“This is it.”

It was a sunny Tuesday morning and I remember looking at the phone saying to myself, “This is it.”

I knew it was Nikki Sunstrum calling to let me know about the content specialist position at UMSocial. This is what my entire life was leading up to—that first job offer after college. After getting the position, I immediately did what everyone else would, I posted it on Facebook. 😉

Today marks my one year anniversary at UMSocial and wow, has time flown by. From Pokemon Go to Snapchat stories on the field of the Big House, the lessons I’ve learned this past year will carry with me throughout my professional career. Here are some of my favorite projects I’ve worked on during my time at UMSocial:

U-M Social Media Engagement Protocol

This was my very first project at UMSocial and one I’m most proud of. I was tasked to create a customer service protocol that would be disseminated across U-M’s social leadership directory. Working closely with Nikki, we identified key content areas and developed an easy-to-follow flow chart for responding to social conversations.

The most rewarding part of this project was seeing other higher ed social media professionals take notice and even implement a similar protocol at their own universities.

Game Day Tips Snapchat Story

Not only did I get to briefly meet Michael Jordan, I got to experience what it’s like to be on the field of the Big House on game day. This task taught me how to take strategic messaging (i.e safe drinking) and creatively disseminate it into a social platform designed for the message’s target audience (i.e. students on Snapchat).

Out of all my experiences this past year, being on the field during game day was one of the best “aha” moments I had.

Pokemon Go Snapchat Story

Never in my life would I have thought I would do a Snapchat story about Pokemon and get paid to do so. Sometimes, our office likes to have a little fun. 😉 This taught me to always keep an eye out for current trends and look for opportunities to incorporate your brand messaging into trending topics.

SAPAC Geofilter

This was one of my favorite design projects because I got to bring my passion for sexual assault awareness into work.  I was able to work closely with SAPAC at U-M and develop a series of Geofilters to place on campus to promote consent and generate awareness of sexual assault on campus.

#UMichTalks Nyle DiMarco

Nyle DiMarco was the first deaf winner of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. This event allowed me to learn more about the deaf community and better understand the struggles they face on a daily basis. I was able to engage with members of the audience and learn how I can be a better ally for the deaf community—something you can’t learn from a textbook in college.

Spotify Launch

The most rewarding part of this project was seeing all the moving pieces come together. Not only did I get to incorporate my love for music into work, I got to work closely with our fabulous interns and establish a deeper connection with each of them. If I learned one thing from this experience, it’s to CC everyone in emails, otherwise you might find yourself assuming everyone is on the same page. 😉

It’s been a wild ride this past year, UMSocial. I’ve learned so much and I’m excited to see what opportunities lay ahead for the upcoming year. Thank you, Nikki and Yasin, for giving this Chippewa a chance.

As always,

Be social. Stay social. #UMSocial

Post written by James Wilson, content specialist at UMSocial.