If you don’t know already my name is Janis Butkevics. I was born in Riga, Latvia, a small country in North East Europe. I was actually born during the last few years of the Soviet Union but I really don’t remember much of those times. I moved to the United States just as I was turning 12 and settled in Brookline, MA, right on the border of Brookline and Boston, five minutes away from Fenway Park. Since then I have lived in a number of places but Boston remains, in my opinion, the greatest city in the US.
After high school, with some protest of my supportive family, I went and joined the US Army. Ever since then my life has been a series of adventures and enterprises. I have worked in several positions and jobs within the Army and currently work within Information Support. While in service I managed to complete my Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing. While studying I became keenly interested in everything communication and marketing related and after some time narrowed down my fascination to social media. This was not something set on by a specific course or experience but rather an accumulation over time. I saw the rapid spread of the internet, social media, and connected devices as a change in the way we live and communicate.
As luck would have it I have had the chance to work with social media and social media analysis over the last few years within the Army as learn from other government agencies. This has been a tremendous learning experience that has so far taught me that I know very little about social media. As I had been looking for Masters programs to apply to a co-worker e-mailed me the University of Florida’s Master of Arts in Mass Communication – Social Media brochure, another lucky occurrence (or manifest destiny?). After a month of feverishly studying for the GRE and another few weeks of sleepless nights waiting for an answer I was accepted into the program.
The more I learn about social media, the more opportunities and issues I see. To me, its seems that social media will play an increasing role not just in marketing and public relations but will continue to change how we communicate, absorb news, collaborate, and even remember events. Considering that Facebook now stacks your life neatly in a timeline remembering things is a just a few clicks away and you can browse your entire life through your own comments and your friends tags of you. Through the courses and programs I hope to learn something that I can immediately apply to work now. There are plenty of rumors and ideas when it comes to social media, but few people have studied social media from an academic perspective. The program will also will assist me in the long term. Military service is not a life long career and it would be prudent to look further into the future. I am confident (very confident) that the internet and social media will continue to grow and hopefully provide me with a job that I enjoy doing.