Pivoting towards a career with more creativity

Marenda Escobar #MSUStratCom student's style blog post

It’s no secret that the world of style blogging and social media content creation has changed the way our culture looks at fashion, marketing and personal branding.

Social media content creation has also changed the career trajectory that MSU StratCom student, Marenda Escobar sees herself on since starting her style blog, @marendas.lookbook on Instagram, about a year and a half ago.

“I initially started this side hustle as a way to tap into my creativity,” said Escobar. “I’ve always liked using social media and was really inspired by the diverse representation of bloggers I was starting to see infiltrate my feed.”

“I’m five foot tall, so when I go shopping online, I don’t see a lot of models or clothing styled on petite people of color like me,” she said. “I wanted to lend a voice to this community.”

When she isn’t working at Michigan State University as an Academic Advisor, Escobar styles outfits, takes artistic photos of herself, and uploads them to social platforms with reflective and encouraging captions.

“Although my full-time role isn’t necessarily creative, because of the confidence I’ve gained through my blog and the support of my supervisor, I’ve since joined my units Marketing, Branding and Communications Committee.”

Escobar is completing a Digital Media Certificate through the MSU StratCom program. She explains that her supervisor noticed her creative interests and heard about her blog and encouraged her to look at certificate or graduate programs as part of her professional development.  

“Since starting my certificate, I’ve been able to take part in conversations that relate to how our unit uses social media and marketing,” Escobar said.

She talks about the exciting link between slowly starting to share her interests in the digital space, and in return, slowly having more opportunities start to fall in her lap.

“I gave a presentation to the MSU Trio office on content strategy, which never would have happened if I didn’t put myself out there and seek out this new skillsets.”

Escobar talks about how the most enjoyable part of social media for her is the relationship aspect, and how it’s an area where she feels she’s able to reflect on her own personal growth and struggles, and then share that with her followers.  

“I saw this Digital Media Certificate as a way to gain the skillset needed to possibly help me pivot towards a career where I’m able to do more of the things I enjoy,” said Escobar. “Even though I don’t have a background in communications, now with a couple of classes under my belt I’m starting to see that this path could actually be a reality for me.”