PrepStart Profile: Chelsea DiMarco
Full Name: Chelsea DiMarco
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Colleges attended: Xavier University
Degrees earned: B.A. Communication Arts
Current job/occupation: Community Manager at Barefoot Proximity
Please describe your current job.
As Community Manager, I play several different roles within the social media space for two online communities owned by Procter & Gamble. I work as a copywriter, monitor and facilitator between the brands and their social media followers. It’s a 24/7 job that is constantly evolving, which makes it both challenging and interesting. I also act as a thought leader for the P&G client and the agency, which requires me to stay informed on the latest social media news, platforms and trends.
In what ways did your education and internship/work experience prepare you for your current position?
With my studies focused on public relations, I received a broad knowledge of communications and how it can be applied to any industry or occupation. My past internship and work experiences were a good mix of traditional PR (pitching, news releases, etc.) and social media, which prepared me for the fast pace and crisis communications knowledge that my current role often requires.
What challenges did you face when choosing a college or career path? How did you overcome these challenges?
Like many high school students, trying to figure out what I wanted to study in college – and ultimately the career path I wanted to pursue – was intimidating and unnerving. After lots of research, assessing my personal skillset and taking several meetings with my guidance counselor, I landed on studying communications. Deciding on where I’d study communications was the hardest part. I knew I didn’t want to stay local because I wanted to assert my independence, so I looked out-of-state but within driving distance. I narrowed the search criteria by the programs offered, size, location and ultimately the feeling I got when stepping on campus for a guided tour. Xavier was the one that checked all the boxes, and, most importantly, the one I could see myself at! (And not to be forgotten, financial aid packages and scholarships also played a large part in my decision.)
What advice would you give to students in the beginning stages of preparing for their futures?
Do a little soul-searching and always go with your gut! Don’t make a big life decision based on anyone else’s opinion. You’re the one who knows yourself best! By envisioning the future you’d like for yourself, you’ll be able to decide what you want to study and where. Lastly, planning will only get you so far. I’ve been a planner my whole life, but my career has already taken unexpected twists and turns that I didn’t (and couldn’t) foresee.