This is probably not that surprising as I come from the generation that are supposedly glued to their phones, in a society where social media can be more interactive than a physical conversation. Yet it is true, through using my iPhone and all of its apps, data usage and wifi connections and so on, I was able to get myself through a History degree and land myself an internship! (This is not to say that an iPhone, or any smartphone, is all you need to get a degree or internship; you must also have, and use, a brain).
One of the first things that really opened my eyes to the power of social media was that institutions such as my university’s library, the British Library, and the National Archives all began to have an online presence. This meant that I could easily access their information on my phone, even whilst rushing around between lectures and deadlines. Plus, I could check for the availability of books and archives from my phone which often saved me the hassle of going to them in the first place. The presence of institutions such as this on social media platforms, where they are able to actively engage with their audiences, meant that any problems you were having could be addressed directly and immediately. At Queen Mary library you were even able to tweet book requests to make sure you could get the book you needed if it wasn’t available already! This was brilliant when you were mid-research and you didn’t feel like you had time to rummage around looking for specific authors, or certain volumes of books, in alien libraries.
I was lucky enough to have an iPad in my third year which meant that I was able to access a wonderful writing app called Pages, read articles and books online and, of course, use iCloud. This meant that when travelling all over London between lectures and libraries I was able to access my work at any point, without having to lug a huge, heavy bag with me. Furthermore, having everything on my iPad meant that I had access to everything I needed all in one place. I was able to revise with YouTube, email lecturers, Facebook fellow students and friends, download articles and essays, and use the internet quickly if I needed to. Plus, when I needed a break from all the hard work I was doing, I could have a game of temple run! So when my trusty laptop began to die on a cold and (i)Cloudy February evening, mid-way through my dissertation research, I could have cried but, alas! I had everything backed up and available on other devices.
Just under a year later, I relocated to sunny (/snowy) Brighton, almost more lost than I was running around London looking through hundreds of books and papers. Fear not! Said a little voice from my phone, I have Google maps! And so my life was saved by the glorious technologies that the internet and satellite systems have blessed us with. While this technology helped me immensely in navigating my way around Brighton, the internet as a whole was even more influential in getting me a job here.
While looking for jobs incessantly, I was on Google a lot, and through various procrastinations on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, WordPress, Instagram and Stumble Upon, I came to realise that all my interests were already online, and that digital was clearly where I should try to be. Researching jobs from websites such as Wired Sussex on LinkedIn and Twitter gave me a background of the digital marketing map of Brighton, whilst reading around different content, various blogs and online articles, I realised just how much I actually knew about social media already, and how I could transfer this into a real-life career. And, thanks to the joys of having a very smart phone, I was able to do everything I needed when I was out and about! Job applications and emails could be done from train stations, bus stops and cafes, while any research I was doing was saved on every device, and emails could be responded to instantly.
Now, in my internship I am able to apply all that I have learnt about social media personally. Without realising it, when I was browsing the internet and reading numerous articles on BuzzFeed, sharing links with friends and so on, I was actually already helping companies in their natural search (SEO) quests!
So, regardless of what you have previously studied, or what your background is in, or whatever phone you have! If you have any interests in social media, digital marketing, or anything similar to what I have talked about, check out ThoughtShift’s Digital Marketing Academy and send your CV and your answers to their very serious questions.
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