Social Media “After” Reflection

If you would have asked me 5 years ago, “What is your dream job?” I confidently would have expressed to you how I longed to be a nurse. After a few years of college and some seemingly endless volunteer hours, I decided nursing wasn’t my bag; and I’m ok with that.

As I aged in maturity and knowledge about myself, I realized that the longing I felt was not strictly limited to the career of nursing, it was just a longing to work with people in general. After I came to this epiphany, I found my fit working towards a  Communications major and AdPR minor at GVSU.

With the door to my future flung wide open, I immersed myself in the extremely unfamiliar curriculum of a Communications Major. With it being my first year in the program, I found myself in a 100 level Advertisement and Public Relations course (CAP 105 for those of you itching to register for it) under the instruction of the refreshingly sarcastic and genuinely inspiring Adrienne Wallace.

Upon entering the course I had no idea what a future in Advertisement could mean for me. I simply assumed that advertisement meant you dealt with commercials on TV or billboards on the highway. I am happy to report, there is so much more.

To be honest, I didn’t even realize that social media was a huge part (if not the central part) of Advertisement and Public Relations for this generation. Technology has taken over, and my mind is blown. It’s not even just AdPR majors whose careers are being quickened by technology. I’ve been keeping up with current events via feedly, (Thanks Adrienne!) and the world is evolving much more rapidly than I ever imagined.

I was reading an article that explained how police officers are now using the latest technology to up their game in Police investigations. Officers can now use all sorts of gadgets to keep an eye on crime scenes, and even be more aware of their own involvement with contaminating evidence! Too cool.

Before my experiences in CAP 105, I couldn’t even tell you what coding was; which apparently is a very useful skill to have. There is so much to the world of technology and social media that I haven’t even scratched the surface of. I cannot imagine how my future career will look with this ever-changing device leading the pack.

It wasn’t until my class took a trip to the advertisement agency, CHOP & HUE, that I really got a glimpse into what my potential future could look like. All semester Adrienne has been urging us to make connections, get out into the real world, and to know our stuff. I think the realization of all this advice hit me while we were checking out CHOP & HUE’s hub in downtown Grand Rapids. Two of the five employees at this firm were previous students/interns, PLUS a girl in my class just got hired in as and intern there!

I finally came to the conclusion that I am no longer a college freshman seeking to become a nurse in a field where your future is based on GPA and volunteer hours. I’m walking into a world where networking and connections are everything. I also actualized that my future will most definitely consist of working with social media and how to better my company/a client company’s brand through it.

To be quite honest with you, I came into this experience with very little knowledge of social media or technology in careers. The only social media account I had stepping into this classroom was an Instagram (although I had entertained a Facebook personality for some years prior). I didn’t realize the weight of social media presence and how a future in this career field could rely on it.

With two thirds of internet users shopping online for their Black Friday/Cyber Monday spending, I’ve pushed myself to come to grips with what the prospects of this nation and my role in it will look like. Not only that but, “Social Media Marketing spending on social media is expected to double to 25% of marketing budgets by 2020.” That means i’ve got a little bit of a hint as to where some of the cash flow will be by the time I graduate; and, being thousands of dollars in debt from student loans, this is crucial.

Not only did CAP 105 expose me to the harsh reality I had been preventing myself from being a part of, it taught me a lot of skills that are going to shape my capabilities after I graduate. I didn’t just learn about WordPress and photoshop, but I learned so much about the endless possibilities I could take advantage of through involving myself in this culture.

Before this course, my ideas of Social Media, Advertisement, and even Communications were skewed. I never imagined the broad spectrum my new major would allow me to have access to. I am proud to say I now build my career, personality, and confidence through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Feedly, BrandYourself, Hootsuite, and LinkedIn accounts. Follow me, now that I know you’re watching.

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