CROOKSTON, Minn. — University of Minnesota Crookston seniors Bailey Mulcahy and Mercedes Coan have given flight to a recruitment video blog hatched to encourage high school students to attend college.
The women, who work as interns in the UMC University Relations Office, each week video themselves exploring life on and off campus. They then edit the videos and post them on YouTube, under the title "A Bird's Eye View."
During the past six weeks, Mulcahy and Coan — they’re best friends and roommates — have posted vlogs that include “Hold on to your Horses,” about riding horseback in the arena at the University of Minnesota Teaching and Outreach Center on campus; "Exploring Downtown Crookston," about the variety of stores in the city’s center; and “Happy Birthday America,” which details a road trip to Lake Superior over Independence Day weekend.
Mulcahy’s and Coan’s enthusiasm, innovative ideas and video expertise have given new life to University Relations during the two months they’ve worked there, said Shawn Smith, who works in University Relations as director of athletic communication and interim/assistant director of communications.
“They've come up with so many ideas I think it really appeals to that audience who we’re trying to hit, which is high school students,” Smith said.
Mulcahy grew up in Fertile, Minn., a town with a population of about 950, and about 125 people live in Coan’s hometown of Goodridge, Minn. So for them, Crookston, population 7,756, is a big town.
“Crookston is always where we would go to do something fun,” Mulcahy said.
That means it's been easy for her and Coan to accomplish their goal of showing potential UMC students that there are a lot of fun things to do on the UMC campus, in Crookston and in the towns that surround them.
“I think they've done that very well, showing the opportunities that are available outside the education part of it,” Smith said. “The most viewed video they did was in downtown Crookston, where they were just going to different places in downtown Crookston and showing what was available.”
Along the way, Mulcahy and Coan have embarked on new adventures of their own.
“We’ve been getting to do a lot of first-time things,” Mulcahy said.
For example, Coan took her first horseback ride doing the UMC vlog about the equestrian center. Mulcahy ate Widman’s Candy Shop chocolates for the first time when they were vlogging in downtown Crookston.
Making the “A Bird’s Eye View” vlog also has been a lesson in video editing and technology, the two women said. It takes about half a day to make the videos, and two days to edit the vlogs, which average about 10 minutes in length when they're completed.
The opportunity to do an internship that includes making the vlogs demonstrates one of the reasons Mulcahy and Coan are glad they chose to pursue degrees in communications at UMC.
“I tell my friends and they say ‘That’s the best job ever,”’ Mucahy said.
The next vlog she and Coan plan to do is one that includes trying out every sport on the UMC campus, including trap shooting, cross country running and soccer.
"It's going to be a busy episode, for sure," Mulcahy said.
Smith is glad the two will continue to work in University Relations and do their vlogs until they graduate next spring.
"I think we expected them to be good but they've far exceeded expectations,” he said. “They're just so funny together. They play really well off of each other.”