?  The tuna was spread so thin on my sandwich, I would have gotten all bread and veggies.  So I asked him to put another scoop on my sandwich and he said it would be .50 a scoop.  Then I started thinking, I’m paying more for a 12 inch sub with an extra scoop of tuna than I would for two individual six inch subs.  $7.10 later, I leave with my sub and drink (drink was free for being a student!) and return to my office.  I usually spend $3.27 for lunch on a six inch sub.  It probably wouldn’t bother me so much except for the fact that 4 out of the last 5 times and 7 out of 10 times I have gotten “fast food” whether it be from Subway, Taco Bell, or Wendy’s, they have gotten my order incorrect.  I guess they think that when I ask for a hamburger I really want a cheeseburger instead.  Customer service has really gone down hill…

28
Jan
08

New Blog Unveiling!

Hey everyone! I’ve moved my blog over to WordPress. Leave your feedback and let me know what you think.

For the time being, I’ll still be double-posting to my blogger blog, but after a month or so, that one will be archived. Update your RSS feeds to stay up to date!

29
Oct
07

Electronic Viewbook

Here it is folks! The project that took me away from you for so long.

We looked at some companies that provide this service, but due to budget cuts were unable to go with them. In light of that situation, I did some searching and came up with my own version.

Check it out here!

We will be converting a lot of our print materials to electronic to save some cost and make our materials more accessible for people. They will also be interactive with videos, clickable photos, etc. This is just the first of many projects that I will be working on in the next year in an ambitious schedule I have set for myself.

Please leave your feedback and let me know what you think! Thanks!




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