You may think that the only uses for social media are keeping up with your friends, sharing photos, and posting about your day, but social media now has the potential to distinguish you from others among employers.
With so many companies realizing the influence of sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Plus, college students who not only know how to use social media, but also those who know how to use it effectively for businesses have a significant advantage in today’s job market.
Within the next few weeks, there will be two major opportunities on campus for students to enhance their social media skills: The Communication Department’s Social Media Workshop and Merge.
The first event, the Social Media Workshop, will be held by the Communication Department on February 12 in the BCR room of the library and will last from 8:30 a.m. until noon.
There is no limit on the amount of students who can attend. Ryan Capell, who is in control most of the media at MC, will be in charge of this event. Capell said, “All communication students will be required to attend this workshop, but all students are welcome to attend.”
This event will be broken down into three phases. It will begin in the President’s boardroom with a speech from Joe Stradinger, Founder and CEO of leadify.net. Breakout sessions will follow, during which students will chose two of the four speakers’ sessions to participate in. These speakers will include Lisa Shoemaker, Stephanie Grandy, J.J. Benson, and Kyle Tait. Each one of these speakers will be giving presentations in his or her area of expertise.
Shoemaker will be focusing on the political aspect of social media. Grandy will be directing her attention toward the use of social media by non-profit organizations. Benson, who oversees MC social media, will be focused on the recruiting and marketing aspects of social media. Tait, the radio personality for MS Braves, will be presenting information about the multimedia settings of sports and radio.
The final phase of this workshop will include a question and answer panel. All of the speakers will answer students’ questions they could not cover during the sessions, and students can even ask questions of the speakers whose sessions they did not attend.
Many employers look for potential employees who can use social media professionally. “I have two goals for students attending this event,” Capell said. “One is to provide them with a snapshot of this year’s social media trends. The other is to show students how to use social media effectively in the professional world.”
Another career building opportunity coming up is Merge. This event will take place February 1 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Anderson Hall. There will be a five dollar registration fee, which covers lunch. Students can log on to http://aafjackson.ticketleap.com/merge to sign up for Merge.
Karlos Taylor, MFA graphic design graduate and art/design coordinator, will be in charge of Merge. The event is designed to target marketing, advertising and graphic design majors, specifically juniors or seniors. Taylor said that there is no limit to the number of students who can attend. “We are expecting students from colleges and universities all across the state,” Taylor added.
Speakers at this event will include representatives from Brice Media, an independent design studio, Kellye Lewis, Marketing Director of MS Children’s Museum, V. Guardardo, Art Director at Solve Studios, and several other significant speakers.
Taylor said that Merge is, “the ultimate opportunity for students that aspire to be in these fields to learn what is happening in the mass communications industry and have their portfolios reviewed by professionals.”
The event offers a chance to enhance students’ careers by putting them face-to-face with professionals that may be open to internship opportunities and even job possibilities. Taylor said Merge, “blurs the dividing line between the industry and the classroom by giving students direct access to the pros to discover what they need to enter and successfully maneuver throughout these fields.”
For more information about Merge, contact Karlos Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Tiffany Babb, Contributing Writer