International student Irene Renaldy won the Outstanding Student Award for the MS in Integrated Marketing Communications program. Combining creativity with marketing strategy, she used the skills she gained to grow her calligraphy and watercolor business.
Irene Renaldy came to GGU from Jakarta, Indonesia to enroll in the MS in Integrated Marketing Communications program. For three years, she had channeled her love of art into her hair stylist and makeup artist business and wanted to gain skills she could use to grow her business. At GGU, Irene gained practical marketing strategies—in areas including SEO, email marketing, integrated communications—that she immediately put into practice.
Social Media Maven
In her social media marketing class she learned how to build engagement and applied those skills to GGU’s Instagram channel. Within two months, she generated more than 650 new followers by meeting with students and learning about what interests them and then creating real stories about topics students care about.
While studying at GGU, Irene worked as a student assistant for the Ageno School of Business.
“It was a memorable experience,” reflected Irene. “I interacted with professors and visiting speakers. I learned about U.S. culture and it helped me so much with my transition from Indonesia to the United States. I worked on marketing projects designing flyers and developing graphics and learned how to communicate with co-workers and managers.”
Working at the Ageno School of Business, Irene realized that her hair and makeup business was too time-consuming to be scalable. One day, a co-worker brought in a modern calligraphy book. Flipping through the book, Irene fell in love. She taught herself calligraphy on an accelerated timeline and eventually changed her business focus to calligraphy and watercolor. She hopes to scale her business by offering art licensing and online courses.
Using skills she gained in her classes, Irene generated 750 email subscribers to her new business and built an audience of 2700 Instagram followers. She achieved this by showcasing photos of her beautiful designs on social media and sharing valuable tips for building calligraphy skills.
“In calligraphy, ‘flourishing’ refers to the elegant curves and loops that make lettering look more decorative and fancy,” explained Irene. “On Instagram, I shared 16 ways to flourish each letter in the alphabet. I’m also running a 10-day challenge on flourishing words that start with the letters A-J. I created this challenge so people can stretch their creative skills in flourishing because that’s the hardest part of calligraphy.”
Today, Irene is launching her first online courses on flourishing. Her advice to future students is to take advantage of every opportunity.
“GGU offers a lot of tools to help us succeed in everything we want to do. Whether it’s entrepreneurship training, career planning, resume-writing, or interview skills, they will really help you succeed in whatever career you choose.
Please describe your accomplishments at GGU.
I generated 650+ followers for GGU Instagram in 2 months, going from 98 to 750+. I conducted student interviews and told their stories on Instagram and also created stories about GGU events and found that students love reading stories that are relevant and valuable to them. As a result, I increased the engagement, which resulted in some prospective students messaging the account.
What courses that you have taken at GGU have proven most valuable to you?
SEO Marketing – Search Engine Optimization. It’s proven, practical, to the point, and can be implemented right away to drive results.
What are your career ambitions for the future?
I aim to be a creative entrepreneur, educator and an artist, making a 6-figure income each year.