Creations + Contributions

 

Creations + Contributions

How we spend our time is an incredibly precious and important decision.


How we show up and happen to the world is of no small consequence. It is the greatest artistic expression.

I am grateful to have spent most of my career approaching complex challenges — thinking through systems, addressing unmet potential, building new approaches, and rocking the boat (with love). I am intrinsically mission driven and approach my life and work with a fierce curiosity, deep empathy, and the yearning for the world to become better, kinder, and more human.

I do not try to have all of the answers — instead I seek to continually ask deeper questions. The projects on this page are a result of asking those questions.

 
 

BobChat is a concierge service to quickly answer your questions 24 hours a day. BobChat is a chatbot — backed by a friendly support team and powered by Facebook Messenger — eager to help find answers to questions, collect and send feedback, and navigate all things NYU.

Learn more about BobChat here.


HackNYU is New York University's largest hackathon, managed by students and spanning all three of NYU’s global campuses — in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai. Every year, HackNYU welcomes over 600 hackers from all over the world for 48 hours of creativity and imagining new solutions to societal problems.


Digital Media + Experience Strategy Internships

Grounded in a deep belief that students have immense capacity to improve their university — and a promise to never ask an intern to go get coffee — over 100 students have been hired, trained, and nurtured through our robust internship program.

The internship program offers students opportunities to do real work and contribute to projects and solutions in our office. The internship program has a thorough application and interview process, efficient orientation and on-boarding, regular and candid feedback sessions, and opportunities to build their portfolios and grow personally and as they navigate their career.


The Campus Coding Collaborative (C3) cultivates opportunities for students by providing tools and guidance to create new technologies to enhance the University. Think of it as university R&D, allowing students, faculty, and administrators to collaboratively develop and test new solutions to university problems. C3 also gives students a unique opportunity to foster a deeper sense of connection to their alma mater, while building their skills.


Catch a glimpse of life at NYU around the world through the eyes of student bloggers across our global network. THIS IS NYU features genuine student stories curated in real time by student editors throughout the globe. THIS IS NYU showcases real student experiences and photos across each of NYU’s 14 campuses around the world.


The NYU Office of Interactive Media began in 2012 with a mission to improve the student experience by sharing the NYU story, creating digital experiences to delight students, and meeting students where they are with communication and technology. In May 2018, the office pivoted and rebranded as the NYU Office of Student UX, Technology, & Engagement to be in better alignment with the breadth of challenges we address. The culture code of the office — and its brand HashtagNYU — was created to express our best intentions of who and how we wanted to be.

At HashtagNYU, it’s about more than just sitting at a desk. It’s about that buzz of excitement when getting to the office. It’s about leaving meetings with tears from laughter. It’s about staying late when something needs to get done, without complaints. It’s about grabbing lunch with each other on a whim.

And we want to be intentional about what it’s all about.

Just as we are constantly improving our work, and ourselves, we improve our culture. This is a living, breathing document that we’ve worked on for months and, like us, will continue to evolve.


HashtagNYU is a social media brand curating and sharing the NYU story one tweet, video, and gif at a time. The concept of community is complex at NYU — a campus “in and of the City” without campus walls and a global network with 13 campuses outside of New York City. As the largest private university in the country, there are few common experiences that all NYU students may experience — so HashtagNYU meets students where they are to celebrate NYU, shrink the psychological size of the University, and create a sense of belonging. Our content aims to delight students and add value to their journey and is created by students, for students.

Enjoy more of my favorite HashtagNYU content here.


Let's Talk About Consent was developed with the same ethos used in the grassroots initiatives that have become a signature of the NYU Office of Interactive Media, a team that has been nationally recognized for deeply rooted collaborations with students. Our work puts students in the director's chair; once we find the right team to tell a story, we amplify their narrative across NYU's global network. Let's Talk About Consent ultimately reflects 18 hours of one-on-one interviews with current and recent NYU students who shared what consent means to them, and the importance of starting that dialogue on campus. The video — written, directed, scored, and edited entirely by NYU students and alumni — is fully and uniquely NYU, yet it serves as a template for how universities across the U.S. can engage students to spark a bold, peer-to-peer conversation about consent, sexual assault, and anything in between. We believe that the best way to tackle those staggering national statistics is to openly and honestly discuss the elements surrounding the issue.


With NYU having both the highest population of international students in the U.S. and the highest number of students studying abroad — it is challenging to prepare students for the culture and complexity of NYU. We asked students and alumni to candidly share their experiences of arriving and flourishing at NYU, setting the tone that NYU — and NYC — can be a trying and lonely place at times, but that the journey to find yourself and your communities are worthwhile.

Get more Real Talk here.


Thought Leadership

Presented over 75 times within NYU — including to the Senior Leadership Team and Board of Trustees — and externally at conferences, University of Florida, Mount Holyoke and the Seven Siblings Colleges, Rutgers University, and Columbia University, Friending the Class of 2020 was sharing information about generational shifts in communications and a vision for how universities could better meet students where they are.


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From Y to Z: Understanding Shared Characteristics of our Shifting Student Population.

Because of how they were raised, Millennials by and large have a different relationship with authority than prior generations. They expect a seat at the table — to be more than mere cogs in a machine. They want to uniquely bring themselves into their jobs and grow with their role. They want to see the bigger picture and how they fit into it. Instead of command-and-control management, they want to be coached. Because they’ve never known a world without customization — from coffee to sneakers even to personalized college majors — they also expect customization in the workplace.[1]

With Generation Z, often the children of the latchkey Gen X parents, they are fiercely shielded from every slight and perceived — and unrealistic — danger.[2] The command and control form of parenting is becoming less prevalent in favor of “peerenting” — with parents taking time to explain their decisions.[3] In fact, 88% of Generation Z feel they are extremely close to their parents.[4] With the internet at kids’ fingertips, parents aren’t necessarily the smartest person in the room, changing expectations of why things are the way they are.

Read more here.


Impacts of Social Media and Technology on Generation Z Students

This presentation on communications and technology habits among Generation Z students gave an introduction to the cultural mores of a technology-driven generation — shedding light on the complex avenues for communication, behaviors of teenagers and their use of technology, and implications for their socialization and mental health — and how we can best empathize and care for this generation of students.

This training was conducted for NYU’s mental health counselors in NYC and at our 13 global sites, NYU’s chaplain’s circle, and for the Division of Student Affairs.


New technologies, alongside the communication habits of our Generation Z students, are forcing companies, institutions, and universities to adapt. The way universities listen and respond to students’ feedback, questions, and problems requires a more nuanced and proactive approach than simply having an FAQ on a website or a telephone number to call during business hours. As universities strive to meet the needs of students in our 24/7 culture, NYU’s Office of Student UX, Technology, & Engagement explored how technology might help us augment and scale the support we provide. BobChat — an interactive, conversational chatbot on Facebook Messenger — helps students navigate NYU 24 hours a day meeting students where they are. Each question asked helps BobChat learn and grow, with a team of students ready to help process questions the technology might not understand yet. More than just showcase what we’ve done, this session will break down steps for how to make a chatbot for your office, your division, or even your entire university — meeting students where they are and answering questions and accepting feedback 24 hours a day. 

Presented at the Annual HighEdWeb Conference in Sacramento, California in October 2018. The presentation won the Best Presentation in Track "Red Stapler" Award.


Thailand Chapter Cover

Community Development and Enagement in the Doi Tung Development Project

The lesson here underscores something magnificent: people want to contribute positively to society for the greater good. People will choose to produce rather than destroy. People only turn to destructive devices out of desperation. I felt this lesson impacted me because it changed how I thought about basic human needs and our inherent spirit of altruism. Understanding this allowed me to move forward in my endeavors without feeling a need to impose doing-good onto others. Rather, I can now work to provide avenues and opportunities for people to naturally fulfill their need to contribute.

This chapter is part of the book Changing Lives, Changing Communities: How the Mae Fah Luang Foundation Inspired Us to Change The World — a compilation of research about the extraordinary work of the Mae Fah Luang Foundation in Thailand.

Read the chapter here.


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Social Media @NYU was a research report and proposal for the largest private university in the country to adopt social media as a medium for connection with students. The goal was to demonstrate that social media could be a powerful avenue for sharing brand content and driving affinity with the University and to connect students to each other and back to the University.

Meeting our students, alumni, parents, and, indeed, the general public through social media communicates a very strong message: the NYU brand is not static. NYU, a University constantly on the precipice of new discoveries in nearly every field – a world class University steeped in research – a University without regard for tradition and the status quo – a University which is currently changing the Institution of Higher Education forever, is anything but static. Engagement is at the heart of what NYU is. Whether it be engaging with a work of art at the Guggenheim, or engaging a piece of literature, or a plant culture in a lab, or an economic model – we engage – and are engaged – by the world around us. NYU has never shied away from this kind of engagement by building fences and limiting endeavoring spirits, but has embraced and come to expect this kind of enterprise.

Access the report here.


The best brand stories are those that tell the stories of your customers — how they were served and taken care of, how your product or experience fit into their lives in meaningful ways, and cultural marketing of "people like us do things like this" to create belonging and community.* As colleges and universities, we have thousands of students who can not only contribute to your brand story, but help drive it. 

This presentation was made at the American Marketing Association's Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education in Atlanta, Georgia in November 2017.


Want to collaborate? Email me at nick@nickjensen.nyc.


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