I chose this image, because this was what the computer looked like when I created my first online account. I had started school in 1995, but several life choices led me to not return to school until 1999. One of my communications professors took me to the computer lab and made me activate my student email. Although I was still young, I was a non-traditional student upon my return and very uncomfortable with computers. I had not used a computer since my high school typing class, and before that since 5th grade computer class (which had floppy disks). Hopefully that explains the degree of my inexperience and discomfort.
Yet, now back in school 17 years after completing my undergraduate degree the prevailing and overwhelming feelings that I experienced while creating the assigned social media accounts were relief and confirmation.
In 2004, I started my own business. The name of it was Vision Marketing & Design. Even though I was more of a layout designer than an actual graphic designer, I started the business because I needed the income. As a mother with 3 young children, and another one on the way, I felt the need to help my husband pay the bills and design seemed to be the answer.
I remember the first time I went online and applied for my EIN (Employment Identification Number). I had no idea what I was doing. My training in journalism, made me an avid researcher and according to what I was reading that seemed to be the next logical step.
As it turns out, I was correct. This led me to applying for assumed named certificates for business, required as a sole proprietor. I used these documents to open my first business checking account, which I still use to this day. I remember feeling a sense of accomplishment and that I was on track to doing something great for my family and for me.
Fast forward, 13 years later. I have now have made another choice; to pursue a graduate degree. Again, all of my research felt like I was heading in the right direction but I was not completely sure. After going through the online orientation, I begin to wonder again if I had made the best decision. Yet, something amazing happen with my first assignment.
I had a Skype account in the past, so I was familiar with how to download it on to my Mac and set it up. I already had a Gmail account that I had recently started using with my newly remarried name, so there is not a lot of junk mail in it and I get messages easily. It was the perfect account to use.
Almost two years ago, I started a company called Start Write Away, LLC. The business started as a favor to a friend and turned into a content development and ghostwriting entity. Upon learning that my company was restructuring positions and employees, I went on Fiverr and created elements for a white board video and uploaded them. The artist used my elements and created a promo video for me. When I got the video it was taking a long time to upload to Facebook, at the time it was too long for Instagram, so I decided to make a YouTube channel. Again, I was not exactly sure what I was doing, but I had helped upload videos at work, so I was familiar with the platform. Well, I was able to get set and upload my video. It did not get a lot a views, but I remember feeling such a sense of accomplishment creating the account, getting it loaded and receiving views. This time when I went on to create my account, the old one was there and I was able to merge the accounts.
Lastly, my oldest daughter is a hair stylist and business woman. Although, she is only 20 years old she made enough money her year as a stylist to pay 6 months of rent payments up front and take over her car payments from her grandparents. She is great at doing hair, but she struggled with marketing so she asked me to help her. The first thing I realized that she needed to do was create a website. I had friend who creates websites for my clients as a contractor and he tried to encourage me to do my daughter’s website for her. He explained that we could save money if I learned how to do it. I found her a WordPress template that I really liked. My friend and I met several times as he tried to tutor me on it. I just couldn’t figure it out. After working for years on other content management systems, WordPress seemed very difficult for me. I gave up and we ended up paying him for the project. However, when asked to set up my WordPress site for my blog, I was able to set up the account, select a template, edit the template, add photos and edit the text. Being able complete WordPress set-up on my own is a major confirmation for me that I am in the right place at the right time.
I am excited to be back in school and feel very relaxed about using digital media in my online classes.