Career success: Think! Social Media turns to UBC MBA student to help streamline its digital communications
When Think! Social Media contacted Sauder's Business Career Centre in search of the right talent, they knew exactly what they were looking for - an MBA intern who would challenge the way their team was conducting business and delivering customer service at every opportunity. They weren't disappointed.
In June 2010, Agnes Gulbinowicz, UBC MBA 2011, was hired by Think! Social Media on a 14-week internship to develop a strategic online communication plan. The goal was to streamline the effectiveness of the digital agency’s online communications.
Think! Social Media had always followed an informal outreach communication plan because their team was busy servicing clients and weren‘t able to commit the resources to develop their own formal communication plan, which is both a good and bad problem to have.
After short-listing the best candidates, they interviewed three MBA students from three local post-graduate institutions. However, one student in particular — Agnes Gulbinowicz from the Robert H. Lee Graduate School at the Sauder School of Business — had made a lasting impression on the team even prior to interviewing.
Agnes's ongoing efforts to connect with the local business community and expand her network is what would, ultimately, help her secure her internship with Think! Social Media. It all boiled down to an invitation Agnes had extended several months prior. Earlier in the academic year, Agnes had invited the Think! team to share their knowledge and expertise in the social media realm with one of her MBA classes.
Unbeknownst to her, that invitation is what would set her apart from the other candidates right from the outset. Upon interviewing her, Think! was impressed with Agnes on many fronts, but, in particular, they were wowed by her curiosity about the new communications opportunities in the tourism sector.
During Agnes’ three month internship, she not only increased the effectiveness of Think!’s online efforts, but she challenged the team on an ongoing basis which benefited the organization on countless levels.
As Ben Vadasz, Co-Founder of Think! Social Media indicated, “Overall, the team learned new skills from Agnes; which is exactly what we wanted to see happen – an ideas factory of academic and business world knowledge meshing to service our clients better.”
During her internship, Agnes conducted research into the online and offline activities of both the tourism and social media industries, and developed the company’s strategic communication plan. Prior to completing her internship, Agnes also began implementing the first phase of the plan which involved building engagement on Think!’s online channels.
As a direct result of Agnes’ online communication plan and subsequent implementation, Think! has seen a noticeable improvement in the engagement levels of its community and, according to Mr. Vadasz, “has already translated to increased exposure in the industry and an increase in word of mouth referrals.”
Since the internship with Agnes, Think! Social Media has continued their involvement with the Sauder School of Business and continues to be blown away by the students’ “impressive academic knowledge on business and modern technology.” Mr. Vadasz continues, “There is a spark of entrepreneurship in every student from the Sauder School of Business at UBC.”
When asked if Think! Social Media would recruit from the Sauder School of Business again, Mr. Vadasz replied, “See you next year.”
Think! Social Media is a digital agency that specializes in social media solutions for the tourism industry. They work with Destination Marketing Organizations all over the world to create and implement manageable strategies that get results. The agency offers a range of engaging social applications that give consumers a reason to visit its clients’ social media platforms.
Overall, the team learned new skills from the intern; which is exactly what we wanted to see happen – an ideas factory of academic and business world knowledge meshing to service our clients better.