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UD graduate re-enrolls in non-credit PCS programs | Pro Club Bd

Photo courtesy of Lauren Conforti | Illustration by Cindy Dolan

Not knowing what she wanted to do with her life was a key factor in Lauren Conforti’s decision to enroll as a student at the University of Delaware in 2015. Five years later, she re-enrolled as a continuing education student at UD because she knew exactly what she wanted to do, how she wanted to do it, and which provider she wanted to do it with.

A native of East Hanover, New Jersey, Conforti said she was aware of the university’s reputation and found it had an attractive campus with friendly people when she attended it as a high school student.

“It’s a good starting point for people who might not know exactly what they want to pursue because there are so many options and trails to explore,” said Conforti. “I’m glad I chose the University of Delaware. It was a good playground to take different courses.”

Conforti’s courses led her to a bachelor’s degree in English in 2019. As a student, she gained valuable experience outside of the classroom by participating in a variety of activities, including serving as a UD social media ambassador. In this role she was chosen for, she has shared her experiences at UD with fellow students and prospective students on Twitter and Instagram.

Return to UD remotely

After graduating, Conforti moved back to New Jersey and continued to develop her social media skills through several part-time jobs. To further develop her skills and hone her credentials in an online program, she “returned” to her alma in Fall 2020 as a virtual student in the Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing Certificate program offered by the University of Delaware Division of Professional Mother “back”. and advanced studies (UD PCS). The course introduces the skills to use social media to build and expand brand awareness, increase visibility, engage current and potential customers, cultivate brand ambassadors, attract new customers, drive growth, and support business goals.

“The virtual format was great and I couldn’t have imagined it in person as the social media work is entirely online,” said Conforti. “It was still personal and focused, and I always attended the Zoom consultations.”

Awareness of UD

Although there were many organizations offering social media training to choose from, it didn’t take long for her to decide that UD would be the best option for her.

“Some people are promoting professional development in places I’ve never heard of,” Conforti said. “When it comes to time, money and energy, I want to do it at the school I trust.”

Shortly after completing the Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing certificate program, Conforti began a full-time position at 240 Tutoring, a Texas-based company that provides online study guides to help teachers prepare for certification exams. Initially hired as an account manager, she quickly used her newfound knowledge from the UD PCS foundation course to move into the first position of 240 Tutoring, dedicated solely to social media. Her title “Social Media Coordinator” was recently changed to “Social Media and Community Manager” to better reflect the scope of her role. Working remotely from New Jersey for 240 Tutoring, she creates content for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok and Twitter and oversees five exam-specific Facebook groups.

Buoyed by the confidence she gained from the foundation course and a desire to excel in her new job, Conforti took the Spring 2022 offer of the UD PCS Advanced Social Media Marketing for Business Certificate Program. She was excited about a second course taught by Nancy Dibert, Program Director and Instructor for the UD PCS Social Media Marketing program and CEO of EPIC Marketing Consultants.

“Nancy was great and always available,” said Conforti. “We spoke on the phone several times, and she was a big selling point for me to do the second program.”

Participants in the advanced online course will master the skills to drive engagement through targeted, innovative social media marketing campaigns and gain first-hand experience with industry-standard tools such as Sprout Social and Rival IQ. While the basic course made Conforti a stronger candidate for employment, the advanced course enabled her to immediately apply what she had learned to the benefit of her employer.

“For my duties, I sent Nancy posts to my company’s physical social channels,” said Conforti. “That was real life. I took their honest feedback and incorporated it into my current role. There’s no price tag for that. She was a mentor who helped me not only with my professional development but also with the development of my company.”

Committed to lifelong learning

Rather than waiting to establish herself professionally, Conforti has believed it is important to engage in lifelong learning throughout her career and has no plans to slow down.

“That’s kind of how I am; I’m always learning,” said Conforti. “I am very committed to lifelong learning for everyone, regardless of what field they work in or what their interests are. The second you stop checking out new features, updates, and industry news, you’re essentially out of the game. You have to keep learning and moving, and UD helped me keep going after I graduated.”

Classes open for registration

UD’s Advanced Social Media Marketing for Business Certificate program fall session begins September 6th. The Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing certificate is currently being converted into a self-paced program that students can begin at any time. There are discounts for both courses. For more information, visit pcs.udel.edu/socialmedia, email Continued-ed@udel.edu, or call 302-831-7600.

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