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  • Writer's pictureErika Arenstein

Being a Social Media Professional at 22

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

Am I good at online marketing or was my generation just born into it?

The generation of kids born between 1998 and 2003 were born with a television in front of their faces. We had entire channels dedicated to kid’s programs: Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network were staples in most of our childhoods. Once we became teens, the TV changed to an iPod, iPad, or iPhone. The floodgates opened to a plethora of mobile paradises. In 2013, when most of us were finally allowed to have an Instagram account, the platform already had 100 million users. Spending our middle school, high school, and college years on social media playgrounds shaped our personalities around trends and internet culture. Therefore, we are bound to be good at it… right?

I decided on my college pathway early in my education journey. I attended North Dakota State College of Sciences for two years and earned an associate degree in Liberal Arts. I graduated in the Spring of 2021. I began my remaining two years at MSUM (Minnesota State University Moorhead) in the fall of 2021. Jumping into Minnesota State University, Moorhead’s Advertising & Public Relations major halfway through was an adjustment, but such a fun one. Gone were the days of BIO 101. I was now getting to take Event Planning, Videography, and Graphic Design courses. Taking classes that taught me both real-world skills and creativity, made me feel confident in my work.

I’m currently making my way to the status of advertising professional, and I’m almost done with my degree. I have completed two successful marketing internships- the second of which turned into a long-term job. In addition to being a full-time student, I do social media & in-store marketing at one of the Scheels branches in Fargo. At this point in life: I am almost finished with my degree. I have two internships in my field completed. I am even working in my field before I have even graduated. I am on a fast track in my career and feel so lucky. However, I cannot help but feel unworthy of it.

It could be completely coincidental that what I do for work is also what I do for fun. It is even something that I grew up doing. It feels easy, but is this because I enjoy doing it? Is it because the competition pool is limited to only folks around my age? Is it as simple as Imposter Syndrome & I am making up the insecurity in my head? I go back and forth on my confidence levels while working on projects. Some days, I feel totally at home and on other days I am way over my head.

Every modernized business in the year 2022 is looking for a “Social Media Girl”, to have on their team. Being that social media girl is a blast. I get to dress up for work, shoot fun content, and even work with the corporate side for special projects and goals. This recent summer, my store’s marketing lead and I went to a company-wide conference for the social media & events teams. It was overwhelming and made me realize how big of an ocean I was in as such a little fish. I was the youngest person there yet getting paid to do the same things that these established adults are doing for a living. Am I really qualified to be here? There is no way. These people are so much older than me. Although we are creating the same things. Are we the same? Wait- they are asking for my opinion! But I do not know as much as they do. Right? There is still so much to learn. Am I good enough for this?

The remarkable thing about working in an ever-changing industry is that there is always something new to learn. When your job entails many different facets (graphic design, photography, content organization) there is always a newer, more efficient, and better way of doing things. That is what keeps me feeling confident in my work. No matter how young, inexperienced, or disorganized I feel. I take comfort in knowing that everyone else is learning and changing right along with me. I can go into the future of this industry knowing that absolutely nothing is concrete, and my only limits are my drive & creativity.

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