I’ve detailed many of my reasons for choosing to go to Glendon on this blog previously, but never my strangest one:
I deeply, deeply appreciate the way Glendon brands itself.
Branding, advertising, public relations, whatever you want to call it, is something I’m interested in, or rather, fascinated by. Also, despite not being particularly knowledgeable, -I’m just a random teen girl with too many pop culture obsessions, definitely not a professional in the field-, it’s something I’m often intensely critical about as well.
My love for this sort of thing (I don’t always have the words for what exactly IT is), is where I get my love of celebrity culture from. I love watching entertainers climb from obscurity and watching how they change the way they present themselves, online, in interviews, etc. as their popularity grows (or perhaps more accurately as they hire agents/pr teams/etc.) Actor and singer/songwriter Darren Criss is one of my favourite examples, since you can follow his path from niche internet fame (almost exclusively Harry Potter fans) to traditional media success (Glee, etc.) very closely thanks to, well, the internet. It’s also a big reason why I love the YouTube community. YouTube fame is so new, and it’s all uncharted territory that is absolutely amazing to watch develop. (Especially since lately all the big YouTube names seem to be mostly following each other’s cues; YouTuber books anyone?)
Anyways, in my opinion at least, university branding here in Ontario is not always the best. Sometimes I can’t help but feel like they’re trying too hard to be “cool” or “appealing”…and just missing the mark altogether. I think most applicants are less concerned with the “cool” factor of a university than people working in higher-ed think they are. I mean yes, most applicants are teenagers, but that doesn’t mean they have shallow needs. On a closely related note, most university websites are just TERRIBLE. They’re rarely concerned with being user friendly, or even nice to look at.
…Which is actually a contradiction. Whatya doing fancy decision-making people? A functioning website is VITAL and probably the “coolest” thing a uni can do! This generation is growing up running and designing their own social media pages, blogs, etc. You want to impress us? Show us a website that doesn’t make us feel like we’re travelling back in time. If we think we could do better, you’re doing it wrong.
Glendon’s entire brand appeals to me on so many levels, mainly because it seems authentic and not overly boastful. Everything promotional that the school puts out has a nice vibe of “come chill with us” while still maintaining a formal tone and highlighting academics. The balance is so pleasing.
When I googled Glendon and browsed the website I got eambassador blogs detailing the lives of students, the good, the bad, and the strange. I found people that I thought I would be able to relate with, and a place that I felt I could fit into, one that would really help me to develop into the person I want to be. Since bringing out those feelings in prospective students is of course the goal of promotional materials for universities, I was deeply appreciative that I felt that while viewing their stuff.
Sidenote: Now that I’m here at Glendon, I’m intensely lucky to be an eambassador myself, and to be able to actually work with some of those people whose blogs I read. The team doesn’t disappoint; they’re all amazing. Our meetings are more fun than any meetings really have a right to be!
I’m not trying to hate on other universities just to put Glendon on a pedestal, because the competition between university students on different campuses is often so vicious and unnecessary, especially online, and in fact there are plenty that have both student blogs and great branding. It’s just the Glendon online vibe is one I immediately felt extremely positive about whereas some others…well, not so much. In fact, I was turned away by some of the things that came up upon googling certain universities, who in my opinion, might need to monitor their online presence a bit better.
So yeah, I picked Glendon in part because I liked the website and their ~advertising vibe~. I never claimed to be an entirely rational person, but there you go; my weirdest reason for choosing this wonderful little community.