Concordia University, St. Paul’s Jake Wakem works hard to build connections with students as the assistant director of residence life, but that’s not the only type of building he’s good at. Wakem is also a LEGO Brand Ambassador who works on special events for LEGO in his free time.
While he was volunteering at Superbowl LII in Minneapolis, he met a wide variety of people, including CEOs, VPs, and marketing directors. He was approached by Staffed, Inc. and asked to be a team leader for festivals and other special events in the Twin Cities. Wakem has quite a bit of experience working as an ambassador for several different brands, including Red Bull, Verizon Wireless, Surly Brewery, and other companies in the area.
In November 2019, he worked with LEGO to create an escape room, titled Create Your Escape, for children between the ages of six and twelve. The escape room was located in the Rosedale Mall, where Wakem guided about 350 children and their families through the escape room experience. Wakem explained, “when I was working in Minnesota, I made sure families had an experience they would never forget. That is what I do. That is me, simply being me.” He ended up giving a special tour to a senior vice president for LEGO, who ended up liking him and his escape room project.
The senior vice president asked Wakem to fly to Irvine, Calif., to launch the same project at LEGOLAND and Spectrum Mall. He prepared training, interactive tours, and content for the second installment of the Create Your Escape experience. “I have never been asked to fly across the country to train an entire department of professionals. I was honored by the ask and did everything I could do to ensure I was on that plane and training the staff at LEGOLAND in California,” Wakem stated.
The second run of the escape room was also a success, hosting about 500 children. Due to his additional success, he was asked to be on-call to train employees across America for other events.
“I try to make memories with everything I do. If it’s an Intramural championship event, an educational training with student leaders, or Admitted Student Day for all new students, I want every single person to walk through that door feeling special, unique, and valued. That is my goal in every aspect of my job, my connections, my life.”