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The Fun Has Already Begun!

I made it to Sydney, Australia! WAHOO! I had a flight from Boston to LA, an 8 hour layover in LA and then another flight from LA to Sydney. I spent a long couple of days traveling and am definitely jet lagged, but it’s so worth it! The fun has only just begun for me and the other Best Jobs finalists.

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View of the Grand Canyon on my flight from Boston to LA

I was welcomed to Sydney by a lovely limo driver named Ross who took me and 3 other finalists from the airport to our hotel in a sweet new Audi. On our short ride from the airport to the hotel, I asked Ross who the most famous person he’s ever driven round is and he told me that he had recently escorted Rihanna around Sydney! Imagine that! Only a few weeks before, Ross was driving RIHANNA around and now he’s escorting little old me! TOO COOL! The hotel we are currently staying at is QT Sydney and let me tell you it is quite the swanky place!

Not too long after I arrived at the hotel, I met my Tourism Australia representative, Matt McInnes in the hotel lobby then me and the other 17 Best Jobs finalists headed over to the Tourism Australia office to get started for the week! We had an itinerary briefing, media training, and some technology demos. I know what you’re thinking… technology demos? Is that really necessary? Well it sure is because we were gifted brand new Nikon Coolpix AW110 cameras as well as the new Nokia Lumia 520 so we had to be instructed how to use them. So far the Nikon camera is my FAVORITE! It was a wifi and GPS feature. I LOVE it and am psyched to have it in my possession for the week and then “real life” after that!

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Today started out very exciting with a media call with Virgin Australia! The 18 Best Jobs finalists paraded out of the terminal in our Best Jobs gear excited to finally be in Aus and rockin our Tourism Australia logos. We then had a special announcement in the Virgin Australia Lounge where they announced that there is a 7th Best Job In The World! Virgin Australia announced the “High Flyer” position. Yep! That’s right! There’s a 7th best job!

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After the Virgin Australia media call we headed to Circular Quay where we saw Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. We ate lunch outside at the Opera Bar. It was such a beautiful day and nice to be outside. Being surrounded by the iconic Sydney landmarks this afternoon was the first time I’ve truly felt like I am finally in Australia.

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There’s a TON going on and I have to admit I haven’t been as energetic as I usually am because I am still jet lagged. Hopefully I will be all rested for the morning and good to go from here on out! I am SUPER excited for tomorrow’s schedule! We are going to Taronga Zoo, which I have been looking forward to visiting since before I even knew I had made it to Top 3, PLUS we are meeting Ben Southall, the 2009 Best Job In The World winner. I am very much looking forward to meeting Ben because he was a huge inspiration to me when I first found out about the contest. I originally was going to campaign to him to convince him to endorse me in my original entry video, but then I thought if I’m going to go through all the trouble of convincing, why don’t I sell myself and convince Tourism Australia to pick me and that is the (most abbreviated version ever) story of how Send BMAC Down Under was created! I can’t wait to meet Ben in person and thank him for the inspiration!

I’m wicked tired, but we have a crazy awesome week ahead, so it’s time for me to wash up and hit the hay! Be sure to follow me on Twitter @BMACtastic for live updates from Australia as well as Instagram (BMACtastic) and my Facebook page http://www.Facebook.com/Send.BMAC.Down.Under

All 18 Best Jobs Finalists in Circular Quay today!

All 18 Best Jobs Finalists in Circular Quay today!

The Chief Funster challenges start on Saturday! WOOHOO! Which reminds me…guess what? I have 4 extra tickets to the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier game of Australia vs. Iraq! Interested in going? Send me a message through my Facebook page convincing my why I should take you and you might just get a ticket!  OH and if I choose to pick you, you’re also having dinner with us prior to the game. This is part of one of my challenges to prove to Destination New South Wales that they should hire me as their Chief Funster. I am judged based on who I bring to the game and the story of the person of why I picked them to attend. Holla at ya girl if you’re in Australia and think you deserve this experience!

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“BMAC In Aus” Designer Fashion

It’s getting down to the time SBDU fans. What time am I talking about? PACKING TIME! Only 1 short day left until my departure to Australia, but what shall I wear? Normal BMAC protocol states that I want to stand out from the crowd as a unique individual and strategically differentiate myself. So let me know tell you a little story of how I am going to do just that because of a phenomenal opportunity that came my way…

After making it as a Top 3 Finalist for Chief Funster, my friend Rachel congratulated me and said she wanted to do something for me that really showed her congratulations because she was so proud of me and all of my hard work. Rachel is in my graduating class and graduated from Marist as a fashion design major. For her the best favor she can do for anyone is to make them clothing, and whenever she does, the person is always so thankful and it’s the most rewarding feeling ever, and plus it’s what she loves to do.  I couldn’t believe that Rachel wanted to personally design me clothes for my trip to Australia and I jumped at the opportunity!

Rachel and I at graduation from Marist College Class of 2013

Rachel and I at graduation from Marist College Class of 2013

During finals week at the closing of our senior year of college last month, Rachel and I sat outside in the grass on a beautiful sunny day brainstorming different “looks” for me for Australia. We wanted to incorporate the themes of Australian patriotism (since the job of Chief Funster is to promote tourism to Australia) as well as my Send BMAC Down Under campaign of being a small town girl from Massachusetts and receiving my higher education in New York. We wanted to incorporate different parts of Australian and American culture, so both served as inspiration for the “BMAC In Aus” fashion designs. Here are the results!I <3 AUS

For my “off the plane” attire, Rachel designed the “I ❤ AUS” shirt. She got the idea from our “I ❤ NY” shirts that many people who visit NYC buy. Being residents of NY for four amazing years of college, tying in the “I ❤ NY” shirt idea brings in part of our New York culture. I will also be incorporating a little more of my Massachusetts roots with a blue blazer, nantucket red shorts and boat shoes. My favorite part about this shirt is that in the heart, Rachel drew the Australian flag!

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Next Rachel designed me an evening dress to wear at night for a more formal occasion. This dress was inspired by the Union Jack on the Australian flag and the color [red] was chosen because it combines the Australian flag and our Marist school color.  The color has a meaning that is close to both of our hearts, and it ties both aspects of Australian patriotism and Marist school-spirit all in one dress. The most intricate part of this dress is the cuffs. Rachel hand beaded the Union Jack of the Australian flag on the cuffs of my sleeves for this dress.

When I asked Rachel what her favorite design was that she made for me, she said, “Definitely the red dress.  At first I was afraid it would be too simple but the contrast of the fabrics and the little bit of glam on the cuffs made it simply elegant and I’m just in love with how it turned out!”

THANK YOU, RACHEL for designing and personally handmaking me such beautiful clothing! I am SO excited to wear them in Australia, tying both of our cultures together and killin it in Aus 😉

While Rachel’s love is fashion, it’s time I share with you one of my own personal loves and obsessions: nail polish! It was kind of a “no brainer” when it came time for me to choose what color to paint my nails for my trip to Australia on Monday. I went with “Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It” by OPI from the Australia Collection.

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I’ll only be rockin “Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It” on my piggy toes though because I want to really be able to get involved in the Chief Funster challenges and not have to worry about my nails looking perfect for the evening events. My fingers will be going “au naturale” in the land down under, but it will be more than worth it!

I am super excited to show off my Aussie inspired designer fashion in Australia in only one more day! I am hoping Tourism Australia and other followers of the Best Jobs In The World contest get a kick out of my strategically designed clothes. I’ll let you know how it goes and will post pictures of me sporting the “BMAC In Aus” fashion line by Rachel Elle 🙂 Now it’s time to get packing!!!

BMAC: Chief Funster Finalist & Marist Grad!

Soooooo first THIS happens:

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Then THIS happened!

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It’s been a VERY busy couple of weeks, SBDU fans! Now it’s time to dish out how it all went down…

Second semester senior year of college. It’s finals week. The Top 3 announcement of Chief Funster is scheduled to be anytime between 4:30-6:30am in the morning on Wednesday, May 15th. Do I stay up and wait for the announcement? DUH! That is the obvious choice! Who would be able to sleep through that kind of thing anyways?! But if I don’t go to sleep, will I be able to focus during my group project for my final presentation? Decisions, decisions, decisions! I tried to stay up all night and made it to about 3:30am before I dozed off because my anxiety over the announcement was through the roof and it put me to sleep. Next thing I know, I wake up and roll over to check my phone and it had already started blowing up. It sort of felt like a dream as I was first opening my eyes and awakening from sleep to see the email from Tourism Australia that looked a little something like this…

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OH. MY. GOD. I MADE IT TO TOP 3 FOR CHIEF FUNSTAHHHH! I immediately called my mother and when she answered she said, “NO. WAY.” before I even said ANYTHING! Then I hear her waking up my father saying, “Malcolm, WAKE UP! Brittany made it to Top 3 for Chief Funster!!!!” I wasn’t able to talk to my mother long before I get a phone call from an unknown number. I answer , “Hello?” and hear, “G’day, BMAC! It’s Matt McInnes from Tourism Australia! Congratulations on making it to Top 3 for Chief Funster!”

Let’s just rewind for a second…

First I wake up to find out that I made it to Top 3 for Chief Funster and now AUSTRALIA, my dream, is CALLING ME at 5am to CONGRATULATE ME on getting the opportunity to go visit THEM?! How many awesome things can happen in one day?! Try how many awesome things can happen in 2 weeks!!! Ever since this moment, my life has been a whirlwind and I’m loving every moment. Each day I lose a little more sleep, but I gain a little more excitement! I DID IT! I’M GOING TO AUSTRALIA! WAHOO!!!!!!! I got countless texts, calls, tweets, likes, posts, etc of congratulations and they are still coming in! I am very proud of myself and am thrilled that Australia has selected me to go down undahhh to interview with them in person.

For all of you who were worried about me during finals week… I made Dean’s List, so I must’ve done alright! OH, and I graduated from Marist College this past Saturday with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications- Advertising and a minor in Business. Not too shabby, huh?

receiving my diploma from Marist College's President Dr. Dennis J. Murray

receiving my diploma from Marist College’s President Dr. Dennis J. Murray

But the fun is not over yet! I met with President Murray a couple days before graduation to tell him about my success in being Top 3 for Chief Funster thus far and check out how we decided to celebrate…

YEP! That’s my ENTIRE graduating class right there SCREAMING “Send BMAC Down Under” and doing the Aussie cheer! I graduated with over 1,400 people and ALL OF THEM are represented here [although we couldn’t get a wide enough angle to show everyone] and how fabulous does that “SEND BMAC DOWN UNDER” sign look?! Thank you, President Murray for ordering the sign and getting the Marist College graduating Class of 2013 to celebrate with me!

I was also featured in follow up articles with The Boston Globe, Newsday and The Poughkeepsie Journal. Tomorrow morning I am going to be on Fox 25 News where I will be interviewed by Gene Lavanchy about The Best Jobs In The World contest, Chief Funster and Send BMAC Down Under! How cool is that?! I am BEYOND excited for my television debut! But what shall I wear? Find out tomorrow morning at 8:55am on Fox 25 news!

Catch ya later SBDU loversss 😉

Engage & Show YOUR Support To Send BMAC Down Under!!!

The announcement for the Top 3 Chief Funster finalists is just a day away!!! Tomorrow evening I will know what my Chief Funster fate is. If I make Top 3, this means that I fly down to Australia for a week in June for final interviews.

It’s a crazy feeling knowing the reality of my future is so close. My heart has been racing all day today with the anticipation of tomorrow’s big announcement. The doubt has started to set in where I feel like I didn’t do enough and/or should have done even more to express my excitement and passion for the position of Chief Funster. I know this is a normal feeling leading up to such a big announcement like this, I just have to keep thinking positively!

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I do happen to have a challenge for YOU, my wonderful Send BMAC Down Under followers, should you choose to accept it!

We need to show the contest all of the people who support me and believe in me for the position of Chief Funster. I need you to engage with me on my social media pages and show your support to Send BMAC Down Under!!! This means tweeting to me, posting on my Facebook timeline and sharing my blog. I encourage your creativity for a tweet and Facebook post!

Tweet @BMAC_DownUnder using #SendBMacDownUnder and your personalized message to me! Tell @Australia and @ChiefFunsterNSW why they need to pick me!

Post a message on the Send BMAC Down Under Facebook wishing me luck and why you believe I would be THE BEST Chief Funster IN THE WORLD!!! Pictures are encouraged 🙂

I really need your help for this one! Please rally and support to help me show Australia that I am the one they need to bring tourism to Australia and live the life of a Chief Funster!!!

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Close The Curtain On Round 2

Andddddd CUT! That’s a wrap, folks! Round 2 of the Best Job In The World contest is officially over. Yesterday I submitted my final official report to Tourism Australia of all my efforts and everything I accomplished in round 2. I tried to make it crisp and to the point. Here is a piece of what I sent in with my report. Click below to see the video I made summarizing my efforts for this round of the contest!

There was a lot that I couldn’t fit into the video or wasn’t meaningful enough to report to Australia. I wish Australia could’ve seen my phone ringing off the hook the whole 2 weeks of different people and places calling me back and making moves for this round. I transformed from a “regular student at Marist College” to the CEO of my own PR agency handling my number one client “Send BMAC Down Under”. For an advertising major, I certainly learned a lot about public relations these past 2 weeks. I had dabbled with PR before, but I would say I’m efficient in it now.

I had so many things running through my head before I pressed the “send” button, as I’m sure all the other Chief Funster candidates did. I had so many thoughts and yet none at all at the same time. My mind was blank. I was just staring at the screen. There was nothing else for me to include. I knew I covered everything. My heart was pounding like a drum and I could feel the energy rush through my finger tips as my pointer finger hovered over the “send” button and then *click*… it was gone. My entire report sent into cyber space and in the hands of the contest judges. It’s up to them now. My future is in their hands.

I’ll tell you what friends, I’ve never wanted something so bad in my life. I gave a speech in Toastmasters last week about success and I wrote it based on my feelings and procedure of the contest. It went a little something like this…

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When you want to be successful as much as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful. First you have to want something. Really want something. When you think of this “thing”, you feel the burn in your body. The fire ignites in your stomach and spreads out to the ends of your body. You fall asleep thinking about this “thing” and wake up with the same thoughts on your mind. It’s similar to the way you feel when you’re in love.

Next step: do whatever it takes to get this “thing”. Don’t let ANYONE stop you. It takes 8 “no”s in sales before you get 1 “yes”. Let me just tell you what that sounds like… No. No. No. No. No. No! No! NO! yes. People are always waiting for you to fail. No one wants to see someone else succeed. It’s a dog eat dog world out there. People only want what is good for his or herself. My advice to you? Be relentless. That’s a powerful word right there. Do it. Be relentless.

But don’t do anything that doesn’t seem natural. Do you. Be you. No one else could possibly be you, so do you.

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The ultimate key to success, you ask? Do what you love. It’s what you want to do. Everything else will fall into place from there. It’s true what they say, when you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. So do what you love. I really love social media. What I love even more than social media is having fun! Half the fun of social media is showing and talking about how much fun you had living life to its fullest.

Having the opportunity to be Chief Funster would be an absolute dream come true. It makes too much sense in my life right now. I am graduating college in just over 2 weeks. I would have most of the summer off then start being the Chief Funster in August (which is my birthday month! HOLLA!). Yes, that’s right, I graduate in 17 days. I wouldn’t be sacrificing my last moments and memories EVER in college if I didn’t think every second and ounce of the time and energy I’ve put into this job wasn’t worth it. Everything happens for a reason, right?

And with that, my friends, I leave you with this– the definition of a Chief Funster according to UrbanDictionary.com

Urban Dictionary Chief Funster

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Letter of Recommendation from Professor Loribeth Greenan

BMAC is the wave at a baseball game or an encore at a concert – she brings added fun no matter where she is. If you’ve seen her, then you are intrigued by her exciting spirit. If you’ve met her, then you are charmed by her charisma and determination. Writing a letter of recommendation for BMAC is tough only because there is so much to say and it comes at the huge risk of sounding cheesy – but I like cheese so here it goes…

My BMAC confession:

I consider myself a BMAC groupie. I have been following BMAC on all social media portals since the start of the campaign. At first, I tuned in to support a student that I truly believe deserves the chance at snagging “the best job in the world” but as the weeks passed I found myself, like thousands of others, following the Send BMAC Down Under campaign because it’s the perfect depiction of the awesome student that BMAC is— it’s hilarious, it’s entertaining, it’s bold and it’s brilliant!

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Like her social media campaign, BMAC’s energy here on Marist’s campus is contagious. I have seen her transform a room with her dynamic presentation skills and zest for life. No matter the subject, BMAC manages to find a way to captivate when she is in front of a group. In this way, I know she will dominate her position as Chief Funster. The title itself, “Chief Funster” sounds like a position crafted just for BMAC. If you break it down, “chief” represents her stellar leadership skills and “funster” represents the mode in which she gets her work done. There really is no better person for the job.

I know BMAC will land a glorious job in the near future. The organization that snags her will immediately recognize her endless vigor and positive outlook on life. She IS the Chief Funster, so I would advise the folks at Tourism Australia recognize BMAC’s passion for your home and offer her the chance to get folks excited about the land down under.

BMAC’s Biggest Fan,

Professor Loribeth Greenan

School of Communications and the Arts

A Letter From My Mother To Australia

Chief Funster Search Committee

Tourism Australia

Sydney, New South Wales

Greetings,

You have all been hearing about my daughter Brittany MacLeod (BMAC to her friends) from her co-workers, mentors, professors, Dean of the Marist School of Management and one of our State Representatives but as her mother I wanted to give you a different perspective of my impressive daughter.  I know right about now you are all thinking every mother thinks their child is impressive but I want to give you specifics where she has shined and caught the attention of the world around her.

My daughter has always had something say since she could learn how to talk!

Brittany and Malcolm playing in the leaves when Brittany was little. My daughter has always had something say since she learned how to talk!

Little BMAC

Little BMAC

My husband, Malcolm and I knew Brittany was special when she walked at 8 months old and was conversational at 18 months old but one of the things that has continued to set Brittany apart from others is her singing.  When Brittany was little, I would take her out with me shopping and Brittany would entertain herself in her stroller by singing to herself.  People would stop me and ask me if I realized how beautifully she sang and at such a young age.  After a while instead of just thinking it was a “mother’s pride” that thought she was special, I brought her to a vocal coach to see if there was something different about her.  I came to find out she had perfect pitch at age five.

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At ten years old we were visiting a historic home in Newport, Rhode Island where they were hosting a Renaissance Faire and they finished a planned event early and asked if anyone had any special talent.  Brittany said she could sing and they thought they were humoring a child when they invited her to go ahead and entertain everyone.  She was so much better than they ever expected that a couple of hundred people were blown away by her unexpectedly professional voice.  People even came up to Malcolm and I afterwards asking permission to take their photograph with our daughter. Pretty impressive!

Brittany continued to sing and set herself apart by becoming the “go to” person in our town to sing our National Anthem at sporting events. One event in particular to be mentioned was the re-dedication of our local Ice Rink, to honor the memory a fallen Medal of Valor recipient and veteran from our town.  That was in addition to performing in all kinds of music performances and venues.   Brittany still performs while at college gaining attention with her beautiful voice still performing our National Anthem and performing in showcases of talented students.

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I was astounded by Brittany one day when she came home from High School at age 14 and she told me she 15555_321623835467_5294433_nwanted to play Ice Hockey.  Well, you’re now asking yourself why is this impressive? Well, you see, Brittany had never watched an Ice Hockey game before.  Sure, in principal she knew what it was, what New Englander didn’t, but she had never been interested before. So she set out to play Ice Hockey and had to learn the game very quickly to be able to make the team and compete.  Brittany not only made the team, she played Ice Hockey all 4 years of High School. To mine and Malcolm’s amazement, our daughter who is bright, sings and was a cheerleader for 4 years had another talent to add to her list, Ice Hockey player!

But Brittany didn’t stop there.  Brittany became the voice of the student body for her High School by representing the student’s point of view at our School Committee meetings for two years as you learned from State Representative Jeffrey Roy.  This was the beginning of Brittany’s foray into public speaking and this is important when you consider when Brittany went to college she joined an international organization called Toastmasters International, an organization with over 280,000 members.  Brittany is on target to earn her Distinguished Toast Master (DTM) in three years. Once she gets her award, she will also become the youngest DTM ever in the world. It normally takes a Toastmasters anywhere between 5-8 years to earn this honor but when Brittany sets her mind to something there is usually no stopping her.

So now that I have told you all that, I can tell you that the reason I picked these unconnected factoids about Brittany is to tell you that she often surprises us but never disappoints.  She is energetic, talented, driven, intelligent, thinks on her feet, and you would be lucky to have her representing Tourism Australia because she will give you 100% of her effort 100% of the time in communicating to the world how awesome Australia is and that everyone will want to “go down under”.  That is the type of young woman she is.

I am so very proud of my daughter and all that she has accomplished!  She can, and always has captured the attention of all the people who encounter her and Australia will never forget her, I promise you that!

Sincerely,

Tracy A. MacLeod232323232%7Ffp54346%3Enu%3D3257%3E2%3A7%3E468%3EWSNRCG%3D387835388332%3Cnu0mrj

BMAC’s Mother

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Franklin Wants YOU To Send BMAC Down Under!

Hey everyone! Thank you all so much for your love and support for Send BMAC Down Under so far. The second round of the Best Job In The World Contest is almost over! Tomorrow I report back to Tourism Australia with everything I have done in the past 2 weeks to show off my creativity, passion and commitment to becoming the Chief Funster by generating advocacy and media interest about why I am the best person in the world for this position. I find out May 14th if I make it to the next round of the contest. Fingers crossed.

A large part of who I am is because of how I was raised and how I grew up in Franklin, Massachusetts.  Now that I’m only less than 3 short weeks away from graduating college and entering the “real world” it’s time I take all of those life lessons and values with me to tackle my next challenge and make my mark on the world. I wouldn’t have made it this far if I didn’t have my friends and family back home cheering me on to become Chief Funster. Check out my Franklin peeps showing their support to Send me, BMAC, Down Under!

 

 

SBDU Word Search

SBDU word search_ <– Download the PDF here and print it out!

SBDU word search_

 

Join in on the Chief Funster FUN! See how many Australia related terms and places you recognize!

Letter of Recommendation from Marist College Director of Social Media and Online Initiatives, Brian Apfel

May 2, 2013

Chief Funster Search Committee

Tourism Australia

Sydney, New South Wales

Send BMAC Down Under!

Have you heard the phrase? I can guarantee you have. That’s because “Send BMAC down under” is not a saying, it’s not a person or a job application…SBDU is a brand.  A brand created by an amazingly talented, creative, dedicated and, more importantly, one of the most fun students I have ever had the honor to work with.

It gives me great pleasure to write this recommendation for Brittany MacLeod, aka “BMAC”. As the Director of Social Media and Online Initiatives, I had the privilege of working very closely with Brittany during her four years at Marist. I started working with Brittany when she was selected as one of our Student Ambassadors, one of the most selective student positions in the college community. They are the best of the best, the students we are proud to highlight as representatives of the college, the “ideal Marist Student.”

Brittany’s personality and professionalism is contagious, and I quickly hired her to manage some of our social media efforts – focusing mainly on creating student life “brand” for our college. We wanted to highlight that the Marist community takes their academics very seriously, but also loves to get involved beyond the books and classroom and takes advantage of the fun social opportunities available. She has an amazing understanding, instinct, and talent for Social Media marketing. As an employer, I want someone that is not going to just do the job they are given. I want someone that will think outside the box, look at situations from multiple angles, and find opportunities that others may miss. Brittany is that kind of employee. I can say with full confidence that the Social Media efforts at Marist College would not be the same without Brittany’s contributions.

Working with the Ambassador program, each year I have the pleasure of working with over 200 of the best and brightest students Marist has to offer. Some of them come and go, but others you will remember forever. Brittany has had a lasting impression on me, our office, and the entire Marist Community. I thoroughly endorse her as Chief Funster, and am confident Australia tourism will benefit from her talents in more ways than you can imagine. If you need any other information, please do not hesitate to email me (Brian.Apfel@Marist.edu) or call (845.575.3226).

Sincerely,

Brian Apfel, B.S.’05, M.S. ’12

Director of Social Media and Online Initiatives

Office of Undergraduate Admission

Marist College

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