My year as a social media representative 

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As this academic year winds up, I’ve reflected on my experience as a social media rep for the School of GeoSciences. When I applied last Autumn, I thought it would be a great way to meet people, create fun content, and gain some communications experience. 
 
I heard about the position during a School of GeoSciences’ information session at the beginning of term in September. I was intrigued, knowing the value and impact social media can have, and thought I would give it a shot. I applied and was selected for an interview in early October. The interview was a great way to gain experience and practice interviews, even though I was nervous too! But the interviewers were super friendly (shout out to Ysabelle and Nikki!). They got back to me a few days later and offered me the position, along with eight others, both undergrads and postgrads, from different programmes. I was ecstatic. The position began in early November, and it’s been a learning curve and fun experience ever since! 
I’ve been able to do much more than “meet peers, create fun content, and gain some communications experience”. Blogging and posting on social media has allowed me to reflect on and more fully appreciate the experiences I’ve written about. I’ve also gained greater appreciation for the meaning of various international days, such as World Oceans Day and International Women’s Day, as the other reps and I created content for these special dates, requiring research and thought about why they’re special and important to highlight. So, not only have I learned more about the various topics I’ve written about, I’ve also learned how to improve my online communication skills through blogs, social media, and live information sessions. Getting to know our audience and the different writing styles necessary for each platform has been a fun challenge and provided an important skill. Learning how to engage people by creating interesting, personable, inspiring, and relatable content has been key. These are great skills to improve for future employment too. 

 

Social media reps Audrey, Valentina and I at an event in March 2020

I’ve also had the opportunity to connect with prospective students and provide advice and tips on their choice of programme, accommodation or any other questions they may have about the School, Edinburgh, or anything related to uni life. This has been really fun as I’ve loved answering questions and offering help in any way I could to those coming in for the new academic year. Being a student, moving to a new place and beginning a new programme can be quite challenging, bringing many new questions, as I know from my own experience. Doing Q&A’s on our Instagram page or live information sessions with prospective students has been a great way to connect and share my experiences for those about to start their own journey at the School of GeoSciences. I believe social media can be an important platform to connect with prospective students because beginning a new programme is a major change requiring many different steps. So being able to assist and interact during this process has been fun for us social media reps, and is a great way for prospective students to ask their questions of current students with recent experience to help guide them as they transition to the School of Geosciences and to uni life in general.  

 

Jumping on top of a hill at the Pentlands

Last but not least, I’ve loved working in a team that is dedicated and inspired by the University, their programmes, and life in beautiful Edinburgh. During our monthly meetings at Kings Buildings, learning from my teammates about their time in GeoSciences, their ideas for content, and how they format these has been really fun. Collaborating with team members on different content ideas has also been a great way to connect and learn from them. As a postgraduate, I found it easy to work part time as a social media rep, as the role is flexible and can be managed anywhere as it’s all online. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve met online as a team, sharing ideas and collaborating on content, which has worked well, allowing everyone to join even though we’re not all in Edinburgh at the moment. Bottom line? I strongly recommend applying for the role of social media rep for the School of Geosciences. It’s been fun, fulfilling, and educational, learning about online communication, creativity, collaboration, and engagement. A huge congratulations and good luck to all those starting the new term at the School of Geosciences, and I also wish all the best to those applying for the role of social media representative – you’ll love it! 

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