Feds Spotlight on… Me!

Joanne Lau

Every week, the Federation of Students (Feds) will profile an outstanding club, volunteer, or part-time staff member in the Spotlight series.

I was featured in a Feds Spotlight a while back and it made me think of how being a Graphic Designer at Feds has influenced me.

I have worked for the Feds Marketing Department for almost two years now. I’ve work part-time during my academic terms and it really boosts my happiness level during school. It’s a great work environment and the people who I work with are extremely awesome. I actually look forward to working there and I can’t wait to go back.

The job has given me many opportunities that I would not have been able to find elsewhere. Most of my Design Portfolio is from my work at Feds. One of my favourite projects was designing the menu for the Bombshelter Pub. I’m also able to incorporate photography into the job every once in a while too. I had so much fun covering the concert with Faber Drive during Feds Welcome Week.

Working as a Graphic Designer for Feds has really increased my passion for design. Before, it was more like a side hobby but I’ve learned that design is something you can and should integrate with everyday life. I’ve considered multiple futures for myself but I know now that design will definitely be related to whatever I end up doing.


Flux: My First Marketing Event Experience


I recently attended an event for the book, Flux: What Marketing Managers Need to Navigate the New Environment at Rotman. It was a “Marketing Experts Speaker Series” and the editors, David Soberman and Dilip Soman made a presentation and 10 marketing professors were there to address questions by the audience about the book and marketing in general. It was the first time I had actually been to a marketing event and it was really interesting to see all the different paths that marketing can lead to.

All the attendees received a copy of the book and I will definitely be putting Flux in my reading list. At first glance, it seems a bit academic but it seems to have some practical application uses as well. The book’s 15 chapters are written by 15 different professors at Rotman and should therefore have different perspectives.

I was lucky enough to talk to some very interesting marketing professionals at the reception afterwards. I must say that the whole “networking” thing is quite foreign to me but I love a good excuse to listen to others’ experiences. I enjoyed the event and  I’ll be on the lookout for similar events and opportunities in the future!

An Inspiring Salvation Army Campaign

I have recently spotted several posters around campus from the Salvation Army. I generally enjoy reading and analyzing ads but I was particularly impressed by the advertisements from the Salvation Army. They were very powerful and made a lasting impression on me.

The Salvation Army is doing a campaign that targets a younger demographic. These posters (pdf) are inspired by real life stories. The posters start off with someone describing their life initially. Soon, they are then introduced to something negative (alcohol, drugs, gangs) that lead their lives downhill until they hit rock bottom. Eventually, they find the Salvation Army and they get their life back on track and it becomes a success story as the Salvation Army accepts them regardless and helps guide them to overcome their problems.

This is all visually represented by red text outlining the negative object (bottle, syringe, gun). The rock bottom is actually the bottom of the image. The design is very simple and yet extremely clever. The ad campaign was produced by Grey Canada, the Salvation Army’s advertising agency. I really enjoyed the concept and hope to see more skillfully crafted advertisements in the future!

Heart&Stroke Big Bike

This co-op term, I’m working for Winners Merchants International in the Systems department. The company is participating in the Heart&Stroke Big Bike and my department has made a team  and I have decided to participate! They even gave me my own donation page for me to share.

The Heart&Stroke Big Bike is a team event geared towards community organizations, companies and groups. Teams made up of 29 enthusiastic riders (and one driver provided by the Foundation) pedal through their community in support of heart disease and stroke research.  Last year, over 40,000 riders, in over 200 communities, helped raise over $7 million for research!

Running charities must be hard. The marketing team must constantly be thinking of new and innovative ways to raise money. It’s completely different from trying to market a product or service. I think the Heart and Stroke Foundation have the right idea. This Big Bike event incorporates teamwork, social networking, and an event of a lifetime (riders get to ride a 29-person bike!). This event also promotes healthy living which is also another goal of the charity.

I’ve also participated in the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine in the past. It seems a lot of these charities know how to think of great ideas! I hope I will participate in more of these events in the future. It may even be a future career option! Being part of the marketing team for a charity could be a really interesting job!

Canadian International AutoShow

The Acura Display at the CIAS 2012

I attended the 2012 Canadian International AutoShow in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and what I witnessed was marketing madness. Sponsors, social media, advertisements, free swag, contests, test drives, extravagant displays, posters, and employees who breathed the brand were there.

By the looks of the displays, some of those car manufacturers really put a lot of time and effort into making their presence at this auto show a success. I wonder how long they’ve planned for this event, and I’m wondering when they’ll start planning for the next auto show.

I initially did not consider going to the show since it had a whopping $20 entrance fee but the price was only $15 for those who paid with a valid TD credit card. I must admit that this small discount made me a little more loyal to TD. TD Canada Trust was one of the sponsors and they had a few booths throughout the show.

It was well worth the money though. There were over 1000 of cars to see spread across 600,000 square feet of space. I’m generally not a “car person” but I still enjoyed my time and I was glad to have attended the largest consumer show in Canada.

“Models do not look like real human beings.”

It’s unfortunate that I have been neglecting this blog lately. I have been reading and learning a lot but I just haven’t been posting what I’ve discovered. I recently found an article from the Record (Waterloo Region’s local newspaper) called, Beauty can be a beast and I thought I’d share it. It’s about the media and how it affects the self-esteem and unrealistic expectations of women. I do think the media and advertisement can be a powerful tool, but it obviously has negative connotations and impact as well.

I was particularly surprised when Anne Wilson, a Laurier psychology professor stated that, “The average North American sees upwards of 600 advertisements every day.” I never really thought about how much advertisement I’ve seen in a day… but 600 seems like a massive number. I don’t think it’s an impossible number though. I guess I have never really thought about how much advertisement I’ve been exposed to.

I think it’s important to take advertisements with a grain of salt. Remember not to let them affect your perceptions of yourself.