Paige Ransbury on her Public Health Studies advertising materials for ENG 282: CUPID Studio

Group projects are supposedly the bane of every student’s existence. It seems that everyone has a horror story – the most common one being “Nobody did anything, I had to do everything, and we all got the same grade.” Dislike of group projects seems to increase by a magnitude of 10 if you can’t choose your own group; the fate of your grade is left in the hands of strangers, or worse – freshmen. I’ve been lucky enough in my academic career to have avoided any negative group project experiences and as such, viewed the CUPID studio client projects not as an impending grade apocalypse, but a chance to improve my collaboration skills and work with my peers on a meaningful project.

My team worked with Dr. Sullivan, this year’s Public Health Studies coordinator, to create documents advertising the major and informing students (both current and prospective), parents, and professors, on what exactly the program entails. We chose to divide and conquer (a high risk, high reward strategy that worked to our advantage) to work on several documents – a rack card, sell sheets, table display poster, and webpage recommendation. Overall, I had a great experience working with Dr. Sullivan and my team, and I learned a few things during the process:

  • Speak up: I quickly realized that my problem wasn’t going to be having to “play mom” to slacker students who needed constant reminders of the work they had to complete; my problem was going to be withstanding the torrent of ideas from my very smart, opinionated team members. Sometimes half the battle is getting the courage to speak up; the other half is making sure the others hear you. If something doesn’t look right, speak up – no error is too small to fix or design element too unimportant to tweak, especially when you’re working for a client. Working in smaller teams helped me point out things I wasn’t comfortable with, whether it was the color of the gradient or the font type.
  • Set Flexible Deadlines: Deadlines are great for staying on track, but if you have ambitious goals (as we did), be flexible. Plan room for feedback, multiple drafts, and extensions. My team ran into a setback when we had to reprint our posters – the pictures were blurry, and some words were awkwardly hyphenated. Remaining flexible helped us fix the problems and keep moving forward.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: My team was tasked with creating several documents – a rack card, sell sheets, table display, wall display, and webpage recommendation report. We wanted to accomplish a lot in a small time period, but soon realized we might have been too ambitious. We reduced the amount of work we needed to do by reusing the table display posters for the wall display, and we learned a valuable lesson: don’t create more work when you don’t need to.

These were the three biggest takeaways I got from this project. I’m happy not only with the documents we created, but with the process my team went through to create them. We had a few setbacks, but for the most part we were able to stay on our feet and remain calm and respectful towards each other. Working with a client is relatively new for me; CUPID studio made the process as easy and pain-free as possible.



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