College is full of many networking opportunities that will help make various outside connections, even after graduation. For senior Tania Stokes, building a brand helps put a face to her name, and that is possible with the resources at Kean.
Stokes is a marketing major graduating in May 2020. Throughout her time at Kean, she has been involved in the Leadership Institute, Kean's Women of Excellence and has served as the secretary as well as vice president of the fashion club, Threads. She also works as a student ambassador for the Office of Admissions, as well as a social media specialist for Enrollment Services. Stokes also manages the social media pages for the Office of Admissions.
Stokes has managed to come into her own by developing the networking skills she has today. Stokes chose to be a marketing major to allow herself different kinds of opportunities after she graduates. Having a job as a student ambassador has helped Stokes land an internship opportunity for social media that offers her full-time employment after graduation.
"Being a student ambassador has opened up so many doors for me on campus and off. One of the admissions counselors said her friend was looking for a social media intern at her agency. She thought of me right away and gave me all her contact information," said Stokes.
Stokes continued, "If it wasn't for this person, Kean, and the Office of Admissions, I would not have been able to get this opportunity."
Stokes is a strong believer in getting things done as soon as people are ready for them. She also thinks that people should grow into who they want to become, instead of just rushing into something they are not fully committed to, such as graduate school, or a career path they aren't sure about yet.
Stokes has a passion for creating digital, online content. Through social media marketing, she was able to form a fashion brand page called Melanin Fashionista, to promote beauty, confidence, love and self-awareness. Stokes said that, having created the page, she now has the tools to practice her own craft to promote content, especially in an age in which social media is a brand staple.
"I created Melanin Fashionista my junior year, to put myself in a position to learn those marketing skills. I also wanted it to be something I was very passionate about to make it fun, especially for my audience. One of my passions is to help others, so I mainly created that page to promote confidence, love, beauty, and just becoming self-aware, and understanding that you can always look and feel pretty, with so many tips and tricks on how to do it," said Stokes.
Stokes explained that the key ingredient for building a brand on social media is consistent content for viewers. Without it, the brand will just be another page cluttering Instagram or Twitter. Stokes suggested that aspiring entrepreneurs or content creators get out there and promote themselves, because going the distance to establish credibility will mean everything to their brands.
"Whatever dream, whatever you are passionate about, whether it be on YouTube, [a] blog, social media account, anything you want to start, just do it. Never try to wait [for the right] moment. Never try to wait for the right equipment. All of that stuff will come eventually. You humble yourself if you don't have everything at first, because if you do, allows room for growth. If you have an idea you are passionate about, just go for it, no matter what others may think," said Stokes.
Stokes is grateful to Kean for providing her the essential tools for establishing herself as both a social media influencer as well as a future leader while she pursues her future endeavors.