In 2007, FIU’s College of Business Administration launched its award-winning “uncommon thinkers” branding campaign.
And in 2009, with the increasing popularity of social media, FIU Business decided to create an Uncommon Thinkers page on Facebook. The page, which currently has more than 7,000 fans, generates and stokes conversations and interactions among its followers, and also enables visitors to take a test to see what type of uncommon thinker they are by using a Facebook app developed in-house at FIU.
The branding effort won the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals’ 2009 Award for Promotional Excellence, and Luis Casas, director of marketing, communications and recruiting, continues to encourage his team to expand their horizons by thinking in uncommon ways.
So, when Olakunle Ekunkonye (PMBA ’09), web development manager, saw the New York Times series “One in Eight Million,” he thought it could be adapted to showcase uncommon thinkers within the FIU Business community. He brought the idea to Casas, who approved it, and then he set about identifying, photographing and interviewing uncommon thinkers.
“Portraits of Uncommon Thinkers” launches.
The first three profiles set the tone for the new site, with a new story slated to appear each month.
- Cybele Chamas (EMBA ’04), who left her native Brazil and a corporate job to come to a new place and ultimately to launch a business;
- Jose Antonio Hernandez-Solaun (BBA ’98) whose desire to always change for the better has led him down interesting paths; and
- Weiyi Zhou, an exchange student from the Netherlands of Chinese descent who came to Miami to study without knowing anyone.
Webmaster Alexis Puentes shared photography assignments with Ekunkonye, and Osmel Matos, web assistant, helped him create the site.
“Through these stories of actual students, alumni, faculty and staff, we want to showcase how at FIU we bring people together from all over the world with a diversity of backgrounds, experiences and cultures to create a unique environment—one that fosters, promotes and celebrates uncommon thinkers,” Casas said. “And I am especially proud of the initiative, enthusiasm and the quality of this project undertaken by our very own uncommon thinkers.”