When Jennifer Reyes graduated from college in 2011 it was difficult to find a job in the digital and social media industry, because of the high level of competition from other job seekers. She knew she had to set herself apart to compete in today’s job market and that boosting her skills was the best way to find a job. Reyes was excited to learn that SDSU offered a Professional Certificate in Digital and Social Media through the College of Extended Studies.

Reyes is no stranger to the world of digital social media – she was a freelance web designer and she managed a startup, fan-based music media website. As a self-starter, she increased brand awareness utilizing social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. She was also a concert photographer, providing photographic coverage for local and national bands (using Photoshop for toning and cropping web-ready images).

Thanks to her digital and social media classes, Reyes was able to create more content to share on social media channels. She says that she learned to increase her photography portfolio by “pinning my photography images on my Pinterest profile along with a direct link to my photography website. Using it is another avenue to increase my photography presence online” and now she is “utilizing YouTube more now that I have experience with video filming and editing from my Video Production for the Web II class.” She says that her favorite aspect of the certificate program was “having hands-on experience in class along with one-on-one training with experienced professionals who are currently working in the media industry.”

Reyes credits the skills she learned in the program with helping her land her current job as a project coordinator at a web design company. Prior to taking the SEO class, she says, “I didn’t know anything about SEO or implementing meta tags on webpages to increase online presence in search engines.” She also learned how to use Final Cut Pro for video editing.

When applying to her current job she says, “Along with my resume, I included two of my websites, providing my photography skills and basic SEO practices.” In her current position, she “implements basic SEO to eCommerce and online sites that my company has developed. I am also the in-house photographer taking photos of staff members and company events.”