Blog 3: Community Information Surveys
Collecting responses to the Community Information Survey brought me back to the years of going door-to-door selling wrapping paper in elementary school. It’s something you really didn’t want to do but you always wanted the best prize for selling the most, or in our case, all the points.
At first, I was loving the process because I went to all the connections I had in Columbia. Unfortunately, I found that list to be a little shorter than I hoped. Getting the five undergraduate students was a breeze because we are on a college campus so of course they are everywhere. To retrieve the other 25 surveys, I stayed mostly on-campus. Mizzou is where most of my connections were (through jobs, internships, teachers, etc) and I figured most students would be going downtown and areas around campus. I also e-mailed the surveys out in a word document and received responses that way. That was a helpful solution because they survey taker could complete it at their convenience and I did not have to travel to them. When I was out and about to collect results, I always made a goal for myself like for example, “I won’t leave campus today until I have gotten five surveys.” By doing that, it helped me mentally and kept me on track so I did not fall behind.
Actually getting residents to complete the survey was a whole different matter. I could tell myself anything I wanted but that was not going to change the fact that people will still turn you down. For the first set of 15 surveys, I maybe got turned down once, but that is also because I went to the people I knew first. During the second set of 15 was when it became harder. For me personally, I found it easier to approach women about the survey. Of course I connect better when women in general since I am one but I felt like they were more accepting. On campus, most of the recptionists and administrative assistants are women and can take a couple minutes out of their day to fill out the survey. I felt like whenever I did ask men, they either had too much work to do, were not available or jus straight up turned me down. Some of their replies even felt a bit cold. I was getting denied the most by both genders during the second set of surveys when I had less than five remaining. It was almost like they knew I was close to crossing the finish line and they wanted to keep me going for a little longer. I must have asked seven people before I got a bite.
Overall, even though there was times of hardship, collecting the surveys was not overwhelming. When it was first assigned, it was overwhelming because 30 surveys seemed like a ton and I didn’t want to be a pest to anyone during their work day. Passing out surveys and finding people to complete them was good practice for the future. We were given a problem and had to find a solution and overcome the obstacles to succeed. Specifically, it helped me brush up on my communication skills and it made me less nervous talking to people in the community. When I asked people I didn’t know, it let me learn something new about a new person. As seniors, we all have to break out of our shells at some point and this definitely gave us a push.