As Rae wraps up her term with the DVBA she reflects on her experiences.

Of all the summer jobs I saw myself taking, marketing is not one I would have expected.  That said, I’m enough of a believer in fate to follow along when an unexpected path opens up.

If you are willing to take on any experience and appreciate the learning it affords, even the most unexpected roles can be incredible growing opportunities. That was my experience when I ended up with the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) working as the summer Engagement Marketing Assistant.

Marketing for a non-profit is unique because it’s focused on supporting your members and telling a story, rather than selling a product or service.

I’ve also come to realize that in our society, with climate change looming over us, every communications role in any organization can (and should!) consider sustainability and equality. Because of my background in anthropology and environmental studies, I sit at the meeting place between social and environmental issues.

My role at the DVBA was mainly content creation. I was encouraged to use my skillset as a writer and photographer to contribute to the DVBA blog and social media.

I was honoured to be responsible for collecting and writing the stories of some of downtown Victoria’s small businesses for the first annual Small Business Month campaign. Through this work, I met so many incredible people and saw firsthand the care that these business owners pour into their communities. I appreciate the trust that was given to me by the DVBA management team and all the participating businesses.

Businesses are important allies in building a more sustainable society. Working with the business community was fascinating because I was forced to disrupt my perception of business=corporate.

Without businesses, our city could not exist, and so a sustainable city requires sustainable businesses.

As a marketer, (even an accidental one) I see it as my role to support and promote the people and businesses who are making conscious decisions to lessen their ecological impact, support their local community, and rethink the way that ‘business’ engages the rest of society. I can see how this experience will continue to impact the way I approach environmental issues in the future.

Originally published on Rae of Sunlight Photography.



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