Using Social Media to Enhance Career Development

May 21, 2015

By Tiffany Harrison & Kayla Patterson

With over 200 million monthly Instagram users, 288 million Twitter users, and 347 million active LinkedIn accounts, it’s safe to say that social networking is here to stay.

As international educators, most of us are now aware (or we hope you are aware!) of how important tapping into these social media numbers is when it comes to marketing programs to students around the world. All you have to do is look at recent data to see that these numbers continue to grow. According to Expedia’s Future of Travel Study, 49 percent of millennials plan and book trips using their smartphones, while 40 percent are likely to share a travel experience on social media during a trip.

What about using social media to market yourself as a professional within international education? How do you create an online name for yourself, or enhance the digital footprint you’ve already established? What kind of skills should you be highlighting? What platforms are the most relevant? And, the biggest question of all: why does any of this even matter? Your students are the ones who are going abroad, and it’s them we should be focusing on, right? Not quite. In this day and age, it’s just as important to be thinking about your own social presence, for more reasons than one.

Intrigued to learn more? Join us on Thursday, May 28 from 10:00 a.m.–10:45 a.m. for our presentation, “Using Social Media to Enhance Career Development,” in the Career Center located in the Expo Hall.

This session will act as a follow-up and refresher to the social media advice that was presented last year at the annual conference in San Diego.

This session will explore the connection between social media and career development and is applicable whether you’re new to the field, still trying to get your foot in the door, or you’re an experienced veteran. Key takeaways that can easily be implemented, whether you have a firm grasp on technology or are still learning, will also be offered. Given the time limits, Twitter and LinkedIn will be the primary focus in this discussion, although some easy tips and tricks associated with Instagram will also be covered. We hope you can join us!

Kayla Patterson is the GoMedia Director and Social Media Strategist at She oversees the structure and sales of GoMedia services, including social media management, website design, GoAbroad.NET, and search engine optimization. Patterson specializes specifically in social media management and is involved with the management of several channels for various international education organizations. She holds an undergraduate degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing from Colorado State University, was the Chair of the NAFSA Technology MIG from 2013-2015, and has presented several sessions and career center series at annual NAFSA conferences..

Hailing from Northern California, Tiffany Harrison is the Communications Manager for STA Travel, and is responsible for all internal and external communications for STA Travel US. Key responsibilities also include expanding the STA Travel audience, researching and developing new partnership opportunities relevant to the STA Travel brand, as well as managing existing partner relationships.

Previous to this role, Tiffany was the Outreach Manager at for nearly four years, where she managed the organization's extensive social media communities, implemented a variety of successful online campaigns, handled press inquiries, and coordinated content for the GoAbroad Blog. Tiffany is a graduate of California State University Chico with a BA in Journalism Public Relations. She is involved with the NAFSA Rainbow SIG as the 2013-2015 Newsletter Co-Chair, and speaks often on topics that focus on the intersection of brand management and online marketing as it relates to social media and technology, as well as methods for translating the student experience.