University of San Diego

My previous role at USD gave me a lot of freedom to create.  I learned a ton in the five+ years I was there and really expanded my horizons.  I was able to earn my Master of Science in Global Leadership – a business leadership degree with a global focus, offered as an alternative to the one-size-fits-all MBA that “everyone” has.

Here are some of the fun things I was able to create while working at the university (many of them are still active / in-use):

MS in Global Leadership Student Blog – leveraging the interesting life stories of our students, I created a blog that was student-written and full of great stories.  This blog serves a couple of specific purposes – first, it helps our students and alums reflect and put into words their own experiences.  The blog is also a great place to send prospective students when I hear, “so what do people do with this degree?”

MS in Global Leadership Blog – this blog is really more of a news and events posting blog, but includes some interesting, on-the-spot accounts of things happening on campus.  It’s just another window into the MS in Global Leadership world for those who are interested.

MS in Global Leadership website – using Adobe Contribute, I’ve been able to edit and create content within some specified boundaries (USD branding standards).  Always a work in progress. (Author’s note: since my departure, the website was completely re-designed – something I was wanting for a long time!).

Business School Dean’s Blog – working with the Dean of the School of Business in the summer of 2011, we started a new blog from scratch.  I worked with David Pyke and his staff on developing rich and compelling content, creating an editorial calendar, custom design of the blog skin, and putting the plan into action.  It was great to see the launch just a few months before I left for my new job at Vistage.  It’s even better to see how this blog has become one of the main vehicles for communication from the school (as was our plan).

One day while brainstorming ideas on how we can capitalize on the number of military (specifically Navy) officers we had in our master’s program, I came up with the tagline “From the Wardroom to the Boardroom.”  The director of marketing immediately sent that to the university’s general counsel to trademark for our exclusive use.  We built a print campaign around the idea of officers in transition – going from military service to the business world.  Here are a couple of examples of the artwork we created for those print ads.

At first glance, this print piece might seem a little wordy – but we wanted to tell enough of Bronston’s story to get folks to visit the custom landing page to get the rest of the story.

Each of these platforms has given me a ton of experience in finding ways to engage alumni, current students and prospective students – all in an effort to increase the quality and quantity of student applications (which has happened consistently).  More importantly, Google Analytics has provided valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t work.  I’ve also been able to promote these platforms and engage others through MS in Global Leadership LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

Joan Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, University of San Diego