My name is Mel and I am a Business co-op student as well as a PLLC year 2 scholar.
These past couple of months have been hectic. As a co-op student, I have secured an 8-month full time work term at the City of Edmonton from May to the end of December (#adulting #notready). In addition to working this summer, I had the opportunity to compete in an international business case competition in Hong Kong in June. As you can probably tell, it has been an fast-pace but extremely rewarding summer so far. I am incredibly lucky to have these experiences and opportunities, but I have to be honest – it is a lot. As many of you may know, working a full day and then coming home to do more Stretch work is not easy. If you are on the same boat, I salute you, my friend. It has been challenging and often gruelling but, I hope that this experience has stretched you and made you a more resilient person.
In this post, I want to explain what I have been working on for the past four months. For my Stretch, I have decided to work with a group of highly intelligent and hardworking musicians and artists on developing our Zenkora: The Seven Eras concert experience. Zenkora is an interdisciplinary Arts initiative that aims to weave together the different facets of art through a collection of original stories and settings. What makes this initiative unique is that it’s a multimedia concert with a full symphony orchestra performing together with contemporary ballet, devised theatre, animation, poetry and narration, and the incorporation of visual art.
My role as the Public Relations and Communications Executive is to promote Zenkora: The Seven Eras to potential donors, attendees and bring it to the public’s attention. Since we are now waiting on the results of a grant, we realized that we needed a back-up plan to fund our initiative. Thus, we have created a Kickstarter (crowdsourcing) campaign to fundraise. I have found that tough part of maintaining social media platforms, especially as a start-up, is that you have to be constantly alert and ready to provide information to interested people. One challenge was that due to the nature of my co-op, I struggled to balance the task of properly maintaining FB posts or writing emails out to potential sponsors. I have communicated this with my direct mentor as well and we made sure to try to solve this dilemma. Thankfully, there are more individuals joining in how the marketing aspect of the project so we can divide up the responsibilities.
That being stated, I have learned a lot about building up a start-up. Of course, there are both hardships and high wins. As an entrepreneur, everything is in the process and so all the aspects of the organization could benefit from more resources. This is why it is frustrating when companies and potential donors decline sponsorship opportunities and funding requests. On the other hand, it is empowering to see your hard work directly translate into 28 more people liking your page on Facebook, or 2 more people donating to your Kickstarter, or interested friends and family supporting the cause. It’s a complete rush – entrepreneurship – and that is something I am thankful for experiencing this summer.
Zenkora Universe Website: https://www.zenkora-universe.com
Thanks for reading & plenty of cheers,
Melanie M. Liu