February 27, 2012

Volvo's Final Challenge: Biggest Fan of the Big East

Wow, I cannot believe this is the final challenge of Volvo's Biggest Fan of the Big East competition. In this challenge, we are asked to summarize our experiences over the course of the competition.  It's really been a great journey - and I'm happy and proud to say I was a part of it. First and foremost, I wanted to thank Volvo for being extremely appreciative of our efforts and overwhelmingly generous with our Alma Mater weekends.  [My Alma Mater post will be up this week!] Secondly, I'd like to thank my competition: The 15 of you have made this experience all the better - and even if I don't win a Volvos60, I know I've won a great group of new online buddies! There were some things I would have loved to have been different. For instance, I'm not exactly sure if the voting system is operating without any glitches. I know for a fact that many of you guys voted for me - and passed around my page for votes, etc. - and I'm still at 0%. To me, that's simply impossible. Also, I am honestly quite surprised with the lack of involvement/response I've received from Rutgers. My failed attempts at alma mater support have brought me full-circle to the infamous "RU SCREW".  Alas, I am NOT, nor am I going to be, negative here. I am extremely grateful for being selected and have had a WONDERFUL time over the past few months.

So here we are ... my final challenge...Challenge #8:

Back on November 19th (I can't believe it's been THIS long!) our first challenge was due: Create the ultimate dream team.
In this challenge, I spent a lot of time and dedication doing the research necessary in the hopes of making the BEST team possible. I think I did a pretty great job with My Dream Team!
Challenge #2 was posted on December 4th. Volvo asked us what places we would have to go back and visit on our Alma Mater trip. This was perhaps my favorite challenge. My post  included pretty much all of the coolest spots at Rutgers (well, when I was there!) and allowed me to use social media to connect the post with people's and establishment's Facebook and Twitter pages. I received a lot of kudos for that post from an overwhelming amount of people and it facilitated discussions about Volvo and my involvement in what most said is "the coolest contest they've ever heard of."  Go Volvo! I had major nostalgic flashbacks, as I contacted the creator of the Targum comics Mattia and had him scan and send me over the particular comics I was a part of. I mean really, HOW cool?!?!
December 19th marks the posting date for Challenge #3, 'What are the top three Big East road trips and why?' 
I'm particularly proud of this post because it was selected by Volvo as the competition winner! It made me feel really great and motivated, as I could ACTUALLY see myself with the VolvoS60 in my driveway! My fans really liked this post because of all the Volvo swag I mailed out!(Thanks for that, Volvo!)

Challenge #4 was by far my favorite post - as it allowed be to get a little bit creative - AND work with an awesome graphic designer, Kurt Stradtman. I figured I had to up the ante somehow, right?  For this challenge, Volvo asked us how we would "Pimp out" our VolvoS60.  Piece.of.cake. My post was, in my opinion, awesome in its creativity and wow-factor.  My pimped out VolvoS60 included everything from a car wrap to a TV/speaker system in the trunk to a - yep, very Zlata-appropriate - toilet in the personalized passenger seat!
The best part about my pimped out ride is going to be my pimped out and personalized license plate!

Challenge #5 was posted on January 15 (Happy New Year!) and asked each of us to summarize our biggest alma mater traditions. I actually enjoyed recapping all the traditions Rutgers has and reading about everyone else's campuses as well. I found the challenge to be both entertaining and educational.
How AWESOME is that video??  

On January 30th, I posted Challenge #6, which asked the competitors to post about where they watch their home games. Having moved to South Florida not too long ago, I was happy to recap about my hotspots (hey, I do that on Yelp anyway!) and enlist the help and support of said establishments! I got a lot of comments about what my typical gameday outfit looks like, but I don't see the big deal - do you?
February 13, a few days before I headed to New Jersey for my alma mater weekend (reminder: that post will be up in a few days! Get ready for an awesome recap of my experience! Thank you SO much for the support, comments and the sharing of my photos via FB and Twitter!) I posted Challenge #7, my Garden30! This was a LONGGGGG post, but one that also bred some creativity and research.
I loved being a part of this challenge because I love writing about trends. Not only did I post on my blog, but I was able to join some forums and weigh in on some issues - while posting a link to my blog. Ahem, ALWAYS mentioning Volvo, of course!
So now, here we are - rounding back with Challenge #8 - a blog about recapping my experience. Again, I can't thank Volvo and the people over at Cake Group (shout out to Aaron!) enough for their organization and support.

Lastly, I want to thank  YOU GUYS for reading my posts, sharing them and for your continued votes! It's not over JUST yet - as the voting is still open, so please....as with every other seven posts.....

  1. Retweet my blog posts!  Click HERE to follow me.
  2. Share my FB posts! Click HERE and HERE to add me as a friend/subscribe to my awesomeness.
  3. Visit my profile HERE to vote for me. Like, often. In fact, I dare you to bookmark it.