Like many incoming freshmen at Cornell, Hayden Stokley didn’t know quite what she wanted to pursue as a career, but she did know what her passions entailed: creativity, design, communications, and law. She has always been a fan of engaging her academic work through an interdisciplinary approach, and she followed that ideal throughout her first year and a half spent at Cornell. Now a current sophomore studying in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Hayden has completed her first two months of training as one of the incoming General Managers of Campus Promotions. She asserts, as with anything during her studies in college, that the best way to learn is by doing, and that’s exactly what attracted her to apply for the Student Agencies position in the first place.
To Hayden, the idea of learning through hands-on experience appealed to her due to its stark contrast from the typical To Hayden, the idea of learning through hands-on experience appealed to her due to its stark contrast from the typical environment she found herself in during class, sitting in a chair listening to lectures for hours. She wanted to find tangible work experience with the hopes that being involved in a bigger project would guide her towards her own future passions and career goals.
She also found the idea of a student-run business intriguing. As a member of Telluride House, a selective residential community and scholarship program at Cornell, Hayden was already familiar with the idea of running on “student power”, as the program functions through the residents making decisions for and about the house. She had also worked previously in marketing and sales jobs, but especially wanted to refine her professional skills and business experience in a different type of workplace setting. She has worked several jobs but always felt frustrated, even with projects she was passionate about, because she did not have much authority or any chances to make decisions.
Hayden explained, “When you can take ownership over something you have done yourself, it makes that project so much more special.”
What appealed the most to Hayden about Campus Promotions, however, was “the opportunity the position gives to combine creativity with sales in a unique way,”--an opportunity Hayden is especially excited to capitalize on. She is most excited for the upcoming year to see what types of consulting clients that Campus Promotions can form partnerships with. Over the years, Campus Promotions has evolved from primarily dealing in poster distribution and the creation of the Map and Gorge publications to now, developing another aspect to add to the company portfolio: consulting and digital media marketing. This shift in focus started largely due to the changing nature of social media marketing, especially to millennial and college aged consumers.
Hayden is most excited about having the opportunity to form new connections with emerging Ithaca businesses. "It’s nice to be able to reach out to the Ithaca community and the Cornell alumni network to help them market to students like me.”
So far, Hayden has already learned a wealth of knowledge from participating in Student Agencies. She explained that one of her favorite experiences was attending the 125th Anniversary Gala of SAI. “So many people were providing me with advice and suggestions, about my career, about my studies at Cornell, and just everything." She added that she left that day “feeling inspired to work even harder, because I have so many resources here to really pursue my passions.”