Nicolle Merrill

Work History

Work History

Community Relations Representative

Western Culinary Institute

As the Community Relations Coordinator, my primary responsibilities were to recruit students for WCI programs and build relationships within Oregon and Washington to provide more avenues to promote WCI programs. While working remotely, I delivered hundreds of lifeskills workshops to high school students throughout Oregon and Washington. To be successful in this position, I developed and managed relationships with school teachers, administrators, community group leaders and industry professionals. Moreover, I repaired previously strained relations with two schools but reaching out, acknowledging past troubles and following through on WCI's promise to deliver effective educational workshops for their high school students.

Additionally, I redesigned workshop content to better reflect the needs of high school students and incorporate my own knowledge on the subject matter. I added real life stories, interactive questions and exercises to better engage my audiences.

I consistently met my recruiting goals and gained rave reviews from high school teachers after my workshops.

Though I enjoyed this position because it gave me the ability to use my public speaking skills and network within the community, I left it to pursue graduate school abroad and improve my future career prospects.

Oct 2008 - Present

Community Outreach Ambassador

Free Geek

Keeping my public speaking and outreach skills current by reaching out to community groups and promoting Free Geek's cause and opportunities!

Aug 2008 - Present

Contract Administrative Assistant

Personnel Source

Primary support for the Director of Strategic Workforce Planning as she implements strategic, company-wide initiatives. Creating high profile documents and presentations, coordinating and scheduling division-wide meetings, and supporting department projects as assigned. Providing half time administrative support for the VP of Human Resources. Provided research for the Director of Sustainability on in-house sustainability initiatives. Rehired because of excellent performance from my work in a different department.

Sep 2007 - Dec 2007

International Program Coordinator

Travel to Teach

Internship: Students at Aalborg University are required to find an internship in their second year anywhere in the world. After researching countries, organizations and positions, I wrote selected nonprofits in SE Asia asking if they had a need for an communications intern. I was selected by a small nonprofit in rural Thailand for a three month internship. During this time I gained experience in coordinating international programs with a multi-cultural staff, advising students on program options, facilitating payments and relationship management with partner organizations.  Most importantly, I learned about program development and how to overcome challenges that arise from idea to implementation. This experience and knowledge contributes to my overall career goal of identifying new cultural exchange opportunities and developing cultural exchange programs in upcoming destinations.

I also learned about Thai culture and appreciated the 'Mai pen rai' outlook on life.

Feb 2007 - Mar 2007

International Student Tutor

Aalborg University

While pursuing my graduate degree, I assisted with new international student arrival. With university staff and other tutors, I coordinated new student orientation, taught a project-writing workshop, and ran activities to welcome students to the university. In March 2008, I was asked by my department head to represent AAU at Study World 2008 in Berlin, Germany. As an American representing a Danish university, I networked with other representatives, made contacts for new partnerships and reached out to other universities in the region to provide AAU program information.

In addition, I coordinated my department Spring dinner and cultural events in the international dorm. I also edited AAU promotional materials and graduate theses.

Aug 2005 - Jan 2006

Staffing Recruiter

Personnel Source

Originally I was hired to coordinate a 200 person staffing assignment for Royal Caribbean Cruise lines, a Personnel Source client. After several weeks screening 1,500 applications, interviewing over 400 people, and negotiating with stakeholders, I placed 200 new employees into the Royal Caribbean Cruise call center in Springfield, OR. In addition, I developed new employee orientation documents and finished the project two weeks before deadline.

Based on this experience I was hired full time as a Staffing Recruiter. My primary responsibilities were to screen applications, interview selected candidates, coach applicants on interview technique and resume writing, coordinate with business clients on staffing needs and manage temporary employee issues as they arose. The transferable skills gained from this position are: strong interpersonal communication skills, analytical and strategic thinking, and problem solving.

Though I left this position to move to Portland, I left on excellent terms and was rehired two more times for seasonal recruiting help in their Portland office in 2006 and 2007. Currently I work for this company on a contract assignment for a large client, Regence.

Jan 2005 - May 2005

International Recruiter

International Student Volunteers

Traveled throughout Canada, Australia and New Zealand to promote ISV's programs and recruit participants. This position involved large amounts of public speaking and the ability to engage an audience. Through clever storytelling, persuasive communication and effective on-campus marketing, I met weekly and monthly recruiting goals. At each university, my team devised a comprehensive marketing strategy to target specific students interested in ISV programs. While working in the field, I organized all travel logistics, coordinated meeting facilities for ISV promotional seminars, and worked within a tight budget.

May 2004 - Dec 2004

Account Coordinator

Education

Education
Aug 2006 - Jun 2008

Masters

Aalborg University

A trademark of Aalborg University is its unique pedagogic model of teaching: the problem-based, project-organized model. With this method a great part of the semester teaching and student work revolves around complex real-life problems that the students wonder about and try to find answers to in scientific manners while working together in groups. A recent evaluation from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has shown that this form of teaching is close to optimal for the learning process. The project work generally accounts for 50% of the study time at Aalborg University.

Areas of Research: Fair Trade Coffee and Social Marketing; International Education and the International Student Experience; Social Media for higher education marketing and recruiting; Volunteer Tourism; Cross cultural comparison of Corporate Social Responsibility.

Methodologies used: In-depth, semi-structured interviews; content analysis; digital ethnography.  

Skills

Skills

Internet Research

 Whether its advanced searches, sourcing academic databases, digital ethnography or setting RSS feeds to monitor trends, I am an internet research guru. I can formulate a research plan, break down a problem into small steps, gather background information to support a position and interview subject experts. This skill has been extremely useful in marketing positions and new program development. Currently I use my research skills to support departmental projects as an administrative assistant. My most recent research task involved researching themes and ideas for an internal sustainability campaign for the Director of Sustainability.      

Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint

Need a document created with a table of contents and sections? Need a PowerPoint fixed up so it will stand out from all the others? What about piivot tables and macros? I can do all of that and more. After working in a variety of temporary positions, I have used a wide range of data bases and company specific software. From these experiences, I pick up new software quickly.

Social Media

From the user experience to recent trends and industry uses, I know how to use social media for outreach purposes. Currently I promote international opportunities to my network. I post articles on Facebook relevant to my audience to raise awareness about global and local issues and encourage discussion.   In 2006, I ran a 3 month fundraising campaign on myspace to test the uses of new media (myspace, youtube) for outreach and fundraising purposes. I raised $400 for my local sports team.   Ask me my thoughts on how organizations misunderstand social media and what they can do to change their outlook.  Or ask me about my RSS feeds.

Public Speaking and Presenting

Small groups to large auditoriums Academic, persuasive, and informative styles Skilled at storytelling and conveying an experience in a lively, vivid manner

How would I describe me?

 Versatile (adj): Capable of doing many things competently; capable of or adapted for turning easily from one to another of various tasks, fields of endeavor

Interest

Convincing others to go abroad and discover new perspectives

Social Media

Digital Ethnography

Experiential Learning

Sustainability

Urban Hiking

Bike Commuting

Travel

Languages

Current Events

Creative Event Planning

Costumes

Supporting local organizations

Summary

I aim to use my international experience, broad skill set and passion for cultural exchange to create and manage international service learning programs. My goal is to contribute to increased access to international exchange opportunities, expanding opportunities across socio-economic and education levels.