As a higher education administrator, I have used social media to jumpstart my career. When I decided to pursue student affairs as an undergraduate, I constantly searched for information. Social media was a great resource for that.
I eventually connected with a Twitter chat called #sachat and joined a community of other potential and current post-secondary educators. As my involvement grew, so did my learning and connections.
One of these connections, Megan Wyett, shared how social media has helped to shape her student affairs career,
“About five years ago, I was listening to a webinar, when I was first using Twitter. I connected with the presenter via Twitter just to say thanks for the information.”
“Little did I know that we would end up presenting together at conferences and turning the connection into more of a mentor / mentee type where we now connect on a regular basis.”
Her experience is not uncommon. In fact, many people on Twitter connect with their followers on a regular basis. They’re also using other social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Social media serves as an easily accessible facilitator.
Wyett has also seen this first hand. “Social media usage has also given me several outlets to connect with women in student affairs. We use a private Facebook group to support, vent, give advice and encourage each other through work and life transitions.”
Due to the explosion of social media, professionals are drawing closer to one another in a variety of capacities. People are supporting each other from afar, cheering from the sidelines and offering helping hands. Wyett says that the most interesting part about social media is that, “when we do connect in person, it allows for deeper, more authentic conversations because we’ve already ‘broken the ice’ through social media.”
These deeper and more authentic conversations foster more learning and open doors to further connections. The cyclical nature of these relationships will react like a boomerang. The further we throw our influence, the more we’ll receive from others. And we have social media to thank for that.