Today I represented the group for the live Oxfam brief along with fellow student Thomas Betts. As far as the content of this post, it is difficult to know where to start when considering the whole experience. The idea of volunteering for something that isn’t assessed didn’t initially fill one with joy but I thought that I would give it a go just out of curiosity if anything.
The initial stages of the group meetings I was enthusiastic although reluctant to contribute as I felt a little out of my depth. However as the weekly meetings continued I became more confident as I found my place. As the deadline for the pitch begun to loom I feel that my influence became more important as I was able to draw on my knowledge of social media and running a website for my wedding photography business.
I felt that my contributions were highly valued as it emerged that I was the only member of the group with experience of running a website for commercial purposes. I was able to offer a number of solutions to the group on subjects such as social media strategy in addition to highlighting the importance of a landing page to anchor the various accounts. At this stage it became clear that I could offer a valuable contribution which was a great feeling as I felt I felt useful. It was also nice to receive direct messages from members of the group asking for reviews and advice.
When I started the MA I felt that I would do well to get through the course but in this scenario I found myself assuming the role of mentor. As our idea gathered pace we were confronted with the next challenge which was to begin to formulate a pitch. After tentative discussions it quickly emerged that I could use my experience in a teaching setting to provide a type of structure to our response. My contribution was to suggest am overarching aim in addition to three objectives. In terms of objectives I felt that it was important to encompass a broader aim such first with the most specific being at the end. The group liked this approach therefore we went with the idea of ‘Challenging fast fashion’ to ‘Converting audiences into consumers’.
This led to my next role which was that of copywriter. Therefore I produced the first draft of text for the presentation before my peers edited. Although I felt that I had made a significant contribution, Victoria Smith was very much the leader of the group and did a great job in organising and managing the group. therefore I was slightly shocked when she asked myself and Thomas Betts to present the pitch. I was reluctant to take on this role as I felt that Victoria should pitch because of the amount of effort she had put in. My thoughts were that she should pitch as she had worked so hard throughout the process. as Victoria had insisted, I agreed to take on the role of presenter.
The day of the pitch a felt a real buzz about the whole prospect of the challenge. The group functioned really well as we spent over four hours in the days lading up on video calls to organise things. As a result the group really bonded as a team and the networking experience was brilliant.
The pitch itself I didn’t feel was brilliant and I definitely could have done a better job however I wasn’t too disappointed as I felt the experience throughout the process, meeting new people with a similar interest was enriching and valuable. Especially as the country is in a type of lockdown, in some way we were able to share our time and use the live brief as a type of outlet which I value very highly.