It’s all about positioning. It is all about how you present a situation, a product, a potential date to a friend. Two people can have in front of them the exact same object or individual and each one of them can form a totally different set of selling points, with a totally different outcome. For exactly the same subject! Take Geneva for example. Somebody can describe it as an international city, with low taxes compared to other European cities, with worldwide famous shows, with the most efficient transportation system, with the best water quality in the world, etc. All true. Somebody else can present it as a city with people from over 190 countries, with a happening (and swimmable) lake, with amazing ski resorts within an hour of reach, with a rich outdoor activity curriculum, with music festivals all year long, etc. All true also. But you can imagine that each description can have a different appeal to different kind of people, no?
This is what this story is all about. Paula is the only lady that I really like from work (oops, did I say this out loud?). American, from the East Coast and transferred to our office, like a year ago. We bonded over stories about New York and some (occasionally positive) commentary about Geneva restaurants and their speed of service. It is our ritual to go for a glass of white wine every Tuesday evening. This week she gave me a challenge or asked me to help. Not sure in which order.
Paula: You have your way with words; it is known in the office and, judging from the popularity of your blog, also in the entire Geneva. Right?
Eva: It is also known that I never reject a compliment. And I take it as such.
Paula: It is. I am starting with a compliment to get you to help me. I want your words.
Eva: Any words? Starting with a specific letter?
Paula: Any letter as long as you give me reasons why my daughter, Laura, should consider a specific university. I want her to join Webster University here in Geneva. I have done a lot of research, and I believe it is the right place for her. (Paula pretending to be shy) Actually I think I have very strong supporting elements for my decision.
Eva: I don’t know what these arguments are, but don’t start by calling it a decision, because you lost her already. I think.
Paula: Good point. So listen and tell me what you would add.
Eva: Only add, or I can remove and replace too?
Paula: Add, remove, replace, whatever. Just help me. So this is what I have:
First of all, Laura is already enrolled in an English-speaking school, so a University in English is the obvious choice. Right?
She is actually interested herself in American education, because her cousins are attending schools in US and she has talked with enthusiasm about their classes.
I sense that Laura is less keen on moving abroad at this stage, given all the country-hopping we’ve been doing in her 16 years because of Tim’s job.
Most importantly Laura wants to study Finance, like her dad. Isn’t that wonderful? Dad and daughter have such a special bonding. I love this, even if it gets at my nerves at times. But anyway, Webster University has a very strong curriculum in Finance. This is important, no? Overall they’ve told me that they have a very personalized approach to higher learning, as opposed to auditoriums with 400 students, where the professor will never know your name. This must make a difference, no?
Plus there is a bonus!
Eva: A bonus?
Paula: Yes! Me! We will be mates.
Paula: Yes, I plan to enroll too. I plan to attend a Master’s Program in Counseling. Enough with being just a housewife, especially now that Laura will leave home. Time to get back to action.
Eva: And this is a bonus?
Paula: No? Not a bonus for you?
Eva: For me, not so much, but I’m afraid not so much for your daughter either. Studying in the same school as mom? Not the coolest idea I have heard in the Snapchat era. But let me take it from the start. Your points are valid. They make sense. But you need to spice them up, girl.
Paula: Spice? Like?
Eva: I have friends who attended Webster University here in Geneva and I remember them telling me things like: lots of cool international students, that the Webster has campuses in 9 countries and visiting them has been a lifetime experience, that the campus itself here in Geneva is beautiful, set in a park, that the students enjoy parties, ski trips, movie nights, on top of leadership retreats, that they have clubs for everything, Football, Basketball, Volleyball, or even a Cross Cultural Club, a Chess Club, a Music Club, and a Psychology Club. Things like that. Makes sense? At least they draw my attention…
Paula: Right, right.
Eva: What are you doing there? Are you on Twitter?
Paula: NO! I am taking notes on my phone. Should I write them on a napkin?
Eva: Anyway I think your rational is great, but you could add a couple of the points I just mentioned, since something tells me that they count big time for new students.
Paula: I will, I will. So are you coming?
Eva: Coming to where?
Paula: To the Webster Campus Fair, their Open day on November 9th. If I tell her you’ll be there, she’ll come for sure.
Eva: You said they have a Counseling degree for graduates? This can help me at so many ways with friends. No pun intended.
Paula: I love you, girl! One last thing. One last favor. And I’ll pay for the drinks.
Eva: I only had a glass of wine. It has to be a small favor.
Paula: Will you write about it? This will make it uber cool as an event.
Eva: I’ll think about it. But let me order a glass of Champagne first…
You can find more about the event here
and more about the Webster University of Geneva by clicking at its logo below.
PS: Paula, you owe me dinner. Not just a couple of drinks…