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Lebanon Valley College Sponsors Education Days at Hershey Park
06.20.14 |

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On Friday, May 23, beautiful weather and sunny skies shone on Hershey, Pennsylvania. Luckily for Lebanon Valley College, these conditions remained consistent throughout the duration of the Business and Marketing Education Day at Hershey Park.

The event began when LVC’s Admissions staff set up a tent near the roller coaster “Fahrenheit” at 8 a.m. Beneath the tent, the staff gave out free t-shirts to any student in grades 8-12. These students, in turn, were required to fill out a form in order to receive more information about LVC. As they filled out the forms, many of them asked about the location of the College and what kind of school it is. The admissions staff provided answers to point potential prospects in the right direction.

LVC’s Education Days sponsorship provided a unique and fun way for the College to connect with potential students. The sponsorship included six days during which students were invited to participate in some kind of academic activity within the park. As an intern of the College’s Marketing and Communications Department, I found myself covering the fifth day: Business and Marketing Professionals Day. All four interns were tasked with chronicling the event by taking pictures and posting them on the College’s social media. 

A larger number of parents and teachers accompanied students to the park and were directed to stations set up behind the LVC tent. These stations contained information about the digital communications and business administration programs. As the day progressed, several parents and teachers stopped by to speak with digital communications professor Jeff Ritchie, economics professor Will Delavan, and business administration professors David Rudd and Lewis Chasalow. Many parents were curious about what the digital communications major entails, while others were interested in the curriculum for the business department. 

Meanwhile, the College’s Dutchman mascot wandered around Hershey Park and took pictures with the park’s visitors. The Dutchman’s reception was a good one, as many students and parents embraced him with hugs or high fives. He even got a chance to play a carnival game. Unfortunately, the beloved Dutchman proved he has a lot of work to do to improve his throwing mechanics. The mascot finished an eventful day by visiting the nearby U.S. Marine Corps tent, where he was challenged to a pull-up competition. Realizing he was fatigued, the Dutchman instead settled for taking a photo with the Marines and headed back to LVC’s tent. 

Many prospective students stopped by the LVC tent, so the staff nearly ran out of shirts. In retrospect, giving away free shirts was a great marketing strategy. It not only provides the recipients with a souvenir, but it also allows the LVC brand to become a walking billboard. 

Perhaps the biggest lesson I learned through this experience is that it takes the collective effort of several stakeholders to market a college. The marketing department must work closely with Admissions, the professors, and current students to develop content and create events that appeal to prospective students and their parents. Each party brings a different dynamic that aids the image of the college. In my case, I had to make sure the content published was adequate while I interacted with some of prospective students. I believe my age and recent student status allowed me to connect with potential students on a deeper level than any member of the Admissions staff could.

The great weather, Hershey Park’s atmosphere, and many prospective students made for a great day. Getting away from campus to attend this event turned out to be a great change of pace.

Nate Valdez ’14 (pictured at right) is an intern with LVC’s office of Marketing and Communications and is completing a bachelor of science in digital communications 

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