It was a really good hands-on experience to see the whole process of creating and marketing and implementing a project. ... This really solidified (marketing) as a field I want to work in. I was really grateful to have this opportunity.
Ricki Samuels, ’23, and fellow marketing majors set out to design a board game to teach children to be kind. Along the way, they learned some valuable lessons themselves.
“This really solidified this as a field I want to work in,” said Ricki, who is from Stoughton. “I was really grateful to have this opportunity.”
The Bridgewater State University students designed the game for Invent2Prevent, a competition funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and run by the McCain Institute for International Leadership and EdVenture Partners. It challenges college students to devise products, tools, and initiatives to reduce violence and domestic terrorism.
Dr. Adriana Bóveda-Lambie offered the opportunity to her digital marketing students to enhance their learning and apply their knowledge in a hands-on situation.
“I cannot overstate the importance of this for the students,” the assistant professor said.
The group developed a Candy Land-like game for second and third graders, who are often victims of bullying. Called Kind Mind, the game requires children to confront scenarios such as seeing a lost student in a hallway. Players who choose to be kind advance on the board.
“We took a lot of what we learned from the semester about how to appeal to your target market and applied it to our game,” Ricki said.
Working within a $2,000 budget provided by Invent2Prevent, the group hired graphic designers to build two functional prototypes. They created a website and social media channels and tested the game with a classroom of youngsters, soliciting feedback on what worked and didn’t.
“It was a really good hands-on experience to see the whole process of creating and marketing and implementing a project,” Ricki said.
Students resolved conflict, received and responded to feedback, managed a budget, and worked with a client.
“At the same time, it is a project they can include in their resumes and show at interviews,” Bóveda-Lambie said. “They take away experience that some of them would not get otherwise. There is so much learning for them in the personal and professional aspects of the project.”
For Ricki, developing Kind Mind confirmed her choice of major and demonstrated that she can adeptly perform as a marketing professional.
“I loved it,” she said. “I think it was a really good experience for me.”
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