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CI+D Student Stories – Boise Startup Week & ID:EA

Boise Startup Week kicks off shortly, running October 7th through October 12th! With such an incredible event on the horizon, we at CI+D figured it would be fitting to highlight a just a couple amazing students who have been working on making the whole thing come to fruition!

So without further delay, meet Kinzie Hague and Mikayla Melchert! Kinzie is a Senior studying Media Arts with a PR emphasis, and Mikayla is a Senior studying Marketing while complementing her degree with the ID:EA certificate. Both Kinzie and Mikayla are enrolled in classes from the ID:EA certificate currently (Growth Hacking and Creative Concepting, respectively) and interning with Against, an advertising agency founded by CI+D’s own Brad Weigle & Jennie Myers.

Kinzie Hague and Mikayla Melchert portrait on campus

Kinzie and Mikayla are here to tell us about everything from the ID:EA certificate, to Boise Startup Week, Against, President Marlene Tromp and more.

First, this all begs the question – how did you get involved with the ID:EA certificate?

M – “I was doing [courses] through CI+D but last semester when I heard about ID:EA, I spoke with my advisor and I felt it was a lot more applicable to the industry I want to get into. Also, I was a fangirl for Brad & Jennie, so that was part of it.”

K – “Growth Hacking stood out to me as a huge resume builder. Each week being able to learn a new concept and getting certified in it, like Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics, Facebook Micro-Courses, and currently Hubspot Marketing was a sweet way to leverage my skills as I graduate.”

What has been the coolest thing you’ve learned so far this semester?

K – “Growth Hacking is all based off of a company that you concept in week one of the course. Over the class, we make a marketing plan for it – a logo, product, social media, etc. As we go on, we learn each concept and get to implement them for our company. It’s fun to learn both creative elements and logistics.”

M – “For me, it was one week in class where we did Wayfinding maps. You ideate the life you’re living, and the life you’d want to live if you had more resources. It was really cool to see what aligned between what we are doing and what we would do if we didn’t have to worry about anything.”

What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve done in class?

M- “The past two weeks we’ve had to choose from a group of radical social issues and start interviewing people in the community about how we could combat it – and that timeline is really tough in a 7-week course.”

K- “You have to keep in mind that in a 7-week course it’s going to be so condensed. With all of our certificates it is a big time commitment to listen to all of our lessons and learn tutorials with each program. If you’re interested, it’s really cool – but for a lot of people it could be too much.”

Why would you recommend the ID:EA certificate or other courses in the CI+D?

K – “The courses push you to think more creatively. And it’s things that are more relevant and needed with up-and-coming generations. With the way our culture is shifting, these courses will become the cornerstone as things change in the future.”

M – “I would say the classes are structured very interestingly – with normal classes there’s a curriculum with reading assignments, but CI+D courses have stretched my thinking in a class that offers really outside-the-box thinking. The knowledge I think will be more important in the future too though.”

K – “Brad and Jennie aren’t the type of professors that make us do anything. They just enforce the idea that we’ll get out what we put in – we’re not working for a grade but for what we want to learn and how hard we want to work.”

Now, let’s talk about Against. How did you get involved with Brad & Jennie?

K – “Last semester Brad came into a panel at my work, and I asked if he’d be willing to connect for coffee or pick his brain about internships and all of that. I asked him about some opportunities like Drake Cooper’s internship, and that’s when he told me about the agency (Against.) that Brad & Jennie were starting, and they offered me an interview with them.”

M – “I had applied at Drake Cooper and a few other internships, and while talking through friends, I was told about Brad & Jennie’s Against. Agency and applied for the internship with them there. I honestly think I blacked out during my interview because I was such a big fan of them both.”

What has been the most exciting responsibility you’ve had at Against.?

K – “Speaking on behalf of our interns as a whole, running Boise Startup Week has been so cool. We developed it as a campaign, but now running social, reaching out to journalists, and all of that has been so cool. It’s our little baby, and now seeing the banners out on the streets downtown is awesome.”

M – “Mine would be the same. Boise Startup Week has just been a massive project we put so much time into. We came up with the campaign but then started hitting the streets talking to restaurants, coffee shops, and more seeing how we could partner with them. It has been so cool as simply an intern to see this all come to fruition.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned while working on Boise Startup Week?

K – “Planning setbacks when you’re making a schedule. They will happen whether you expect it or not, so building that buffer is so helpful with time management when the hiccups to happen.”

M – “As a whole, when you think you have a good idea, it’s not good enough. We just have to keep pushing it. We had come up with a couple of ideas for campaigns that we thought were cool but needed more work. It’s become that we need to swallow our pride and keep making our ideas better no matter how much we like it.”


Finally, I know there’s some Bronco pride just emanating from the two of you. What’s your favorite thing about Boise State?

K – “Boise State changes with the times. I love that.”

M – “Marlene Tromp. We had a meeting with her for ASBSU and it was unreal. I also just love the environment on campus – whenever I’m walking around or seeing friends or seeing what other organizations are doing it makes my heart so happy. I love the Broncos.”

Boise Startup Week begins October 7th, with workshops and tracks beginning the morning of Tuesday, October 8th, at the JUMP building in Downtown Boise. View the week’s schedule, RSVP for events and workshops, and purchase tickets on the Boise Startup Week website.