What made you decide to pursue your degree in WDOC?

As I was approaching graduation for my undergraduate degree in August of 2015, I realized it was the best time to pursue a master’s degree while I was still used to devoting my evenings and weekends to my studies. When I found the Web Design and Online Communication program at UF, I was so excited because it seemed like the program was designed specifically for my interests. It was then that my idea to get my master’s degree solidified in my mind as my next step. It was as if the potential of what I would learn at UF helped me realize a plan to pursue my passion of becoming a leader in the field of digital marketing.

What has been the biggest thing you have learned in your classes?

I’ve learned that I love web design! Prior to starting the program, I thought that I wanted to learn enough web design skills to be able to speak intelligently with the web designers I work with. Now, I know that I want to focus much of my freelancing business on web design. I really enjoy the puzzle of getting code to work together and constantly growing my skill set.

What have you learned in your classes that you have already applied to your job?

I use the graphic design skills (especially the Adobe suite knowledge) on a daily basis at my job as a social media professional. I use Photoshop and InDesign constantly for work. I’ve used some of the branding social media posts I created in one of our classes in an actual campaign for work. I’ve used html to personalize a social media contest template through woobox.com for our company so that it better met our contest goals. I’ve also used html to create an email signature on an email signature management dashboard that will be used by our entire company. I am excited to use the video storytelling and editing skills I am learning this semester at work as soon as possible.

What are your career aspirations?

I am already using my graphic design and online communication skills gained through this program in my 9-to-5 job as a social media professional, and I want to continue to do so to help position our company as a leader in digital marketing. I also hope to use these skills plus my web design skills to build a freelancing career once I graduate in August.

What accomplishment are you the proudest of achieving?

I am most proud of my website. I am really excited to have my spot on the web. I will be even prouder when I find time to update it using mobile-first responsive design! I am also quite proud of the custom invitations I’ve been able to create for my family and friends with the InDesign and Illustrator skills that I have gained.

Tara Whiteley

Tara Whiteley

Class of August ’17

Charlotte, NC

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