The Third in a Series of Five Guest Posts
With the Christmas break in full swing I was planning on taking a break from my various blogs. However, I then received another guest post and realised it would require little true effort from me to add it here. (Yep, I’m definitely in holiday mode!) I caught up with Kate Odgers-Jewell last year at a 10 year reunion for her graduating class. I was surprised to learn that she has since embarked upon not one but in fact two careers and is also close to completing doctoral studies; only wish I had that much energy. Perhaps more importantly for readers of this blog, social media has a significant place in both of Kate’s careers.
My name is Kate Odgers-Jewell. I completed high school in 2001 and went straight to University. I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the sciences, but wasn’t clear on the end goal. After a year of studying Applied Science majoring in Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry, I realized that nutrition and dietetics was the perfect career for me! I then changed Universities and started on the pathway to becoming a dietitian! This entailed completing a Bachelor of Biomedical Science, followed by a Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics, which I followed up with Honours after being offered a great topic and scholarship for a sixth month project.
After graduating I began working as a clinical dietitian at the Gold Coast Hospital, during which time my mother decided to start a cupcake business, Cupcake Passion, and asked for my help. I offered to assist her with the establishment of the business, for example building a website, testing recipes, starting a Facebook page, market research, and pricing our products. We assumed that the business would be a little hobby and that I would be able to return my focus to my dietetics career within a few short months. Cupcake Passion has now been running for four and a half years, and business is really booming! Since starting the business, I have taken a two-month break to travel around Europe, and then decided to take on a PhD in the area of group-based education for chronic disease management. I am currently at the half way mark in my doctoral studies, and am looking forward to finishing in early 2014.
During my post-graduate studies I have worked as a tutor, lecturer and lab demonstrator. The communication with students in this line of work is via a University based ‘blackboard’ platform, which allows me to email students, write memos and place posts on discussion boards. Colleagues have also used Facebook pages for their subjects in the past year to keep students up to date with any changes to lecture times or assignments, and to provide additional resources. This Social Media option has been found to be very beneficial. I would definitely like to try this with my students in future, as I have found that students generally check their Facebook accounts much more frequently than they do their university accounts!
We utilize various social media platforms for Cupcake Passion, including a Facebook fan page, Flickr photostream, a Twitter account (which I have linked to our Facebook page to minimize time wastage), as well as Pinterest boards and Instagram. At the moment we mainly use our Facebook fan page and Flickr photostream to keep customers up to date with our photos as well as any current news. I think that customers enjoy the interactivity of our Facebook fan page, whilst it certainly makes life easier for us and allows us to spend less time updating our website. If I had more time on my hands, I would be more active on our Pinterest and Instagram accounts too! I think that social media is certainly beneficial for businesses- and I love the fact that all of the information required can be found so quickly and easily.
For residents of the Gold Coast, be certain to look for Cupcake Passion on Facebook. I’m sure this photo alone convinces you that you need to!