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Cara Cheng

she/her
Beedie School of Business | Communication, Art + Technology › Interactive Arts + Technology › Media Arts
Co-operative Education › Local Co-op

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Avel Chuklanov

Have you ever had multiple interests that seem to be unrelated to each other? I have. I have a passion for graphic design and marketing. I started as a business student when I enrolled at SFU. However, ever since I was young, I have always been passionate about art. I felt unsatisfied and realized that Business should not be the only academic field for me. Therefore, I decided to pursue a joint major with Interactive Art and Technology. People always said that it was a weird or interesting combination that they had never thought existed. Business and design seem to be two completely different fields. However, for me, it is the best combination.

During my Co-Op seeking process, finding jobs that require both marketing and design skills equally was challenging. Since I am more interested in graphic design, I applied for a graphic design intern position at the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association as my first application. The hiring manager then learnt that I was doing a BBA and IAT joint major. She unexpectedly offered me a Marketing and Graphic Design Intern position in the Click on Surrey team.

The Click on Surrey team consists of four co-op students to provide marketing services to small local businesses in the Downtown Surrey area. The services we offered include:

1. Social media marketing (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc.)

2. Videography and photography services to produce professional quality photographs for advertising

3. Graphic design for customizable ads and logos

4. Website design for a personalized webpage

As a marketing and graphic design intern, I was responsible to approach and connect businesses in person, by phone, and by email. Small businesses that need our help usually do not have enough human resources or knowledge to handle marketing by themselves. This summer, my team worked with 12  businesses in total. I created social media accounts and boosted posts for them to increase their online presence using their budgets. Setting the right target audience and budget for each advertisement is crucial toa successful promotion. The biggest challenge in my marketing position was that some businesses were not responsive as they were too busy or were not used to technology. This made us very difficult to communicate with them by phone or email. I could not do anything unless I got their responses and permissions. To solve this situation, I had to visit the businesses in person, which could be time-consuming.

I was also responsible to design marketing materials required by the businesses. I developed graphics and layouts for the company’s social media posts every week, logo, newsletters, banner, letterhead, and proposal. As a marketing and graphic design intern, I had to keep reminding myself that the work I designed was not merely an artwork. They served marketing purposes. Therefore, the design I made emphasized more on conveying messages clearly and strikingly instead of being purely aesthetic. Following the company’s branding guideline and colors were crucial. I learnt to put aside my personal artistic preference to satisfy the client’s wants and fit the company’s branding. The past 4-month Co-op has been an amazing learning experience for me, and it has affirmed to me that marketing and graphic design can work perfectly together. I am excited to pursue and explore more in these fields after graduation

Author

Cara Cheng

she/her
Beedie School of Business | Communication, Art + Technology › Interactive Arts + Technology › Media Arts
Co-operative Education › Local Co-op

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