Q&A: Shelby Chapman

Shelby Chapman

Shelby Chapman

Shelby Chapman graduated from the College of Media and Communication in August 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

As an undergraduate student she served as the president of the Association of Women in Mass Communications and the assistant editor for the Mass Communicator.

Shelby interned for the Kiss FM Bobby Bones show in Austin her sophomore year and was a DJ for Kiss FM in Lubbock her senior year. She also interned at Fox 34 in Lubbock, which eventually turned into a full-time, reporter/assistant producer position. Shortly after, she moved back to Austin and started her own business, Shelby Leigh Marketing. She began doing marketing for small businesses she believes in.


Describe how you used social media as an intern.

Having a background in Journalism, I was introduced to social media as a platform for distributing news, but it was not an intricate part of my duties. It wasn’t until I began working a part time job at T.C. Elli’s, a local boutique, that social media became a prominent experience. I took on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts and created their “with love, T.C. Elli’s” signature.


How do you use social media in your current position?

I wouldn’t have a job if it were not for social media. With a goal to give small, striving businesses an outlet for marketing without the outstanding cost, it would be crazy not to turn to the social world. I think each platform establishes something different for a client. For example, Instagram gains a following, Facebook allows you to showcase product, and Twitter is a way to stay personal. In short, I used social media to build and grow, and maintain a business.


What type of tools do you use to track social media for your clients?

I use HootSuite to manage my client’s accounts and schedule social media posts. It is a helpful platform that allows the clients a chance to review my work, as well as letting us mark analytic progress.


What is the most important thing students need to know about social media before they graduate?

It is here to stay, so get familiar. I was very passive when it came to social media. I didn’t have the Facebook application on my iPhone until I graduated. But social media is the way of our future, whether you’re using it to post your momentary thoughts or to develop a presence. You are only hurting yourself by not getting to know it.


What does your daily work schedule consist of?

I have been blessed to build my own business and join the masses that work from home. My mornings begin at 6 a.m. with some social media posts and other odd in tasks, always with coffee in hand. A typical day consists of two to three meetings (new client lunches, client visits, networking) and a night of completing my tasks for the day. In addition, I do my own graphic design and video work. I take on a lot of personal responsibility for my clients, which means my responsibilities are always changing. I usually have an event or two to co-host each week, as well. One thing is for sure, my days are long and hectic, but I wouldn’t change them for anything.


What is your favorite part of the job?

Helping people. My goal as a journalist was to help every day people. It wasn’t until I started to see an expansion in my clients businesses when I realized I had finally found an outlet to help people. Though I am in no way the sole force to increasing sales or expanding, it feels really good to know I have a part. I only take on clients that I believe in. It makes promoting easy, and most of all it gives me the chance to show small business owners that someone believes in them.


How did the College of Media & Communication prepare you for the professional world?

I owe my career to that college. I didn’t find the answers in books or the 8 a.m. lectures that I sleepily sat through, but in the faculty. Without the constant support and ongoing encouragement, I would have never had the esteem to start my own business. The college teaches us the skills to be a great person. That is what you need to be successful in life.


What skills would you recommend students have in order to obtain a job or internship in your line of work?

It’s a combination of three skills: ready, willing and strong. We live in a time where skills can easily be acquired and everyone is good at everything. When looking for an intern or employee, I want someone who is ready to learn and who is going to work hard. I want someone who is willing to be inventive and learn new things. But more than that, I want someone who is strong enough to have a life outside of work, too. Be a great employee, come in a little early and stay a little late, but don’t be the person who gets burn out by trying to do it all, all the time. Strength goes far in this fast-pace work world we are creating.


What advice would you share with current students about finding their first job out of college?

My advice to finding a first job is simple. Everything is going to be okay. I applied to over 50 news stations when I graduated. My resume was packed and my reel was full of on-air experience, yet I heard nothing. I had many phone calls with my mom that ended in anger from her telling me those words. It wasn’t until I started reading the signs that I realized she was right. Everything happens for a reason and everyone gets the job they deserve. Sometimes it takes time and clarity. Don’t give up and don’t forget to listen to yourself. If you want to do sport public relations be in sports PR, don’t settle for something else because you feel the mounting pressure of making an income. We have our whole lives to do that.