Social Media Manager and GCC Student Makes Career Out of Making Connections

Wednesday, March 11, 2020
 

There are about 7.8 billion people on the planet and at the rate she’s going, Julia Seraphine will be in electronic contact with most of them in about 10 years.

Seraphine, 21, graduated magna cum laude from Gateway Community College in New Haven in May of 2019. With an associate’s degree in Liberal Arts and certificates in Fashion Retail Management and Entrepreneurial Studies, she is currently in the process of applying for a transfer to Yale University, which she hopes to attend in the fall as a junior majoring in Sociology and Psychology.

And we haven’t even touched the more spectacular entries on her resume.   

To date, Seraphine, a Milford resident, has launched a wildly successful career as a social media manager for a wide assortment of business and individual clients from all over the world, including Japan.

Moreover, she has a total of about 40,000 followers through all the social media platforms she frequents. About 40 percent of those followers, or 16,000 individuals, connect with her through Instagram. The remaining 60 percent come mostly from Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook.

“USA Today” was so impressed with her long list of clients and vast network of followers that it invited her to a weekend symposium in New York City last September targeting “super connectors” – people who not only have sizeable social media followings and a vast network of friends, but who are also making high-level entrepreneurial connections to other movers and shakers across the social media spectrum.

While attending the “USA Today” symposium, she met an iheart Radio executive who asked her if she would be interested in a guest spot on Jeanne McPhillips’ The Hero Whispers podcast – a forum that invites successful women to share their stories, anecdotes, and lessons learned with its listeners.

McPhillips, who holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, is an adjunct professor at New York University and The New School in New York City. She also is the creator of the Hero Whispers podcast and SuperGirll, a platform to coach and inspire collegiate women and recent grads to develop the courage, confidence and credibility to “supercharge” their lives after college.

Seraphine’s meeting with the iheart executive led to a 30-minute guest appearance on McPhillips’ podcast in January, during which McPhillips introduced Seraphine as a social media prodigy.

“You are amazing,” McPhillips said. “You’re like a superstar.”

Mike Roer, the Entrepreneur in Residence at Gateway and Housatonic community colleges, who also runs the Venture Lab at both schools, stopped a bit short of calling Julia a superstar. He had a lot to say, however, about the personality traits that have made her such a success at such a young age.

“Julia represents the passion that an entrepreneur requires to be successful,” Roer said. “You need a vast amount of drive, ambition and stick-to-itiveness to accomplish all that she has in so short a period of time.”

That drive and ambition manifested itself again last spring during Seraphine’s senior year, when she and fellow members of the GCC chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, or PTK, were invited to Orlando, Fla., as the winners of PTK’s international award for Most Distinguished College Project.

As part of the winning project, each of the 10 members of the GCC PTK chapter volunteered with two at-risk students in the New Haven school system, helping the students via mentorship or with study skills so the students better understood their lessons and assignments.

When it came time to travel to Florida to accept their award at PTK’s national convention, Seraphine and her fellow chapter members managed to raise $10,000 so the mentees could also attend.

While working on her application to Yale, Seraphine certainly will have enough projects, appointments, and engagements to keep herself busy over the next few months. In April, she has been asked to address a class within New York University’s Digital Marketing Department as a social media expert. Her topics will be social media strategies and a discussion of how social media websites actually operate. She also is scheduled to be a guest on yet another prominent podcast devoted to social media platforms in June. And she plans to continue serving as an assistant judge at the biannual CTNext Pitch Competitions.

“It’s all about networking,” Seraphine said. “It’s all about making connections with people.”

Speaking of connections, Seraphine said she will always look back fondly on those she made as a student at GCC.

“My time at Gateway was such a fabulous experience,” she said, singling out the profound impact Roer had on her life, as well as two of her most influential professors, Rose E. Luglio and David Bloom. “I got so much more out of being a Gateway student than I ever bargained for. It was the absolute perfect place for me.”