“Hey Blugolds, it’s your boy Ben.”
The thousands of UW-Eau Claire students who follow the university on Snapchat are familiar with Ben Fisher’s oft-repeated catchphrase.
Fisher, a senior integrated strategic communication student, has taken his resume to new heights with one internship. Marketed as an “on-camera social media internship,” it gives him control of the university-sanctioned Snapchat account, he said.
Each week, Fisher posts updates, ranging from opportunities to get involved on campus to student guests showcasing unique aspects of being a Blugold. The average story gets about 2,500 – 3,500 views, he said.
“It’s my goal to make it interactive and interesting,” Fisher said. “It’s a more dynamic platform than just getting lectured at.”
One of the benefits of the Snapchat account is the personal interactions it allows the university to have with students, he said. The Snapchat gives a face to the university.
“Every time someone reaches out to me or sends me a snap I will snap them back,” Fisher said. “Sometimes if the university Facebook page replies back, it kind of feels like this ‘higher being’ is replying, but if I reply on Snapchat it’s like ‘oh it’s just Ben.’”
Sophomore English Education student, Laney Lovell, said the Eau Claire Snapchat is made more interesting and relatable because it’s run by a student, as opposed to a random adult administrator.
“I like that it helps me know what’s happening on campus,” Lovell said. “It’s really nice that it’s run by a student, and I like takeover Tuesdays and Thursdays too, where they show what different students are doing.”
For every minute-long snap story Fisher posts, about an hour of work goes into it behind the scenes, he said. He spends 10-15 hours a week going to events, planning snap stories, and doing other jobs for the Eau Claire marketing department.
Because Fisher’s emphasis is public relations, he feels this internship experience has allowed him to develop important job skills and to showcase those skills for potential employers. He is currently collecting every snap story he’s ever made to put in his social media portfolio, he said.
While he’s currently applying for a variety of internships with his Snapchat-administrator-boosted resume, a position with the U.S. Olympics Committee is his dream, he said.
“I’d scrub toilets if I could, if I knew Michael Phelps had sat there,” Fisher said.
Fisher’s passion for the U.S. Olympics committee has much to do with his love of swimming. He swims on the Blugold men’s swim team and is competing at Nationals this week. His dream is to go All-American.
Alongside swimming and snapping, Fisher loves to cook. He received a pasta maker for his birthday and enjoys making homemade pasta and pizza dough from scratch, he said.
Fisher’s hope is to allow students to find aspects of the university they’re passionate about and to give them the means to pursue those passions, he said.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to find my path,” Fisher said. “I just want to share my passion so that people will find theirs too.”
The official Eau Claire Snapchat username is uweauclaire. It features interactive updates by Fisher at least three days a week.