The University of New Mexico Communication and Marketing Department (UCAM) is always looking for the best way to tell potential students what life is like on campus. This year, a team of undergraduate students took on the job and the institutional video they produced is a panorama of UNM students and their dreams.

UCAM has been working with teams of undergraduate students for five years to tell the story of the university. Each spring a group of five or six students apply for the project, which carries three hours of academic credit. The students come from the Communication and Journalism Department, the Film and Digital Media Program, and the College of Fine Arts. “I have accomplished work that I am truly proud of and can use to gain employment in something that I love doing,” said Marshall Broyles, a junior videographer for the project.

The students work with Ethan Rule, a professional marketing intern at UCAM. He broke job requirements down and interviewed students for videography, editor, sound director, creative director and multimedia journalist positions. Each student agreed to spend at least 135 hours working on the videos in order to receive three hours of credit. But that was the minimum. 

Editor Eric Barreras knew the work would be intense. “I knew early on I wasn’t going to be getting very much sleep toward the end, and sure enough I’m a lot behind. I’ve appreciated coffee more this one semester than I have my entire life.”

At the beginning of the spring semester the team was given a syllabus and a production calendar. They created a vision for the video and presented it to administrators from the Office of Academic Affairs. The administrators suggested changes and the students began to shoot. They came back with a rough cut and faced another round of suggested changes. The experience was similar to what they might face as marketing professionals. The videos were created for use by various departments to tell the university’s story in a variety of venues.

The students agreed that working on the project was an interesting change from their classroom experiences. UNM was one of the first institutions to try institutional promotional videos created entirely by students. After five years, UCAM is pleased with the product. The student perspective keeps the university focused on the student experience.

“The institutional videos are students telling everyone what they live,” Rule said.