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As featured in the PESA 2013 Summit Issue: For the Record (FTR)

This generation represents the pioneers of social media. For that reason, employers expect undergraduates to understand and frequently use social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In the near future, it is possible more than half of a company’s revenue will result from digital operations; which is why employers seek out students for their distinct skills to freely entice and entertain thousands of others online.

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As cyborg anthropologist, Amber Case stated in her 2010 Ted Talks, this is a generation of “cyborgs.” Our screen-staring, button-clicking ways have created a secondary life online, where we are always present. Case states social networks, “has extended our mental self” which allows people to simultaneously mingle face-to-face and tap into hundreds of others real-time photos or feeds.

Think about it this way, right now, you could read a tweet about a concert in Atlanta, watch an ESPN highlight video on VINE and scroll through photos on Instagram posted by a friend in Europe you met on a study-abroad trip. You don’t need a computer to get access to the web because now it all exists in your phone.

With that being said, just picture how popular a product or event would be if it is promoted on all the available platforms. From newspapers and radio broadcasts to Instagram photos and tweets, all exposure is good exposure. This instills more power and control in the audience instead of just the creator. It’s not about how good an idea is; because it will only become popular if it’s exposed and shared across social platforms.

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Melanie Watson, a junior studying Digital and Broadcast Journalism directly benefited from her online presence and passion for sports. Constantly tweeting information about the Atlanta Hawks, Bob Rathbun, Atlanta Hawks sports announcer, came across her Twitter account and worked with her to create an original fan site for the team.

“Without Twitter I am pretty sure I never would have met him, never would have had created the website and I wouldn’t have received the to go inside the locker room and interview NBA players,” said Watson. She has brought together 542 people who together, will follow and support the content produced.

As undergraduates we should strategize ways to use our knowledge of social media to become more successful in the job market. New job titles such as Social Media Coordinator or Digital Media Specialists to embrace the trends of the digital media business. If you haven’t already guessed, we are the perfect fit for this job, so prove that to the employer. If you want to work in sports, fashion or music, make sure the content displayed on your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram profiles highlight similar content.

With social media, it’s possible to be in a millions places at once, by sharing information, scrolling through photos or reading real-time quotes from events. This is a power like no other and as undergraduates we are the pioneers of this movement. Therefore, take advantage of this opportunity and use the power that is within the palm of your hand.

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