July 13 2014

Making the Grade with a Mentorship

Recently, ZAG Interactive engaged in a mentorship program with high school senior Denisha Kuhlor. This program allowed Denisha to successfully complete her Capstone marketing project on Hartford schools for the Academy of Aerospace and Engineering. Denisha's project centered on a Learn Hartford website that she developed under the tutelage of her mentor Michelle Brown, Director of Marketing for ZAG Interactive and with the help of our digital agency. Creating her own customized website to support her fieldwork, Denisha scored a 3.8 on the Capstone project, fulfilling requirements for her high school graduation in June.

"It has been a tremendous experience providing guidance to Denisha," said Michelle Brown, Director of Marketing for ZAG Interactive. "When she came to us, she had no idea how many steps there are to building a great website. I’m proud that the ZAG team was able to spend time emphasizing the importance of strategy and planning, and then the need to stay true to that through the design and build process. Denisha has a very bright future ahead."

Weekly since last November, Denisha received focused mentorship by Michelle at ZAG with assistance from Chris Rinaldi, Digital Strategist, as well as designers and developers at this leading full-service digital agency. Denisha's fieldwork was entitled, "Virtual First Impressions: How a School's Website Affects Your Initial First Impression of the Institution." Discovering that she sought to create her own website as a proof of concept for her Capstone project, the ZAG team guided her along the site development cycle. We helped Denisha refine her business plan, which was to produce an online resource for people to explore Hartford’s many school choices. The site provides resources for attending high school and going to college, as well as living in this diverse Connecticut city. Our team worked with Denisha to determine what would make a user-friendly, information-rich site of fresh and relevant content for people thinking about moving to Hartford. In order to achieve her vision, she learned about our agency's core competencies of strategy, design, technology and marketing, as each discipline was applied to the development of her site. While ZAG assisted with the project planning, strategic marketing, logo design, site architecture and site build, Denisha conceived, wrote, configured and developed the site. Within six months, she produced a fully functional site to complement her fieldwork  a comprehensive binder of cumulative research. Denisha's website established the Learn Hartford brand and business model, impressing her Capstone guides and classmates.

"Denisha learned a great deal about website development. Her presentation to her classmates was done with great confidence and it was apparent that your time with her was not wasted," commented Haia Spiegel, Instructional Coach for Academy of Aerospace and Engineering.

Very shortly, Denisha plans on officially launching the Learn Hartford site, allowing folks to find more information about the city's public and private school system, colleges and universities, and the greater Hartford community. As planned during her mentorship with ZAG, Denisha is working on ways to drive visitors to the site via a variety of marketing tactics. While helping others to evaluate Hartford as a viable option for living and learning, Denisha herself intends on attending a Hartford college in the fall.

"Michelle and Chris at ZAG did a phenomenal job mentoring me throughout the completion of my Capstone. They were always accessible to me, offered suggestions and provided constant feedback in order to ensure I stayed on track," Denisha Kuhlor remarked. "Furthermore, their commitment and dedication to my Capstone project fueled my desire to create the best one possible."

As part of giving back to our community, ZAG is pleased to have embarked on this rewarding experience with Denisha and her school, learning about the value of mentorship in the process.

About ZAG Interactive

ZAG Interactive is a digital agency that offers integrated solutions founded on strategy, design, technology and marketing. Growing together with its valued client base for more than 12 years, the agency serves local and global clients in the financial, healthcare and consumer markets and more.

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.