When Ini Augustine started SocialWise Media Group out of her home, she found that she finally had time to realize one of her life goals – earn a college degree. But, she needed a university that would work for her. “I needed the freedom to schedule my school work around my work schedule, which varies from week to week,” she said.
Augustine learned about Upper Iowa University’s Online program from a mentor, Tom Smartwood of the Buchanan Center at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. “I investigated several schools, but Upper Iowa kept coming up very positively in reviews,” Augustine said. “Even if I am out of town on client business, I can still submit school work and participate.” She is majoring in management information systems and expects to graduate in 2015.
Augustine’s entrepreneurial spirit was ignited at a young age. She started her first business, Provision Staffing Group, in St. Paul, Minn., at the age of 23, but returned to her roots in the Des Moines area where she developed SocialWise Media Group. “I was writing and producing commercials for a local TV station at the time. When I sat down with business owners to discuss their commercials, I always asked for their social media pages and websites,” she said. “It was shocking how many business owners would say that they didn’t have one, or that their current one was so bad they didn’t want customers to go to it.
“It was like, (screech of tires) ‘Whoa! You cannot go on TV without your website and social media profile. People won’t think you are a serious business without one.’ Clients then asked me to help them set up and manage their social media accounts, and so SocialWise Media Group was born.”
Augustine has been recognized internationally for her efforts to educate business owners through the quagmire of social media. She was quoted in an article, ‘Mastering the Digital Marketing Basics,’ in The Guardian, England’s popular national newspaper in March. Closer to home, Augustine was just recently named the ‘Aspiring Woman Business Owner of the Year’ by the Central Iowa chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.
In addition to Augustine, SocialWise Media Group employs three others, all of whom are virtually located. “We are big technology users, so we have the freedom to work from home most of the time,” she said.
Together, the four help companies manage their online marketing and website development. Using platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, blogging and Twitter, etc., SocialWise helps businesses generate more sales and stronger customer relationships. It also specializes in social media management and training, as well as public relations and reputation management.
Augustine has set goals for SocialWise, which will ensure its future in the ‘Silicon Prairie’ of Iowa. “I want to focus on making social media accessible to everyone – old, young, urban or rural. Social media is the only tool I know of that can change a company’s fate literally overnight. Ninety-two of the Fortune 100 companies are using social media to hire, and so really everyone needs to have this skill. That is why I am offering anyone who wants one, a free online social media class, whether it’s for business or personal use. It is crucial that everyone know how to use social media as a professional.”
To schedule a class or find out more about Augustine and SocialWise Media Group, visit www.getsocialwise.com.
Written by Ain Suraya Mior Azri, Intern
UIU Office of Communications & Marketing
March 26, 2013, marked a new tradition at Upper Iowa University as we celebrated the birthday of our beloved peacock mascot for the first time.
The “Peacock” became the official mascot of UIU athletics in September 1920. In his current recognizable form, the peacock arrived on campus in 2003 and “Pete” became the name of the mascot. Being one of the biggest and most prominent figures at UIU, Pete’s arrival on campus is one that should always be remembered and celebrated.
Pete the Peacock is well-known on campus, and has been the life of the party at all home games, student activities and events that are available on campus. Student members of Peacock Alumni for Students & Tradition (P.A.S.T) spearheaded the 10th birthday celebration with the goal of building a strong tradition that will be carried out for future students. As an effort to infuse school spirit, P.A.S.T created this event during the week after spring break to welcome everyone back and start anew after the short break from classes.
A week before Pete’s birthday, P.A.S.T members and Pete himself went around during lunch hour to promote the event. Pete personally invited every person he saw to his birthday celebration, and was a fun addition to the event.
For the event, the Servery and Student Center were decorated with balloons while P.A.S.T members were busy handing out party hats for students to wear for the big celebration. As the guest of honor arrived at the dining hall, he was presented with a big birthday card that had been signed by the student body wishing him well on his big day.
Pete, who turned only 10 this year, surprised many students as most of them thought that Pete had been around for many years and was very aged.
Being his usual self, Pete went around thanking fellow students for being at his birthday party and took many pictures with celebrants in conjunction of this auspicious day. Not only was Pete having fun, but the entire student body was also enjoying the party.
No birthday party is complete without a cake and singing the birthday song, and thanks to the great work and cooperation of ARAMARK, students enjoyed delicious treats in honor of Pete’s birthday.
Alyssa Joseph, the advisor of P.A.S.T and director of annual giving, said, “It is our hope that these P.A.S.T. students are well on their way of becoming the next tradition-makers of UIU as they celebrate our Upper Iowa history, as well as add new elements that will build and infuse peacock spirit in each UIU student!”
Happy Birthday Pete!
Check out more photos of the birthday celebration at http://www.flickr.com/photos/upperiowauniversity/sets/72157633147826565/!
Upper Iowa University’s ENACTUS group – featuring Samuel Vivas Imparato from Valencia, Venezuela; Rosangel Espinoza from Lecheria, Venezuela; Adrian Sanchez from LaVictoria, Venezuela; Deepa Wai May Sukumaran from Selangor, Malaysia; and Paul Dupeyrat from Meyreuil, France – took first runner-up honors last week at regionals.
This is absolutely phenomenal as this fairly new UIU club was organized just 3 months ago and they have already taken on 3 big projects!
Watch their presentation!