Hi, I’m Laura Markowski and I’m starting my fourth semester in the Masters of Communication – Social Media program at the University of Florida.
I’m originally from New Jersey, but headed up to New England for college. I earned my bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island’s School of Journalism in 2006. After college, I moved to Virginia to be near my sister (and her growing family) and wound up getting a job as a news producer at the NBC affiliate in Roanoke, Va. While Roanoke is considered a smaller city, I covered several major news stories in my five years at WSLS, including the massacre at Virginia Tech. My station (team) won a Peabody for our coverage during the first 48 hours of that tragedy. In my last year at WSLS, I was asked to launch a new interactive 7 p.m. newscast, which incorporated social media into the daily broadcasts. Besides incorporating viewer comments, I moderated a live chat each night with viewers.
I learned so much working in a newsroom and while I still miss producing today, I don’t miss everything else that comes along with working in news (odd hours, little pay, an unstable company, etc.). So, almost three years ago I made a switch and accepted a job at Carilion Clinic, the major healthcare system in the region. I currently work as a Senior Marketing Advisor for Carilion’s Cardiac Services and the Department of Medicine. It’s my job to market our physicians, services, and technology. I also oversee all of Carilion’s social networks (due to my previous experience and current educational goals), and am working toward leading and developing a full-time social media team at Carilion in the near future.
While I felt pretty confident in the “social media world” prior to starting this program, I have learned so much in the last three semesters. Much of what I have learned I have already implemented at Carilion, including measuring the best analytics, implementing new advertising strategies across platforms, and more. But as you can imagine, in healthcare, ethics plays a huge role. I’m excited to take what we cover this semester and prepare myself for any possible ethical issues down the road.
In my free time I enjoy spending time with my 11-year-old (ish) puggle (pug/beagle mix), Misty Dawg, and my nephews, Anderson, 6, and Turner, 9 months. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @lauramarki. Looking forward to another great semester!