College Students at SMW…or Not

This post is a series of blogs contributed by SMW NYC media partner Differences Magazine. To learn more about Differences Magazine and to see the original post by Vivian Nunez, please click here

Taking on Social Media Week NYC for the first time was everything I expected and much more. Nonetheless, I could not help but noticing that there was an obvious lack of college students at the events I attended. I am both a current college student and new to the entire #SMWNYC experience. As a result, I inferred that the lack of college students might be rooted on the fact that they don’t know what to expect or that they are unaware of how insightful it is into any kind of career path to be a part of this conversation.

Social media is not just a tool to communicate with your friends or to find out what your favorite celebrity is doing, they actually might not even be the one tweeting figured that one out in the Ghostwriter panel. If used to its fullest potential social media has the power to change our world, think Arab Spring or OWS, but on a smaller scale it can also change the amount of networking connections we establish. Social Media Week really helps to put this power in perspective regardless of the event you attend. I attended events that varied from Sports, Gaming, and Social Media to an event focused on Education, and I learned something from each of them.

There is a lens through which you are able to see different industries and their use of social media that you are just not able to get in a classroom. Listening to different panelists speak on how essential it is to market yourself as a brand and to really use social media as a leverage to establish connections is valuable advice. The tips and facts I learned throughout SMW resonated deeply because they were all techniques I could implement in the present to help me become a well-rounded candidate when it comes to entering the workforce.

College students might think it is a little too early to be attending events that are filled with established social media personalities, but I personally believe that this is the best time for that. Being exposed to so many successful people is not only motivation itself, but it is also an opportunity to network and pick the brains of those that have already traveled the path. It might be slightly intimidating at first to be the youngest and probably only student in an event filled with experts in a specific area, but it is also eye opening. By attending these events as a student or a person in the industry you really show that you are interested in learning more and have a true desire to experience social media first hand and to its full potential.

To see people speak on their experiences with social media and just exactly how it has helped them get to where they are is inspirational. Even more interesting and insightful is to learn how social media is implemented in everything from fashion to politics. All the events really build on the fact that social media is not only here, but it’s here to stay. I think it would only benefit students to take part in these events because they will be able to handle their online brands appropriately, learn how exactly social media affects their career of interest, and ultimately enjoy meeting such incredible experts in social media.