Last year in September of 2014, with a tank full of gas and an eagerness to learn, I drove over 100 miles alone to participate in Forge 54, a weekend-long marketing experience where professionals and students collaborated to donate their time and talent to rebrand a non-profit. As a recent high-school graduate, I was intimidated by the prospect of working alongside individuals whose professional experience and skills were far more developed than my own. At the same time, I found myself in a difficult social situation where I knew nobody at the event, which challenged me to adapt to an unfamiliar setting. Despite the risk of failure and potential for social awkwardness, I took a chance and embraced the opportunity, pushing myself to grow both personally and professionally. The reward was worth the risk because the event not only gave me more insight to digital marketing, but also led me to a network of marketing enthusiasts as well as prepared me for my current position as the Director of Social Media for TEDxUCIrvine. Now, one year later, I can happily say that Forge 54 catalyzed my passion for digital marketing and has encouraged me to utilize my marketing skills to help and assist various organizations on campus.
Event recap: The 2014 Forge 54 skilled giving weekend took place September 12th – 14th in downtown Santa Ana. During this weekend young marketing professionals and students worked together to donate marketing services to Playworks So Cal, a local non-profit in need of marketing help. Everyone involved donated their time, skills, equipment and creativity at zero cost to Playworks. Below is what was created in just 54 hours by the amazing team called Forge 54.