At the University of Maine at Farmington we encourage students to follow their passion as we mentor them in developing marketable skills.

Outdoor Recreation Business Administration student Abraham Turcotte created the UMF version of Pharrell Williams’ hit song, Happy, as his capstone Student Work Initiative project for the UMF Marketing Office.

For four years Abe worked in the UMF Marketing Office with a longtime advertising and marketing pro and a seasoned video and animation designer.

These professional staff members mentored Abe, teaching him how to shoot and produce professional-quality promo videos and commercials for the Marketing Office. We’re all part of their overall educational experience. It’s something that’s uniquely UMF.

Working right on campus, Abe developed in-demand, real-world skills.

Sure, Abe learned the technical how’s of producing videos and commercials. And in the process he gained advanced real-world skills that set him ahead of the job-seeking pack. See how he made it, below.

But in addition to learning the how’s, Abe also learned the why’s — the marketing fundamentals that inform creative decision-making: strategic goals, audience targeting, logistics and scheduling, pre-production, storyboard development, audio production, post-production, focus group testing, traditional and social media placement, and more.

Result: The UMF Happy video went viral, receiving more than 85,000 YouTube views and counting.

All of us here at UMF, faculty and staff, serve as mentors to our students. Providing guidance, hands-on learning opportunities, marketable real-world skills, kind words of encouragement, and at times a kick in the pants when it’s needed.