After three years of stomping the grounds at Missouri State, my time is coming to an end. I’ve had a great run, and it’s been a blast for sure. But, there was something always missing from my experience.
Being a journalism major, I’ve encountered all forms of media from film to newspaper, to blogs and radio broadcasts, but I only ever dabbled in social media in college classes on a few occasions. Social media is my favorite pastime.
I found myself creating Instagram highlight covers whenever I had a free chance while color-coordinating my own social feed. I downloaded schedulers for all my accounts, even though I really didn’t have much content to even publish for myself. I’d spend hours researching new tactics and scrolling through Instagram timelines when I should have been applying for jobs.
As graduation grew nearer and nearer, I began to wonder if I could really make social media a career for myself. Could my hobby be a real source of income after graduation? Could my words connect with others, and would people listen? As social media continues to change, there just weren’t many opportunities to run social media accounts for big entities, until I learned about Missouri State’s internship program. I applied as soon as I could and waited.
It probably wasn’t until two weeks after I got the acceptance letter that my future really sunk in. This was my time to really show off my skillset and everything I would do this fall semester through one last hurrah.
Who am I?
Throughout my college experience, I always struggled to find my identity. Was I the girl who would be the social butterfly at every outing? No. The introvert who struggled to make herself known? Not that either. The college I enjoyed so much was giving me the opportunity to leave a legacy on its social media while representing the university.
Flashback a year before, I was sitting in my home the summer before my junior year. I was jobless, and feeling completely down in the dumps about my professional career. If I couldn’t find a job now, what hope did that leave me after college?
It was then that I needed to start believing that I was valuable, even if the odds were against me. Even though I felt a lack of confidence, I began to advertise myself as the person who knew it all, who could do it all. I worked endlessly to expand my portfolio and add work examples. I spent nights researching anything and everything I could about social media.
A year later, and some rejections letters to show for it, I landed myself three internships, including my dream one at Missouri State, where I’ve already learned so much in these past few weeks. What I first considered only a hobby transformed into a major career decision for me, and one that will change the way I look at social media from now on.
Is social media really that important?
Social media is more than just teens posting pretty selfies of themselves and sharing memes (although memes are great). It’s a way to really interact with your audience and create a trusting connection between the user and content creator. A post can reach hundreds of thousands of users, maybe even millions, and with the right content, you can most definitely make an impact, like I’m doing now.
So, even though I only have one semester left and the weeks are dwindling by the minute, I’m considering the legacy I want to leave here. How do you want others to see you on social media? Your friends, your family, potential employers? The answer may not be clear, but I do know something.
Hi, my name is Madison Russell, social media intern for Missouri State University, and I am proud to be Bear.