As a college student in a professional setting, I immediately recognized the contribution my fellow classmates can offer focus groups. An effective focus group has a developed purpose, seeks participants with key attributes, and maintains a collaborative atmosphere. A college campus provides opportunities for a diverse education coupled with invaluable collaboration. It is an environment where intellectual minds can flourish and students become professionals.
The essential elements for an effective focus group are ingrained in college students during their four years on campus. Here is a breakdown of these essential elements.
We are the first generation of digital natives. We heavily influence how people communicate online and what channels are successful. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, we are representing the consumers that organizations seek to gain insight from.
A Hands-on Approach
Students offer a hands-on approach to focus groups because they are eager to have a real-world application for the skillset they spent four years mastering. Our generation is easily accessible by the very nature of our integration with digital technology. We are already familiar with social media channels and stay up to date with a rapidly progressing field. Communications is creative, fast-paced, and constantly evolving, but so are university students. This makes each student an asset to focus groups.
Everyone is a Communicator
Communication skills are foundational to any career, regardless of the industry. A shared ambition among the 60 majors offered at my beloved George Mason University is the ability to communicate in an effective way. This common goal fosters the environment for collaboration among a broad range of majors. There are over 34,000 students on George Mason’s campus and each brining a unique, knowledgeable, and creative insight to their work. Each connection brings together students in multiple areas of expertise to assist in the overall goal of effective communication, no matter the industry of the client.
College students can make a genuine, meaningful, and educational contribution to a client’s business success, if only you provide the invitation to your company’s next focus group.