Schmoozapalooza is one of the most anticipated events organized at BCIT for the marketing communications community. It takes a considerable amount of planning and teamwork to execute an event of this caliber. Here at the MA, we credit our members who have gone above and beyond their required responsibility and create something greater than we could have imagined. That is why for our November newsletter, we are honouring Anita Feng as member of the month! She is a marketing communications student recognized for her fantastic work not only as a member of the Schmooze team, but specifically as her role of Director of Sponsorship as well as the countless hours she put into the incredible silent auction on November 13th, 2018. We are so happy to sit down with Anita to learn more about her and to be inspired by her passion and hard work.
Tell us a little bit about your responsibilities for the student auction.
Since September, I was overlooking the silent auction and my team and I were collecting items for it. We were cold emailing, reaching out to companies and selling the benefits of being a part of Schmoozapalooza. The auction went from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on the day my tasks centered around organizing the items that were collected, showcasing the event in the great hall, and motivating students to bid on them.
What is a major challenge and how did you overcome it?
I was quite stressed out in September given such a big role because I have not done much of this before. I knew there were big shoes to fill as last year’s committee reached an incredible goal. This role is also a waiting game when it comes to companies to reply, so I had be patient—which is my greatest weakness.
The key was that me and my committee remained hopeful and relentlessly reached out to companies and offered marketing opportunities. We went to the first five companies then the next five then the next. To top it all off, Danielle [Wilson] really helped our team by motivating students to donate which really picked up the donations. The auction turned out a success—phew!
What was the most rewarding aspect of your role with the silent auction?
Honestly, I was filled with adrenaline the day of the auction. Seeing my committee support me, all the awesome items laid out, and to see everything come together after so many months was amazing. Having the vision in my mind for the past couple months and seeing it transform into a reality was the most exciting part! I realized the day of, that although it was stressful, it was all fun and I’d do it all over again with my team. Its not about the numbers but it’s more about the students and the committee coming together, building friendships and then watching it all unfold after a couple months of hard work. That’s the real reward of this all, seeing it come to life and meeting new friends.
What was your journey to Marketing Communications at BCIT?
I started at UBC in Psychology, but even back then I knew I wanted to be in marketing, but I didn’t choose that route because my parents wanted me to go into accounting. From UBC I transferred to BCIT accounting and did that for a year, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea. I left that and felt quite defeated. And then I finally came into marketing which really was a full circle journey. The last couple years helped me figure out what I wanted to do and now I am so happy with my choice. I am a creative person and I enjoy a career that provides an outlet for that.
What has the MA and being a part of the Schmooze team meant to you?
For Schmooze we meet every week and even though it’s a check-in I fell like those meetings are supportive more so than anything. One day in a meeting I said I felt overwhelmed and everyone said not to worry because they will help me out however they can. I was on an amazing team because not only did they help me, but they really made me feel like I can do it when I felt stressed out. I have to give props to the entire Schmooze committee and Danielle. They all stepped up when I needed them and they’re simply amazing. Also, being a part of the schmooze committee, I feel, is a way for me to leave a legacy and I hope I accomplished that.
What do you like to do outside of the committee and outside of school?
Well honestly, I haven’t had much time to do anything [laughs], but if I do have time, I really love swimming. That’s how I de-stress.
What would your ideal auction item be to win for yourself?
I’m thinking between Canucks tickets or the BCIT course. But if I could choose my ideal item, I would love a trip to Whistler, or a local getaway! An Airbnb to Whistler would be a dream, I love Whistler!
Do you have any last advice for future Directors of Sponsorship, Schmooze committee members or leaders of BCIT?
One thing to take away from being a Director of Sponsorships at Schmooze is not to stress yourself out thinking far into the future, but to control what you can do today, and this week. What really got me through September and leading up to the auction is just realizing that it will all come together so long as I set weekly goals, and to not freak myself out by seeing it as a big, unattainable goal. Even though companies were not contacting me back right away, what really put me at ease was knowing that I am doing everything that I can. Whoever is in this position in the future, just take it day by day, don’t be afraid to reach out for help, and I promise you that with an amazing team that it will all come together in the end.
Thank you to Anita Feng for her wonderful insights and to the entire Schmooze committee. We are looking forward to the Schmoozapalooza event in January!