Kathy Naasz is an associate professor and innovation strategist for Centenary University. Kathy sat down with Jill Horner of Comcast Newsmakers to discuss #theVIBE and the growing field of Social Media Marketing.
Jill Horner: Careers in Social Media Marketing. I’m Jill Horner this is Comcast Newsmakers and with me is Kathy Naasz she is an associate professor and innovation strategist for Centenary University. Thanks so much for being with us.
Kathy Naasz: Thank you for having me.
Jill Horner: You have a program at Centenary that is focused on Social Media Marketing. It’s a relatively new program, but it stemmed from a demand -there are careers in Social Media Marketing but there weren’t necessarily programs that were degree programs in it. Talk to us a little bit about the need to create a program like this.
Kathy Naasz: Absolutely, so I’m so excited to talk about it because many times in academia, we see things happening, but we don’t always get the chance to capture it and we saw the opportunity. I saw so many jobs out there, and I saw the job landscape changing. Job titles that never existed before were becoming popular; community manager social media strategist, and we have one course in Social Media Marketing. It was very very popular, and I said we have to do more so three years ago we designed a center, we launched the program and we have very happy graduates in the field.
Jill Horner: Talk to us a little bit about the center itself. You wanted a classroom space that was innovative.
Kathy Naasz: Yes, so I had visited some other universities, and then I said, “I want to visit startups.” I want to see how they operate and how they play, and that’s what we designed #theVIBE after so #theVIBE is our social media center, and we set it up like an open work environment. It has a hip feel. From a tech perspective, we have great tech. We have a full touchscreen video wall, so we show social media analytics and insights all day long, and the students are like wow this is our classroom, and my office is there, so I’m always in the classroom – always accessible.
Jill Horner: Let’s talk about the program itself. You say there are opportunities for internships graduates of the program are actually working in the field, but the program is hands-on, and they are working with real-world clients.
Kathy Naasz: Yes, in every course. So we always take on clients from small businesses. I’m really excited to say this semester the New York Jets are our client. So we’re reviewing their social media platforms, and we’re getting to present to them in December for the students. It’s an amazing, amazing opportunity. We also embed Google certifications and Facebook and Hootsuite, so they not only walk out with a degree they walk out with industry-recognized skills. So we made sure that we designed our program in that way.
Jill Horner: This is a degree program, as we mentioned it is a BS program. There’s also a minor option for those who are pursuing other degrees but what about for those who are already working professionals. Who may be working in other fields but who could benefit from experience related to Social Media Marketing.
Kathy Naasz: So we saw that opportunity, and we said we can take a subset of the classes and still keep them degree bearing, so they carry the accredited credibility in the marketplace and create a certificate. So we have four courses, and we opened another center so we have two #theVIBEs, and the second one is located in Parsippany, so we actually make that available for our working professionals.
Jill Horner: Thanks so much for being with us.
Kathy Naasz: Thank you so much.
Jill Horner: We’ve been talking with Kathy Naasz; I’m Jill Horner.