Providing marketing services for student recruitment, retention

Marlene Blum

Editor’s note: Duck of the Week is a section in Around the O Workplace that highlights UO employees and their work, and to help build community by learning more about our coworkers. Each story features an interview with one employee, in his or her own words, with light editing for clarity and length.

This interview was conducted during spring term.

Marlene Blum
Assistant Director for Strategic Communications

How long have you worked at the UO?

I have worked at the UO for six and a half years now.

Tell us about your work:

I am the assistant director on the strategic communications and marketing team in the Division of Student Services and Enrollment Management. We also support the team in the Division of Student Life with their marketing and communication needs. I’m the person that manages our photo, video and design team areas, and all the work those teams do for enrollment management and student life.

What does your typical day look like?

My typical day is usually full of meetings because I am a supervisor and do account management for our team as well. We sort of operate like an advertising agency model. There’s a large list of folks that our team provides marketing communication services to, and I’m the specific contact for managing the projects for a number of those.

The main change between what it looks like before COVID and now is that in the past, those meetings were all over campus. I was running from building to building before, but now everything is just virtual on Zoom. Another difference is that in person, I was producing a lot of photo and video shoots, whereas since the pandemic began, I have been doing a lot more virtual events and production in a remote setting.

What do you like about working at the UO?

For me, it really comes down to the people. I think the people are the ones who make what we do better, and they are so talented and incredible. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by people who care about important values and missions, and that we’re all doing that together. We’re just willing to jump in wherever somebody needs help. Just really knowing that my team has my back and vice versa.

What keeps you motivated?

I am so inspired and motivated by the opportunity to work with students because so much of what I do is marketing. I feel really proud when I get to work with those students for the four years they’re here because I know our goal is to recruit a diverse body of students who care about making the world a better place. It’s really rewarding to do all that work to recruit talented, smart and multifaceted individuals and actually meet some of those students in person. I think there’s something about being a Duck that’s really special.

What is something people may not know about you?

I love to travel internationally. Obviously, I haven’t been doing that now because of COVID, but I’ve been to 18 countries so far in my travels and have lived in a couple of other countries as well. I have a passion for international travel and can’t wait until it’s safe to do that again.

Marlene Blum is part of the Student Services and Enrollment Management.

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