Best Practices: Using Snapchat in Career Services

As the Digital Media Assistant at Career and Professional Development at St. Edward’s University, I am responsible for creating social media content and developing strategies for long-term growth and increased participation among students and alumni. Before this semester, we focused our social media efforts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so Snapchat is one platform that our department has not taken full advantage of. Therefore, when my boss Sally informed me about this webinar, I was intrigued to participate and gain insight on how we could effectively use Snapchat to inform and entertain our audience. I was always aware that Snapchat is a popular social platform for our target market, but it was difficult to justify spending time on a platform whose content disappears in 24 hours. This webinar gave me an opportunity to learn why it is important for us to have a presence on this social platform and demonstrated some strategies we could implement.

As a student, I often use Snapchat to share photos and stay updated with friends and family. However, learning about Snapchat for businesses is a completely different ball game and is something that I’m very interested in as a Digital Media Management major.

The University of Southern Florida webinar provided me with valuable information I was not aware of before and inspired me to develop creative ideas for St. Edward’s University Career and Professional Development. For example, after listening to this webinar, I decided to create a Snapchat filter for our Spring Job & Internship Fair using some ideas from the examples shown in the webinar. One of the best tips provided was to include ways for students to interact with the geofilter, so I added an element for students to include their major when using the geofilter. It also turned out to be a fun way to feature employers’ majors so students could see how their majors may or may not be directly related to their future career.

I also learned about how to define the area in which you would like to have your geofilter appear and was surprised by how affordable geofilters are, depending on the duration and location you choose.

This webinar also highlighted the importance of businesses having a Snapchat presence and showed that it is easy to reach our target market because students are the majority of Snapchat’s audience. The whole point of being active on social media is to be where your audience is, and we would be missing out on a critical opportunity if we ignored Snapchat as a social media platform.

Throughout my college career, I have had several experiences in digital and social media in addition to leadership, so my goal is to merge these interests together to help businesses reach their full potential. Immediately after I graduate, I will participate in the Disney College Program and engage in weekly professional seminars focused on Marketing & Sales and Leadership. During this six-month program, I believe I will gain valuable experience and knowledge that will prepare me to work in a leadership position at a marketing agency, likely in their digital strategy or branding departments. I hope to use my creativity, passion, and drive to provide a company with innovative solutions while focusing on enhancing interpersonal relationships.

Lisa Machado, class of 2017, works as Digital Media Assistant in the Career and Professional Development office at St. Edward’s University.


Professional Development Scholarship Recipient – Kathy Creel

Kathy Creel Career Advisor Middle Tennessee State University

As one of the SoACE Professional Development scholarship recipients, I was asked to write about what I learned at the SoACE Annual Conference in Fort Lauderdale this past December. It seems like a lifetime ago that hundreds of us were gathered at the beachfront resort! While I would like to think that my conference experience was completely unique, logic tells me that many others in the crowd had been struggling to keep their heads above water the entire fall semester, too. Many of us returned home to months of absolute chaos. I have been grateful every week since conference that I trusted my instinct, the inner prompt to continue and participate as planned because it was important. I had been deliberate in my decision to pursue investment in my professional development, and I had to trust the time away would be re-energizing, at a minimum.

What I have been preaching to students for a few years now is anchored in the self-mission of “being intentional”. What exactly do I mean? Investing your time and energy in meaningful pursuits. Taking full advantage of the resources available and ownership of your career journey. Unlike high school, nothing is simply handed to you. The expectations are high and the future implications even higher. You must be tenacious in creating your best work life. And although it may not look 100% like you dreamed to start, your deliberate start will pave the way for your dreams.

Teresa Amabile said, “Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work.” My single greatest takeaway from conference is that we all do meaningful work. Every single one of us. Every. Single. Day. Our connections and conversations with students matter, and they will have life-long significance. We, as humans, tend to get caught up in our own organizational (and personal) islands. We, as career service professionals, are all understaffed and underfunded, leaving us to do our absolute best with limited resources. However, we are not alone, and the value of our professional investments in others cannot be forgotten or diminished.

From the keynote address of Clint! Runge and Daron Roberts to the countless breakout sessions, networking opportunities, and social events, there was one singular reminder that resonated with me… serving students is extremely meaningful work. From the first SoACE conference I attended in 2015 to this past December’s event, I knew there was one thing very different about the members of our professional association. I have finally pinpointed what makes this group of colleagues exceptional; it is the motivation to serve others in a mighty way.

Whether you are diligently involved in creating connections with employers who will recruit your students or assisting students in career decision-making, our endeavors are worthwhile and tremendously impactful. We must champion our own professional development to ensure that we are refreshed and renewed professionally on a consistent basis. This is meaningful work, and I am incredibly thankful to be on this journey with you all!

Kathy Creel works as a Career Advisor at Middle Tennessee State University.