Today we feature Madelaine Mayfield, a junior Advertising major and recent transfer student from the Rowan College of South Jersey, Cumberland Campus. Madelaine hails from Millville, NJ (Cumberland County) and currently interns for the Bullock Garden Project in Glassboro, NJ.
Can you tell us more about the Bullock Garden Project?
The Bullock Garden Project (BGP) is a nonprofit that aims to empower and educate families to grow their own food. They’re especially focused on helping with food insecurity in marginalized communities as well as informing people about the overall benefits of gardening.
For one of our many projects, I attended a Zoom meeting about helping schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania [by providing gardening] supplies and showing them how to garden. We have about 10 schools involved in this project including the Glassboro Child Development Center, Tewksbury Elementary and Secaucus High School.
The Rowan grant-funded project consists of free webinars called Get Up and Grow with the founder, Sonya Harris. Attendees can ask her any questions, and Sonya gives them valuable advice. She also will send them supplies! We have kids, grown-ups and college students attending. We usually have about 20 to 25 people attend.
Sonya worked at a school [as a special education teacher] and she made a garden one day at her school. Then, she reached out to a TV show about improving gardens. They came out and helped her. She realized that she wanted to help other schools have the same opportunity.
How did you come across this position and what motivated you to join?
This job position was posted on ProfLink under Content Creation and Social Media. What motivated me was the fact that it was a nonprofit. I want to use my skills and what I’m learning for a good cause and a greater purpose. I was really excited because I love nonprofits. It motivates me more, knowing that [my work is] for a good cause. I know that if more people join and donate, then it’s helping the future.
Could you tell us a little bit about other BGP projects?
I came up with the Kind Acts Initiative as BGP’s Christmas campaign, where each member of our staff did at least one kind act. I did another campaign recently, where I share quick environmental facts. Before the pandemic, BGP would go to school and help them with supplies and gardening.
What classroom skills are you practicing in your internship?
The most influential class has been Advertising Copywriting. I practice copywriting in social media posts, captions and graphics. I’ve learned so much about how to get audiences engaged, how to create better content, and how important social media is (especially with BGP). Social media has helped BGP to grow and gain a lot of recognition.
What was the most rewarding part about working with BGP?
The most rewarding part about working with BGP is the amazing staff who are truly so encouraging, uplifting and want to see me grow. I feel very appreciated, and I know that they all care about me. Also, knowing that I’m doing work for an organization that is changing the world, school by school. They always encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone. They’re [supportive] of everything I do. I haven’t had that in any other job in my past. It’s so refreshing. I don’t feel embarrassed or scared in any way when I [share my work].
What skills and knowledge did you develop from working with BGP?
Definitely communication because I have to do meetings and social media. I know how to communicate my ideas and convince [the team] that it will work. I got my video editing skills from my YouTube channel I started in high school. I’m also really thankful for the graphic design skills I learned from Prof. Nancy Reighn-Garron in Publication Layout & Design. She was so helpful and always went out of her way to help me. I record the Zoom meetings and edit them into an Instagram video. I really like making videos because they are more engaging than photos.
What made you decide to switch majors from Radio/TV/Film to Advertising?
I chose Advertising because I want to help amazing small businesses, nonprofits and other organizations get the recognition they deserve. I love creating content, being creative and engaging with others online.
What advice would you share with a future student interested in your major?
Get involved, especially with internships, and do as many as you can so that you can gain experience. Figure out what you want to do. Working for BGP, I figured out so many things. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do advertising, but now I know I want to work in social media. Doing it outside of class definitely helps you. You can use the skills that you learned in class, outside of class.
Advertising impacts the world in a way that spreads the word about brands, companies and organizations. Advertising is a huge factor in what the public consumes. As an advertising major, I want to make sure there are positive things being shared for a good cause.
I would like to bring attention to what matters most. Working for non-profits, I would like to encourage others to help and get involved in some of the global issues.
Check out the Bullock Garden Project at https://www.bullockgardenproject.org/.
View more of Madelaine’s work on
YouTube: Bullock Garden Project, Inc.
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