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SAT: A College Tradition, Like it or Not

College Admissions Test Makes a Change… Again

For Tradition Thursday, we’re going to focus on something a little different. The SAT is a tradition that the admissions department of almost every American University has shared. This month, the College Board announced that big changes are coming for the old-school test.

Students study hard for the SAT and ACT photo: @allthatjasss

Students study hard for the SAT and ACT
photo: @allthatjasss

Beginning in 2016, the test will return to a 1600-point scale, the essay section will be optional, and test-takers will not be penalized for incorrect answers.  The notorious vocabulary section will be revised and updated to words in more common usage. For the first time ever, SAT takers will have the option to take the test on a computer.

History of the SAT

So how did the SAT become a factor for college entrance and where did the test come from?

Before the SAT, college’s each hosted their own entrance exams. The questions varied wildly and the knowledge required to master the exams was heavily contingent on the professor’s interests and the high-school from which the student was graduating.

The military developed the test that would become the SAT during WWI. The “Alpha Test” was developed to help the Army make quick placement decisions for large numbers of recruits.  The test was designed in a way to reduce bias among people from different socioeconomic backgrounds.  Many would argue that with advances in SAT prep, tutoring, and disparities in public education, the test has become significantly less democratic since it’s inception.

In 1926 the Scholastic Aptitude Test, an evolution of the Army’s Alpha exam, was given to a group of college hopefuls. 8,000 students took the test, and only 40% were female. The population skewed highly Northeastern—with most students trying to gain entry to Ivy League universities like Smith College and Yale. The Test has been amended countless times since then and the new changes will be implemented on the 2016 version.

The controversy of standardized testing has a robust history. Critics argue that the tests don’t take a student’s full intelligence into account, or that the tests are culturally or economically biased; while admissions counselors argue that they need some way to sort through the thousands of applications they receive each year. While many schools have switched to the ACT, as a more accurate predictor of student’s future college performance, the SAT is alive and well. And rolling with the times.


College students: Connect

Community is key for today’s college students. Associating in groups, like campus Greek Life, academic, and religious organizations, provides the vital connection with peer groups that students are seeking. Here are some of our very own VIPs connecting.








If you have a great picture of students connecting please share it with us on Instagram by using the hashtag #UQknowscollege


Fall In Love

How could you not fall in love with these campuses?



If you have a great picture of your campus in the fall please share it with us on Instagram by using the hashtag #UQknowscollege


Campus Culture

What makes a university’s culture unique…is it the traditions, the mascot, the students? UQ knows that every university has a culture that differentiates itself among others but to find out how, we asked for a first hand perspective from our Virtual Interns at universities across the country.

This week we’re sharing our Virtual Intern’s insights from the University of Miami, Duke, Indiana University, Boston University and Texas A&M. Check out the top 15 Virtual Intern Campus Culture blogs highlighted on our Brand Builder Blog and share your insights on your own campus’ culture.

It’s All About the U by Rebecca Cohen

Tenting at Duke by Abby Snyder


Little 500; Fast Furious and Fun by Katherine Vail


Head of the Charles by Juliana Tortorello


The Little Ring Made of Gold by Kiersten Conner



#UQknowscollege Back to School

The new school year is underway and we are loving the back to school images our Virtual Interns are capturing across the country.


Do you have a great back to school image from your university?  If so, please share it with us on Instagram and Twitter by hash tagging #UQknowscollege 


Don’t Miss: Summer Blog Series

UQ stays up to date with campus happenings across the country thanks to our 75+ Student VIPs. You can learn more about each university’s unique campus culture on our Student Insights blog.  

Our UQ VIPs have had some very exciting summers, some interning at Fortune 500 Companies, volunteering abroad and even to tracing their roots by traveling to the homes of their ancestors.

Check out some of our favorites:

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Rebecca Cohen - The University of Miami

  • Interviewed Shannon Finlel who was a marketing intern at MTV

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Katie Fries
- The Ohio State University

  • Interviewed Katie Willaimson who interned at a winery in NJ




Maya Voelk - Northwestern University

  • Interviewed Kailina Silverman who traveled to Israel and China




Scott Greenwood - Emory University

  • Interviewed Adam Bates who was a Constituent Services Intern for the House of Representatives

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Elaine Cen - The University of Texas

  • Interviewed Mike Alvarez who traveled to China to continue his martial arts training

Generation U Gensetter Videos

We are currently in the final stages of our application process with girls who want to be their campus’ BCBGeneration Gensetters.  The potential Gensetters did such a great job on their final projects that we wanted to share them with you and get your opinion on your favorites.  Please click on the potential Gensetter’s name and watch the short videos below.  Once you’ve watched the videos please “like” your favorite one directly on the potential Gensetters YouTube video page.

The University of Miami

Chelsea W.


Janell B.

Lauren C.

Katie W.


San Diego State University

Jessica W.

Rebecca R.

Gabrielle H.

Delena T.



The University of Iowa

Danielle B.

Jade G.

Ana Maria C.

Christine K.


The University of Texas

Lane H.

Kate P.

Shelby S.

Debby G.


The University of Maryland

Zoe T.

Jessica S.

Allison K.

Katrina R.




Stop trashing millennials.

We love college students. Which is why we get slightly offended when older generations millennial-bash. Here is a great cartoon by Matt Bors that defends this generation that everyone loves to hate.



5 Apps for Surviving Finals Week

Finals week is rough; consisting of staying up late, consuming massive amounts of caffeine, and for many, re-learning a semester’s worth of material in less than a week.  

Fear no more…..we have found 5 great apps that will help you sail through finals week with ease.

  1. Margins: This is an app dedicated to organizing your hand written notes.  Margins takes your notes and then automatically organizes them by book and page number; it even allows you to search through your notes for key words.  Forget why a passage was important?  Well, that’s not an issue because now you can insert comments right in your digital notes to help enhance your memory after a long study session.
  2. Cram: This is an app that allows you to review all of your materials by using digital flashcards and pre-made quizzes.  Once you’ve reviewed the flashcards you then are given the option to take a variety of pre-made quizzes to test your retention levels.  After you’ve completed the quizzes Cram will grade and record your test performance so you can track your progress.
  3. Study Checker: This is an app for someone who gets sidetracked easily or tends to procrastinate.  Study Checker tracks the amount of time you’ve spent surfing the internet, talking/texting, and actually studying; so you can make sure that you are getting in quality study time.
  4. GPS for the Soul:  This is an app dedicated to helping you relax during stressful times.  You simply need to download the app, place your finger over your phone camera, and GPS for the Soul will measure your heart rate.  From your heart rate this app can measure your stress level and then offer you options to relieve that stress from photos of your loved ones, soothing music, poetry, and breathing exercises.
  5. Starbucks iPhone: This is an app to help when you need a little extra boost!  Starbucks iPhone will allow you to get directions to the nearest store, search amenities (like free wifi) and store hours, explore the menu, review nutritional facts, receive special offers, and pay for coffee electronically with your Starbucks card.

How to Land that Coveted Internship

Landing an internship is important step to every college student and can become quite stressful.  Our #universitychat this week focused on what’s important to students when looking for an internship and what personal tips they have for the internship search.

How do you typically go about finding an internship?

Our students almost all start at their respective career services centers.  These places are great because there are a lot of options of industries and types of internships, plus many career services centers offer resume critiques and mock interviews!  Also, internship opportunities forwarded to you through organizations are a great way to get contacts.  Companies send these emails because they want to recruit students who participate on campus in worthy organizations and many students don’t take advantage of these opportunities!


*UQ TIP: Networking is key. Don’t be afraid to ask your contacts (professional or personal) for help finding an internship.

What’s most important to you when choosing an internship?

First and foremost, our students want internships that relate to their majors or intended career fields.  Hands-on experience and the ability to make a meaningful impact on the company are also important.


*UQ TIP: Don’t choose an internship solely because you think it will “look good” on your resume.  The experience and skills you gain are going to be what’s valuable in the long run, not that you spent the summer working at the largest corporation in the world fetching coffee.


What do you expect to learn in an internship (regardless of industry)?

Students want to learn in an internship what they can’t in the classroom.  Field experience is important to be able to apply the skills learning in the classroom to real-life experiences.


*UQ TIP: In an interview, ask questions about what past interns have done.  This way, you can get a good feel for what your responsibilities might be and if the internship is a good fit!


How do you define a “good” boss? What qualities does that person have?

Across the board, our students defined a good boss as one who is authoritative, helpful, knowledgeable, dedicated, and most importantly, accessible.


*UQ TIP: A good boss should take the time to mentor and teach you.  It’s a two-way street: if you want to be mentored, take the time to express that to your boss and he or she will most likely reciprocate.


Would you rather have a paid internship at a boring company, or an unpaid internship at a cool company? Why?

Our students all chose an unpaid internship at a cool company.  They cited how passion, experience, and learning from relatable people can all benefit your career in the long run.


*UQ TIP: Choose an internship for the experience you will gain, not the money you will make.


Would you rather intern for a large corporate company or an up and coming startup? Why?

The question was split down the middle.  Smaller startups may provide more opportunity to impact the business, but a large corporation could give you more room to get a full-time position post-internship.


*UQ TIP: Both types of companies have their benefits.  A corporation will most likely have a more structured intern program, whereas a startup will allow for more flexibility.  If possible, get experience with both types in order to make an informed decision as to where your personality best fits.


What advice would you give to someone looking for his or her first internship?

The resounding advice for this question was to be persistent!  University career services centers can be extremely helpful and might even put you in contact with alumni at a company you are looking into.


*UQ TIP: Set a goal to apply to a certain number of jobs a day.  By splitting your applications into a reasonable number and making it a part of your daily return, the applying process will become less stressful.


What’s the most difficult question you’ve ever been asked in an interview?

A few favorites from our students:

  • What type of animal would you choose to describe yourself?
  • Have you worked with someone you didn’t get along with and if so how did you handle it?
  • What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken?

*UQ TIP: Don’t fret over hard questions – they’re meant to show an interviewer how well you think on your feet.  Take a few seconds to breathe and compose your answer, and back up whatever you say.


Thanks to all of the students who joined us for #universitychat this week! Next #universitychat is Tuesday, April 2 at 9pm EST on Twitter. To join, follow the hashtag #universitychat.


Apps for College Students on a Budget

College students are notorious for describing themselves as “broke” – even though at UQ we know this isn’t completely true, here are five of our favorite apps for anyone on a budget, especially college students:

  1. Actually making and sticking to a budget: Mint
    We all know budgets are important, but unfortunately they are usually too difficult to keep track of and stick to. Mint is a free app does all the work of organizing and categorizing your spending money.  It allows you to see where every dime goes and make money decisions you feel good about.  Mint even allows you to set financial goals and direct you through simple steps to achieve them. 

  2. Transportation: Getaround
    Cars are often a luxury on many campuses, and parking can get pretty expensive, especially in cities like Chicago or San Francisco. Getaround is a free app to rent a car from someone nearby. Getaround does all the work, while ensuring their rentals are always in tiptop shape and fully protected under insurance. Please note that they aren’t your typical car rental company; you are using a real person’s car that they rent to you per hour. This is great and affordable if you need to run to the mall for a few hours, visit a grocery store when you have way to many bags to carry home, are going on a weekend excursion and need an SUV, or need a larger vehicle when you’re moving out. And if you have a car, you can make extra cash by renting out your car to your neighbors!

  3. Travel: Airbnb
    We are travel junkies – but staying in hotels isn’t always economical, or close to the action. Airbnb makes traveling a breeze by providing a community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world. Any person with any budget can find an amazing place to stay while traveling with Airbnb. The search feature allows you to select where you’re traveling, room type, and length of stay; then viola! You are shown available lodging options, pictures, and prices. This is all the UQ team uses when traveling; it really allows you to feel like a local, without breaking the bank.

  4. Nightlife: Cocktail Compass
    College budgets are strict and alcohol (when of age) can be really expensive. College towns are riddled with bars, but drink options and prices aren’t generally advertised.  However, using this free app you can find the best happy hours and drink prices around your area. It also gives you local reviews and cab numbers so you can drink responsibly.

  5. Fashion: Hukkster
    Online shopping is great, but hunting for deals isn’t a time luxury most people have.  Hukkster is a free app that tracks the items you look at online and then notifies you when they go on sale! They also notify you of coupon codes, so even if your online products isn’t on sale you can still get a great deal.

Did we miss any of your essential money saving apps? We LOVE being introduced to new ways to make life easier and more affordable through technology so please share!


Report: Friends are strongest influence over purchasing decisions

According to a new report published by Forrester, 70% of consumers trust brand or product recommendations from friends and family compared to only 10% who trust advertisements.

Consumers also appreciate authentic and honest reviews of products by third-party sources.  Personalized messages about specific products now trump generic advertisements meant to appeal to mass markets.

In a society that is constantly evolving to find a more efficient, advanced solution to every problem we have, it seems that marketing methods are taking an opposite approach and reverting back to grassroots efforts. Old school word of mouth works.


Word-of-mouth marketing proves to be the most influential way to spread your brand message; this is especially true among college students. College students are often times making their own purchasing decisions for the first time in their adult lives, without the help from mom and dad. They are living in close quarters and are likely to turn to their friends for approval. Great marketing plans are versatile, but marketers should not discount the influence of good-old word of mouth when planning their next campaign. Every activity you do, whether it be print, social, video – should be working towards making sharing your brand easy and rewarding.

Need some inspiration? Check out how Pepsi Max is creating content that their target market will want to share.


All About Apps

For this week’s #universitychat, we delved into the wonderful world of apps and how they affect college students’ lives.

What apps can you not live without?

No surprise here - InstagramFacebook, and Twitter are all the most popular apps with college students.

Apps that help with classes

StudyBlue is a great tool that allows students to upload flashcards and lecture notes by university, professor, and class and then share those with fellow classmates!


Favorite apps for music

Pandora and 8tracks are classic favorites with the college crowd.  Pandora introduces students to new music similar to artists and songs they already enjoy and 8tracks has awesome playlists for any mood imaginable!


Here at UQ, we are partial to Songza. This website allows you to choose a playlist based on the time of day and what activities you’re performing – check it out!

Are you willing to pay for apps?

Our students said that although they would spend up to $5 on an app they can’t live without, there are so many free options that many times paying for an app is not necessary.


What are the most useful apps when travelling?

Google Maps – we all hate to get lost!

How important are reviews?

Ours students were split between relying more on word of mouth feedback and reviews when they decided which apps to download.



If you had to delete all your apps and could only keep one, what app would it be and why?

The responses to this question proves that college students need to stay connected to their peers. Email, Instagram, and Facebook were the top 3 can’t-live-without apps.


Thanks to all of the students who joined us for #universitychat this week! Next #universitychat is Tuesday, March 26 at 9pm EST on Twitter. To join, follow the hashtag #universitychat.


#UQknowscollege Knows Spring Break

Our Virtual Interns from across the country are in the midst of Spring Break season. We’re loving the photos they’re sharing from their trips (from beaches, to alternative Spring Breaks, to traveling abroad), so we wanted to share our favorites so far:

uq knows college spring break copyWant to share your favorite pics from Spring Break? We want to see them! Be sure to share your favorite photos with us by hash tagging #UQknowscollege on Instagram and Twitter.



Brand Wars

For this week’s #universitychat we pitted two competing brands against each other to see which students like more.

Face-Off #1: McDonald’s vs. Wendy’s

McDonald’s barely beat Wendy’s in the first face-off.  Our students raved about McDonald’s fries compared to Wendy’s and appreciated the seasonal Shamrock Shake!

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Face-Off #2: Coca Cola vs. Pepsi

Coke was the clear winner for this face-off.  Diet Coke is a staple among college girls and our students agreed!  Pepsi tends to have a sweeter taste than Coke which not many students prefer.

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Face-Off #3: Chipotle vs. Taco Bell

No question, Chipotle was the winner (although we do love late night Taco Bell runs).  Our students love the fresh ingredients Chipotle offers while still being fast and delicious!

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Face-Off #4: How I Met Your Mother vs. Friends

This was a close competition, with Friends barely edging out HIMYM in the end.  Our students made a good point – HIMYM is like the modern-day version of Friends!

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Face-Off #4: Drake vs. Kanye West

This face-off got into a heated debate.  Students either hated Kanye for his cockiness and attitude or loved him for his devotion to his craft.  This ended in a dead tie between Drake and Kanye.

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Face-Off #5: Kraft Mac n’ Cheese vs. Velveeta

The original won! Student’s favored the original Kraft Mac n’ Cheese over Velveeta almost exclusively.  Our Virtual Intern from University of Virginia had a funny reason:

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Face-Off #6: iPhone vs. Android

The iPhone was the clear winner for our last face-off.  Students cited the simplicity of the design along with the ease of use as why they like it better than Android devices.

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Thanks to all of the students who joined us for #universitychat this week! Next #universitychat is Tuesday, March 19 at 9pm EST on Twitter. To join, follow the hashtag #universitychat.


Technology as a Communication Tool

College for a millennial is a much different experience than what it was for other generations. Yes, they still have classes and go to parties, but even these experiences have been revolutionized due to one thing: technology.

The first major aspect affected by technology is communication. The obvious ones are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email; but students now have a plethora of additional resources. Students can use Blackboard, an online classroom in which faculty can provide students with additional resources. Google Hangouts allow people to have virtual conferences regardless of where they are in the world. Rate My Professor is a website in which students can rate previous professors at their schools so upcoming students can take a class with a professor they’d enjoy.

The second major aspect affected by technology is note taking. The days of taking hand written notes and having lead stains on your skin are long gone. Students now have the capability to take notes digitally whether it’s on a laptop, tablet, or smart phone. Over 70% of college students now take notes digitally due to its efficiency, more organized manner, and (thankfully) spell check. Developers have begun to capitalize on this industry and products like Evernote and Livescribe have allowed users to have their audio notes instantly transcribed.

The third major aspect affected by technology is an alternative to taking classes on campus. Many collegiate memories of walking to class encompass bitter cold, torrential rain, or walking to class on the perfect day and wishing you were anywhere but inside. Now students have the capability to avoid these issues all together by taking some or all classes online from anywhere with an Internet connection. To date, around 12 million students take at least one class online and this number is only projected to grow with companies like 2U offering online classes to students around the country.

Lets take a second to look at the numbers*:

• 38% of students admit that they cannot go more than 10 minutes without technology before they start feeling some form of anxiety
• 73% of college students cannot study properly without the assistance of technology
• College students spend around 12 hours per day engaged in some form of technology
• The electronic industry makes over $13 billion a year

However, with all the positives technology has to offer, there are also some unflattering side effects. We now live in a world where people walk from location to location with their noses buried in some form of technology causing the days of walking and talking to strangers to be few and far between. While this technology is supposed to make studying easier, it is often found as more of a distraction; causing students to become easily sidetracked from their original tasks for hours. This over reliance on technology has even been linked to medical issues such as vision deterioration-68% of young adults have developed eye issues due to over exposure to technology. I’m sure we don’t even need to discuss the frustrations of lost connections, crashed hard drives, corrupted files, or computer hackers.

All resources have their pros and cons, but the benefits technology offers well outweigh the detriments. So plug in when you can, but don’t be afraid to live off the grid from time to time.

*Statistics pulled from “The Chronicle of Higher Education” and The Pew Research Center


Spring Break #universitychat

Last night we spoke with 50 students across the country about all things Spring Break in our weekly #universitychat on Twitter. We discussed most popular destinations, what to pack, budgets, and much more. Here are some of our main takeaways:

1. Most Popular Spring Break Destinations:


Cabo, San Lucas


Panama City Beach, Florida

Gulf Shores, Alabama

2. Student’s Ideal Trip

The students we spoke with overwhelmingly wanted to go to the beach. Few mentioned partying, most students expressed that they looked forward to relaxing with friends and forgetting about the stress of school.

Road Trip

Relaxing on the Beach

3. Budgeting

Students budgeted $400 on average for spring break and were very thrifty while planning. Traveling in packs, renting homes instead of hotels, and driving to their spring break destinations saved the students we spoke with hundreds of dollars.

4. Travel Sites

Students referenced a variety of sites when planning their Spring Breaks this year. Some students had coordinated trips through their universities, while others had to put the pieces together on their own. Students expressed that they loved referencing sites that compared prices from many different vendors; sites like Orbitz, Expedia, and Kayak were all hits.


5. Must-Pack Items

Every student was on the same page when packing for warm weather: – Sunglasses, bathing suits, sunscreen & flip-flops seemed to be the universal trend.

What to Pack

6. Top Spring Break Brands

Students opted for value brands with great utility – the girls absolutely loved Target for bathing suits.



We want to wish all of our students a fun and safe Spring Break – can’t wait to hear all of your stories!


Oscars Recap, UQ Style

For this weeks #universitychat we asked our students everything about the Oscars and celebrities.

What was your favorite moment from the Oscar’s this year?

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In your opinion, who should host the Oscar’s next year?

Popular choices included Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Steve Carrel, and Anderson Cooper.Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 11.46.31 AM


Did you post on social media during the Oscar’s?  If so, which outlets did you use?

Most of our students were too busy multitasking with homework and studying to post on social media during the Oscar’s so they chose to read friends’ posts instead.  Popular social media outlets were Facebook and Twitter.

Who wins best dressed woman?

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Jennifer Lawrence

naomi watts

Naomi Watts


Who wins best dressed man?


Jospeh Gordon-Levitt

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chris pine

Chris Pine

What upcoming movies in 2013 are you most looking forward to seeing?
Overwhelmingly, the answer to this question was The Great Gatsby.

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Thanks to all of the students who joined us for #universitychat this week! Next #universitychat is this Tuesday, March 5 at 9pm EST on Twitter. To join follow the hashtag #universitychat.


Campus Traditions

This weeks #universitychat focused on college traditions.  We aimed to find out the inside scoop on universities across the country and were surprised by some of the answers!

Q1: If you could take a photo of just one landmark on campus to describe your university, what would you take a photo of?

University of Maryland’s mall has the largest fountain on a college campus, the mascot Testudo, and McKeldin Library at the top.

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The Rotunda – designed by Thomas Jefferson – is the most iconic spot on UVA’s campus, regardless of the construction it is undergoing at the moment.

NYU has the Arch at Washington Square Park, referred to as “NYU’s pride and joy” from our NYU VI Sharleen.

Q2: What are some of the big events that alumni come back for every year?

Football games were the top event that alumni came back for at each school.  The Ohio State-Michigan game at The Ohio State University, Virginia-Virginia Tech game at UVA, Texas-OU in Dallas, TX, and all the Homecoming games are all popular games.

Q3: True fans of your university know to do this _______ in the stands…

Singing the fight song and taunting the opposing team were all popular answers for this question.  At University of Pittsburgh, the students put a Pitt-twist on classic songs.

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Q4: Are there any superstitions about your university?

This question received some interesting answers.  From swimming in the fountain on the mall at UMD in order to graduate to walking on the old stadium’s home plate in Posvar Hall for good luck at Pitt to walking underneath the Sun God statue only once at UCSD to the haunted 6th floor of Bird Library at Syracuse, superstitions are abound at each university.  Indiana University and Miami University both have superstitions about kissing significant others.

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Q5: What is the biggest or best campus tradition at your school?

A few of our favorites:

  • Singing The Eye’s of Texas at a UT game
  • Yelling OH- and receiving an -IO back from a fellow Buckeye no matter where you are
  • The music, laser, and firework  show outside the Cathedral at Pitt during Homecoming weekend
  • Streaking the lawn at UVA
  • Little 500, the largest college bike race in the US, at Indiana
  • Rubbing Testudo’s nose at UMD for good luck during finals week
  • Never stepping on the University Seal to respect Miami University’s history and values

 Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 9.31.10 AM

Each university has traditions and places that make it unique from any other.  We loved hearing about all the insider secrets at each university.  We’ll throw a Hook ‘Em the next time we’re in Texas and yell out OH in the middle of the crowd in hopes of hearing an IO in return!

Thanks to all of the students who joined us for #universitychat this week! Next #universitychat is this Tuesday, February 26 at 9pm EST on Twitter. To join follow the hashtag #universitychat.



Each week, we ask our Virtual Interns across the country to post a picture of their campus on Instagram with the hashtag #uqknowscollege. We have been so impressed with the pictures our VI’s have posted that we wanted to share them with you!

instagram 12x12 collage

Be sure to search “uqknowscollege” on Instagram to keep up-to-date on the latest images.

Thanks to all of our Virtual Interns for the above pictures!


Would You Rather…?

For our #universitychat this week we played a game of Would You Rather…, UQ Style.  Our participants had a lot of interesting insights on different topics!

Would you rather watch the news on TV or see it on Twitter?

Our students overwhelming chose to watch the news on TV.  A lot of them said they become informed of current events through Twitter but choose to go to the TV to get more in-depth information.  Twitter seems to be too biased and concise to get the full picture for many students.

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Would you rather fly on Air Force One with the President, or have a minor recurring role on a popular TV show? Why?

This question was split down the middle between flying on Air Force One or have a role in a TV show.  A lot of students said that being able to talk with the President one-on-one in a casual setting is a chance you can’t pass up while other students thought meeting the casts of their favorite TV shows (Modern Family was mentioned) was too cool to not take advantage of.

Would you rather have a job you love making $30,000 or a job you hate making $100,000? Why?

2/3 of our students chose to have a lower-paying job that they love over making $100,000 at a job they hate.  The students who chose the high-paying job cited the benefits it would give them, such as earlier retirement and less stress over paying bills.

Would you rather write a best-selling novel or be an expert at picking stocks?

1/3 of our students would love to be a best-selling novelist, while the other 2/3 chose to be good at picking stocks.  One student mentioned that having a best-selling novel could put a curse on your career.  Another student said that a novel will put your name in print for history whereas stocks fluctuate from day-to-day.

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Would you rather only text or only talk on the phone for the rest of your life?

Surprisingly, most students would rather only talk than text for the rest of their lives. Students chose talking because you can express emotions easier and communication is clearer.  Texting is quick and convenient but can be misconstrued at times.

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Would you rather volunteer abroad or in your own community?

Volunteering abroad was the clear winner in this face-off.  Students love the idea that they can travel and experience different cultures all while helping in that same culture.  One of UQ’s clients, Cross-Cultural Solutions provides the perfect opportunity for people to do just that! Check out CCS’s Twitter and Facebook to learn more about this amazing opportunity.

Thanks to all of the students who joined us for #universitychat this week! Next #universitychat is this Tuesday, February 19 at 9pm EST on twitter. To join follow the hashtag #universitychat.


Generation “Y”es We Can!

Everyone on the UQ Marketing team is a Millennial- from “Generation Y.” Millennial is a term used to define anyone born between 1980 and 2000, brought up using digital technology and mass media (Webster’s Dictionary). This generation usually gets a bad rep for being the laziest generation in our nation’s short lifespan. However, our team who works with this generation everyday doesn’t find them lazy, but misunderstood.

We are constantly amazed by our students accomplishments. UQ currently works with over 120 college students nationwide; some of our students’ accolades include: founders of volunteer organizations, world travelers who have visited over 300 countries, self-starters who have helped raise money to help communities struck by tragedy, adventurers who have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and even work with one student who is fluent in 7 languages.

Don’t take it from us how amazing some of our UQ students are, let them show you themselves:

1. A Cross-Cultural Solutions Campus Ambassador tells us why the world could use a little more “And”:

2. A Brand Builder who shows us how Seamless saved the day:

3. A Student who raps his love for Hoist:


61% of all 13 to 25 years olds feel personally responsible for making a difference in the world (USA Today). This personal responsibility is empowering Millennials to go out and find causes they can personally connect to. Millennials are now volunteering in record numbers: 63% of survey respondents volunteered for a nonprofit in 2011, and 90% expect to volunteer as much or more in 2012 than 2011. An astonishing 75% even gave a financial gift in 2011, and 71% raised money on behalf of nonprofits (Volunteer Match).

We need to give Millennials the credit they deserve – college students care about their global community and we believe they’re a part of one of the greatest generations to date, a generation that has the power to change the world.



Students <3 College #universitychat

This week UQ hosted our first #universitychat of the semester.  We talked with college students across the country about why they love their universities and what makes them unique.  The biggest thing we took away from this discussion is that students are extremely passionate about their universities and love to share why!

We wanted to find out what criteria students look at when deciding where to spend their college years. According to a study done at UCLA, almost 64% of students attend a college because of its academic reputation.  While academics are very important, campus culture and fit proved to be important to our students as well.  Our chat revealed that academic rigor, location, and school pride seem to be why students choose a particular university.

When asked what three words best describe their school, fun was the overwhelming favorite.  However, a close second were words relating to academics – scholarly, rigorous, challenging, and engaging.  The popularity of these two words shows how students view their school culture, in essence “work hard, play hard” (a motto at UQ as well!).

Many schools use this motto to combine academics and fun into interesting classes.  We asked our students what the best class at their universities were and received a wide range of responses.  African Drumming, Harry Potter English, Chinese Folk Dancing, and Defense Against the Dark Arts were all thrown out as interesting classes.

Spring semester is an exciting time as the ice melts and summer approaches.  Our students told us that spring is filled with huge events that keep the campus unified and active.  Some of these events that were popular across most campuses include St. Patrick’s Day, Greek Week, Fests, and Fraternity Formals.  Each university also had unique events that are popular.  Columbia University hosts Bacchanal, a free spring concert on the steps (artists that have performed in past years include Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Vampire Weekend, and Kanye West).  University of Virginia students head to Foxfieds, a horse race where students dress up and tailgate.  Spring break is also part of the quintessential college experience.  Popular destinations include ones you’d expect like Panama City Beach, Miami, and Cancun, and some surprises (Gulf Shores, AL).

We really enjoyed learning about our students love for their universities and what makes them unique and special!  Our students even gave us some insider facts about their schools!

Did you know?

  • Ohio University is the 13th most haunted place in the world.
  • University of Maryland’s buses don’t start running until 5:30 PM so students always have to walk to class!
  • University of Georgia’s mascot was the Goats before turning into the Dawgs
  • Parts of the movie Ides of March were filmed on Miami University’s campus (we wouldn’t mind seeing Georgia Clooney and Ryan Gosling on the walk to class).
  • Secret societies are abundant at University of Virginia; they have the second most in the nation!

Thanks to all of the students who joined us for #universitychat this week! Next university chat is this Tuesday, February 12 at 9pm EST on twitter. To join follow the hashtag #universitychat.


Get Inspired: Start Something That Matters

We have been feeling extremely inspired this week. When was the last time you were inspired? If you need a pep talk on your Thursday here are some inspiring words from a “Kid President”.


We are fortunate to work with some pretty inspiring companies and non-profits – and wanted to share some of them with you. If you are inspired to make the world a better place – check out the following ways you can start today:


1.  You want to personally impact the lives of others across the globe and expand your horizons

Your Answer: Volunteer with Cross-Cultural Solutions

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Cross-Cultural Solutions is an international non-profit that operates volunteer programs around the world in partnership with sustainable community initiatives.  They have sent over 30,000 volunteers abroad to date and their home-base experience is unlike any other.  Safety with Cross-Cultural Solutions is unparalleled; pretty much they are AMAZING and we are so excited to be their partner.


2.  You want to decrease your carbon footprint and help solve car overpopulation, while establishing a stronger sense of community in your neighborhood.

Your Answer: Rent a car with Getaround

Get around is a social car-sharing platform that brings together a community of car owners and renters.  With convenient hourly rentals and full insurance provided, Getaround users are part of a safe, trusting community that is disrupting the transportation industry.  We love what Getaround provides to its users, and just as importantly, how it’s helping to solve car overpopulation.


3.  You want to connect and give back to the causes you care about.

Your Answer: Sign up for a Pure Charity account and fund a Field Partner’s project.


Put simply, Pure Charity is a completely new way to give.  Pure Charity is a social platform that connects people and businesses to the nonprofits they care about.  Pure Charity makes it easy to give; individuals can contribute to their giving fund out of their own pocket, or shop for a cause at one of Pure Charity’s retail partners.  Pure Charity’s mission is to inspire “generation g”- or a generosity generation.  It is free to sign up- live generous!


We are so excited to be working with these great organizations that not only help people in the United States, but all around the world. And as we have shown you through our three partners above, everyone can contribute to making the world a better place.


“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”
-Mahatma Gandhi


Here’s to an Inspiring 2013

Happy New Year! We’ve been so inspired lately by our friends, advisors, clients, and students, and we wanted to share how we’re embracing 2013.

Every Monday morning, the whole UQ team visits a new coffee shop around town to kick off the week, chatting about upcoming projects, planning out our week, and catching up on fun from the weekend. At the end of every meeting, we pick a quote that reflects our motivation for the week. And when we return to the office, we write that quote on our chalkboard wall to serve as a daily reminder of inspiration. (Side note: you can see some of our favorites so far on Instagram @UQmarketing)

One of our favorite quotes shared with us by a team member is “Inspect what you expect.” It got us thinking, and we wanted to act on it. This week, we’re launching a new Student Portal to help us do just that- inspect what we’re expecting. Here’s a little teaser:

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We can’t wait for our students to experience the new UQ Portal, having real-time access to projects, leader boards, files, and everything else that enables their success on campus.

Another point of motivation for us in 2013: we have the most amazing clients! It is such a privilege to work with all of our clients, and we’ve been so inspired about the philanthropic work that Pure Charity and Cross-Cultural Solutions is doing. As a company, we’re setting a goal for every team member to be generous every month in 2013- whether it’s giving back to a favorite project on Pure Charity, becoming a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters, or volunteering abroad at one of Cross-Cultural Solutions’ amazing project sites (a personal goal!)

Here’s to an inspiring and productive New Year. We will leave you with the quote on our wall this week…

quote wall



College Students are “Shopping Detectives”

In UQ’s #universitychat last Tuesday we spoke with college students across the country to learn more about their shopping habits this holiday season. According to our research US college students are expected to spend $6.8 BILLION this holiday season, but their shopping habits differ from past generations and if you want their business, your strategy needs to be different as well. 



Most millennials prefer to make their holiday purchases online because they can:


-Read product reviews

-Research discounts

-Ship for free


College students almost act as “shopping detectives” – researching everything before making a final decision. Some may call it non-committal; we like to think of them as well-informed.



When talking to some of our UQ Brand Builders about the steps they take when buying gifts we spotted a trend, 90% of students:


FIRST Find reviews on the product

THEN Ask friends who know a lot about the product

THEN (SOMETIMES) Make sure it is what the person wants



Millennials love Amazon, ModCloth, UrbanSpoonAirbnb, Getaround and Yelp due to the high level of transparency and the extensive reviews that are readily available.


84% of millennials use online reviews to make a final decision about a product. Thanks to smart phones, some research products online while they are shopping in store. Millennials are three times more likely than baby boomers to turn to technology to help them with their decisions; is it any surprise that this is called the Information Age?



If you want to appeal to the millennial consumer, you need to have a strong online presence. But more importantly, you need to know how to use it.  Customer feedback and reviews are a strong influence on student purchases, and must be capitalized upon.


Listen to what people are saying about you online and most importantly be open to change! Connect with reviewers who have had a bad experience and either make it up to them personally or adapt your product/service.


We love our Jambox here in the UQ office – but when the battery stopped working we were a little peeved… Jawbone sent us a new one no questions asked – so instead of a negative review they got a standing o from our team. Customer service can go a long way and in most cases one bad review cancels out ten good reviews.


To appeal to the millennial consumer, brands need to go deeper than basic advertising.  Millennials are more socially connected and are constantly searching for more information. To successfully market to this group you need to have all your bases covered or these so-called “shopping detectives” will move on.

(Thanks to our rock star intern Nupur Gambhir for this post!)


Skout U Launches Nationwide

Skout has partnered with UQ this semester to launch at universities nationwide, helping students meet classmates nearby with similar interests.

To kick off the campaign UQ planned launch parties that included campus-specific entertainment, prizes throughout the night, a “blue” carpet, and lots of drink specials and free food.

Check out the party our student’s helped us plan at Ohio State:







Today is Generous Tuesday, a day meant to help us remember what the giving season is truly about, and to empower us to give back.

We’re so inspired by what Pure Charity is doing to spark a movement of generosity in order to impact 1 million lives by January 1, 2013.

Check it out here:

Today, we gave back to a Micro-Business Bakery in Honduras- a project to help undergraduate and graduate students have real-life employment opportunities. There are amazing projects on Pure Charity that are in need this holiday season, and you can give back by doing the things you’re already doing, like shopping online. Here’s how:

-Create your free Pure Charity account

-Install the browser plugin to start earning money in your personal giving fund (you’ll earn money when you do online shopping, etc.- it’s so easy!)

-Discover your favorite projects… and donate!

We hope you’ll join us in living generously this holiday season. Happy #GenerousTuesday!




What Motivates Millennials?

Every week we host #universitychat on twitter with college students across the country. This week we discussed what is on our students bucket lists. Talking about big goals helps provide some insights into what truly motivates millennials.


The main takeaway from our chat this week is that millennials place greater value on breadth of experiences rather than material goods.


In a recent blog post, Mullen strategic planner, Stephen Hahn Griffiths, describes this as a shift toward a ‘we’ orientation. Hahn-Griffiths calls this striving for life enrichment increasing ‘personal currency’:

“Millennials are looking to make their mark on the world and work towards enhancing their net-worth and self-worth. To them, money is more likely to be the means than the end. They recognize financial security yields opportunity, and thus, take an active interest in financial strategy. They’re looking to take control of their finances, and meet their financial goals – so they can become “enriched” in a broader sense. …In contrast to the dog-eat-dog Gen X’ers that came before, Millennials are more “we-driven” and collective in their definition of success. For them, “making it” doesn’t simply equate to the tangible rewards of a luxury car, or owning a McMansion. Success is more likely to be defined by sampling a rich array of life experiences – including culture, travel, innovation, sustainability and the environment.”

Here are some highlights from the chat:

Who students want to meet (in no particular order)

  • Beyonce Knowles
  • J.K. Rowling
  • Barack Obama
  • Taylor Swift
  • Tiger Woods
  • Lea Michele
  • Chelsea Handler
  • Johnny Depp
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Emma Watson
  • Michael Bloomberg
  • Steven Gerrard


Majority of the students we spoke with were interested in meeting with celebrities from the entertainment business. Only two students reported they wanted to meet with politicians, and only two students stated they would like to meet a professional athlete.


We believe that the high level of connectivity to music and media among millennials contributes to celebrities connected to the entertainment business being top of mind.


Where students want to travel (in order):

  1. Australia
  2. Europe
  3. Greece
  4. Tokyo, New Zealand, Africa, Brazil, Ireland


According to TIG Global, a hospitality research firm, millennials account for 12% of the travel and leisure industry. It was obvious after the #university chat that all of the students we spoke with had a great appetitive for travel and desired to see the world.


Traveling new places is easy in today’s age, with services like Hostel World, Airbnb, Wikitravel, Lonely Planet, Student Universe (and countless travel apps available on smart phones), millennials literally have the world at their fingertips.


Accomplishments that would give the biggest confidence boost:

  1. Score a great internship / job
  2. Overcoming fears
  3. Physical feat (1/2 marathon, climbing Mt. Kiliminjaro)
  4. Starting a business
  5. Writing a book


The students we spoke with had very short term goals that were very career-oriented. Almost every student referenced a big goal for them was to achieve great grades in order to secure a good internship or job. Goals were very intrinsically motivated, no one referenced monetary rewards in their responses.


If a genie granted students three wishes:

  1. Happiness
  2. Wisdom
  3. Money


 If they won the lottery they would spend it to:

  • Pay off loans
  • Pay back parents
  • Travel / purchase homes around the world
  • Buy a dream car


Students by far valued happiness over anything else, followed by knowledge and wisdom, and then money. When we asked them what they would spend money on, the students we spoke with were very practical – many saying they would pay off student loans, pay their parents back for their college educations, or save the money. A few students did dare to dream big such as traveling to different planets and buying a home on every continent.


What students want to learn:

  1. A new language
  2. Arts (music, drawing, culinary, etc)


The responses were overwhelming when we asked students what they wanted to learn. The two categories that were most relevant were in the arts and languages. This reminded us of a Ted talk from Sir Ken Robinson highlighting how schools kill creativity. Isn’t it interesting how most of these business students, when asked in a context outside of school, share that they desire to learn arts and languages most?







Crowd Sourcing Challenge

UQ has partnered with Pepsi to create compelling advertising through crowd sourcing and you are invited to participate!

Your challenge is to harness your creative energy to create an advertisement that demonstrates how you live by Pepsi’s mantra, “Live For Now.” We will be compiling all entries into one collective crowd-sourced ad and presenting them to Pepsi’s marketing team, with a chance that your ad may be picked to be a part of their 2013 campaign. This is your chance to have your work shown to the world!

Submissions can include, but aren’t limited to a video, a graphic, photograph, presentation, song… there is no wrong answer! We want you to choose and create something that is meaningful to you.

There are only 4 guidelines to submit your work:

1. Has to be your original work (with up to 3 entries per person)

2. Has to communicate the Pepsi mantra: Live for Now

3. Has to somehow incorporate Pepsi or the Pepsi brand

4. Submit your advertisements below by midnight December 31, 2012.


During a discussion at UQ’s offices today, we were discussing the future of advertising and made an interesting observation:

Crowd-sourced funding works

Crowd-sourced product development works

Could crowd-sourced advertising work?

So we decided to test it.

What is crowd-sourced advertising you ask? It is when a group of creative individuals can come together to share their ideas and advertise a product. Right now we are finalizing a top notch client to test this idea and we want YOU to participate!


New Data Challenges Myths that Millennials are Apathetic Voters

While Millennials hold a lot of power in voting this election year (46 Million eligible voters to be exact), their generation continues to get a bad wrap as being uninterested and apathetic, specifically regarding politics.

Our recent survey challenges some misconceptions about college students and the 2012 presidential election. While some might assume that college students are busy tweeting funny memes and playing a drinking game during debates, that is not the case. The data shows that students not only care about voting, but they are taking their role as one of the most powerful generations to vote this year very seriously, and understand the impact the election will have on their future.

“The winner of this election will be president during a pivotal point in my life,” a student responded from The Ohio State University.

In our recent study, UQ Marketing found that 86% of the survey takers nationwide plan to vote this November.

“In some cases, it may hold true that college students are using social media finding news and information. But this generation is taking election season very seriously,” said Leah Bell, president of UQ Marketing. “Students know how important their role in voting is, and they’re educating themselves first before listening to what their peers post on Facebook and Twitter.”

In fact, we found that less than 1% goes to Twitter and Facebook when looking for information surrounding politics. College students don’t hold value in this year’s so-called #Hashtagwars, with 60.9% of students turning to family and friends first when forming political opinions.

College students also indicated similar amounts of interest in current political issues to that of adults in the work force. The economy ranked highest amongst college students, with 40% of college students claiming that economic policy was the most important issue for them in the upcoming election. These figures do not stray far from a poll conducted by Gallup Politics, which states that 37% of adults think that the economy is currently the most important issue in the country.

The key for candidates this year will be to connect with Millennials and show that they can make a difference. Students aren’t just listening to social media and television ads. The candidate who is able to make a personal and compelling connection with Millennials is the candidate that is most likely to win.


The New UQ

Welcome to the new UQ! We’re excited to share with you our new look, we hope you’ll take some time to look around. Check back here often to stay up to date with everything UQ.


#universitychat Brand Wars!

Every week we chat with college students from across the country on our twitter #universitychat.

Last week we held a brand face-off, asking students to pick a side and argue why they like each brand better. Here are some of the highlights:

Face-off #1: Apple vs. PC

Team Apple was the clear winner after the discussion. The arguments for apple were very design driven while Team PC argued value and price.

Faceoff #2: McDonald’s vs. Wendy’s

Team Wendy’s won by a close margin. McDonald’s beat Wendy’s when it came to french fries, breakfast, and promotions – however Wendy’s overall quality and healthy options made it a winner among the college students participating.

Face-off #3: Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi

Team Coke stole the show with 100% of respondents voting for Coca-Cola as the brand of choice. Reasons ranged from Polar Bears used in advertising to the taste they know and love.

Face-off #4: Red Bull vs. Monster

Many students choose not to drink energy drinks because they view them as unhealthy (especially after the scare Monster had last week when there were reported deaths linked to the beverage). Students who do like energy drinks chose Red Bull and were very familiar with the slogan “it gives you wings!” Red Bull’s on campus marketing efforts and brand ambassador program also came up frequently. Monster Energy fans liked variations of the drink (like coffee or lemonade), and said Monster reminds them of their high school days.

Face-off #5: Kraft Mac & Cheese vs. Velveeta Shells & Cheese

The nostalgia of Blue Box Mac & Cheese helped classic Kraft Mac & Cheese win this face-off. Surprisingly the shapes and designs of the noodles seemed to play a big part in college students decisions, the students we spoke with are kids at heart.

Face-off #6: XBOX vs. Playstation

The final Face-off went to XBOX due to their high quality graphics, however students seemed more loyal to the actual games rather than to gaming systems. Like Kraft, nostalgia went far with the college students we spoke with – they even referenced N64, some claiming they still have all of their old games and love playing them still at college (even if the graphics are lower quality).