by Hanna Cimperman, Senior Media & Social Change Major, Journalism Minor, Social Media Certificate
As an incoming freshman, it's nearly impossible to understand the amount of opportunity that a college like Ohio University offers. Throughout high school, you’re told you can be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a business person, etc. These are all great careers for many people, but none felt quite right for me. I came to Ohio University in the fall of 2012 only knowing that I wanted to study something related to media and communications. My first year in the School of Media Arts & Studies gave me the opportunity to experiment with a broad spectrum of media: video editing, audio mixing, documentary studies, “pitching”, and lastly, social media. I had always had a passion for social media, but never thought of it as a lifelong career. I then chose the Media & Social Change major with the intent that I wanted to use digital media, particularly social, to make an impact.
It wasn’t until my sophomore year that my adviser, mentor and friend, Karen Riggs introduced the Social Media Studies Certificate. This had my name written ALL over it. I had never realized there was so much to learn about the social media industry. Within the certificate program, I took classes such as Content Curation, Strategic Social Media, and Communication & New Technology. I was able to finish the certificate with enough time to even add a Journalism/Strategic Communication minor.
Looking back on my experience in the certificate program, I can say that everything I learned contributed to the direction that I am heading in now. This past summer, I participated in the Summer-in-LA trip where I worked as a Social Media Intern for two production houses. The classes I took for the certificate made me feel ahead of the curve; I had experience with social media platforms and strategies that many people weren’t even aware of yet. I implemented new, interesting content and helped increase overall audience engagement. Currently, I’m interning for the Ohio Department of Public Safety (a position I was made aware of through the Media School!), where I assist in monitoring and creating content for over 35 social pages- a job that would definitely be overwhelming for someone without the capabilities that I’ve gained through the school and the certificate program.
As I am preparing to graduate in less than two weeks, the greatest advice I can give is to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Ohio University. The Social Media Studies certificate is just one of the many opportunities, and I recommend it to everyone seeking any kind of degree. Social media is growing, I’m looking forward seeing the certificate program flourish along with it!