By Colleen Luby
Mason Intern Fall 2011
There is no doubt that employing one’s skills in the digital media realm is essential to landing a job after college- as the new social media intern here at Mason, Inc., I have already come to terms with that. In fact, as more grads consult websites for their dream jobs, employers are being faced with the reality that social and digital media are the newest waves in an ocean of developments taking place in the graduate recruitment process.
According to USA Today, “Students get the lowdown on employers by viewing their websites, reading Facebook and Twitter updates and perusing LinkedIn profiles.” However, the conversation is never one-sided. Many potential employers check the background of candidates via social media; even more of a trend is the requirement of a job candidate to keep up with two, three, even four different social media platforms depending on the position that they’re applying for.
As recent college graduates, we need social media — we need to own it and know how to use it. Too often I see job requirements asking candidates to either hold an active blogging profile or to know proficiently the ins and outs of blogging platforms. As a product of Generation Y, we have an advantage, but what good are raw skills without knowing how to use them? How do you protect yourself from potential employers assuming your skills are just raw? One answer is an internship.
An internship with a company that has a specific social media focus allows interns to develop. Yes, we all use Facebook, but can we all say that we have contributed to a company blog or that we helped develop the rapport between a company and their client base via twitter? What sets you apart as a graduate nowadays is having the knowledge of how to employ marketing techniques through digital media.
Amanda Beaudry, recent college graduate and Social Media Marketing Assistant at Ovation Benefits in Farmington, CT, knows first hand how important the conversion of these raw skills means for a job. “Intrinsically, our generation is more familiar with the digital world, and especially with social media. We don’t have to be taught, we just need the training on how to use it in a strategic business setting. My internship taught me to do just that and was instrumental in helping me obtain my current position. Social media is here to stay, and so is a person who knows it inside and out.”
Social media is the driver of today’s marketing world, with college graduates taking the wheel, but in order to move from the passenger to the driver seat their skills need to be refined– that’s what employers are looking for.