by Samir Kabir
On February 15, I visited the office of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC). I had interacted with their CEO, Mr. David Petr at a board meeting for PIC-MC, and I knew that they did a lot of excellent work, including the effort to bring Amazon to Montgomery County. But until I entered their office, I hadn’t been aware of the quality of their facilities. Once I entered the office, I requested the receptionist to show me to the photo/video shoot. The reason I was at the facility was to be part of a photoshoot at the facility to promote Montgomery County, and its various facilities, perks, and educational opportunities (including Montgomery College).
I arrived at the MCEDC office around 12:30 a.m. and waited in the lobby for a couple minutes. Then Mr. Warren Ellis, the Vice President of Marketing at MCEDC, escorted me to an empty, concrete room for the photoshoot. I immediately noticed with a makeshift photography studio in the middle. I was introduced to the photographer, Sam Kittner, who is a seasoned and renowned photographer in the DMV area. After my clothes were assorted and my makeup properly applied (Hollywood style!), I was instructed to sit on the stool and pose and smile, while the photographer snapped shot after shot. After the photoshoot was over, I was taken to the video shoot, which was the second part of the marketing campaign. This room had a large cherry oak desk, and studio lights and camera took up most of the space in the room. Again, I was instructed to pose by leaning on the desk, and the cameraman started filming. I was asked various questions, such as “What brought you to Montgomery County?” and “What qualities of Montgomery County do you enjoy?” I responded with my anecdotes of my time at Montgomery College, and all the opportunities they offered me. After the interview I was handed a gift card for my participation in the We are Montgomery marketing campaign. Around a week after the interview, I was sent my headshot (see above), and will soon receive my video interview.
While I enjoyed the photoshoot/video shoot process, I mostly attended the marketing campaign to give genuine responses to the questions posed about Montgomery County. In the video interview, I mentioned how I truly believed the opportunities in Montgomery County are nearly endless, and this belief has manifested itself in many positive forms, from benefitting from the Hillman Entrepreneur Program to my internship with NIST through Montgomery College, and many other opportunities. Most importantly, this campaign forced me to reflect on what I have gained from my time at MC – as a soon to be transfer student at UMD, these introspections give thought to ideas for how I can continue to benefit students at MC after I graduate.