What you need to know:
- In my opinion, the education system in the US is far better than ours.
- As a graduate student, I felt the work the undergraduates were doing was far more comprehensive than what I did in my undergraduate here.
- The systems are also more efficient and encourage students' success.
Sarah Wavinya holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a certificate in chemical dependency from USIU. In 2014, she completed her Master’s degree in strategic communication with a specialisation in professional communication and teaching from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. She is currently a content creator and social media associate at Capital FM Kenya
1. Your job is a long way from what you studied in school. In fact, both of your degrees are quite different, even from each other. What made you pivot so many times? Has that been hard or easy for you, and has your wide range of expertise helped you in your work?
I wanted to learn about human behaviour – what makes them do what they do, because the humans in my life were all weird! They seemed to keep doing things that hurt them or others (alcoholism) so I picked psychology. I then decided to study communications in graduate school because I felt the knowledge was lacking in the psychology field in Kenya. It was easy to transition because the courses complemented each other very well. The knowledge has helped in what I currently do. I write better articles and also handle social media better.
2. What differences do you see in the education systems abroad and here? What would you like to see replicated at home, and what would you like to discard?
In my opinion, the education system in the US is far better than ours. As a graduate student, I felt the work the undergraduates were doing was far more comprehensive than what I did in my undergraduate here. The systems are also more efficient and encourage students' success. This country needs a huge upgrade in how we learn and the content students are taught. I mean, why do we use old textbooks and have teachers that are so rigid in their thinking and world view? Why must we regurgitate information instead of truly understanding it with the aim of applying it in life?
3. You have also done a bit of writing. What is your favourite type of writing, long form, short form, fictional or reporting? What would you like to explore further?
I really enjoy writing short form, specifically for TV or books. Reviews are fun because only my opinion is required, and when done well, it can persuasive. I don't mind reporting because it is all about recalling what I have seen or experienced, but in an objective way. I would love to explore scriptwriting because I am a storyteller, and seeing my experiences on the page and maybe on stage or screen would be great.
4. What kind of content do you do now, and what do you think makes a truly talented content creator? Does posting things online necessarily make you a content creator?
I write articles for different audiences. I follow trends on Tiktok and create videos. I also help craft punchy captions to generate engagement with our clients and audiences. I believe a talented content creator must be innovative. It is not always about jumping on trends, but creating them. We also have to keep creating consistently. Yes, people use the term ‘content creator’ without knowing it is such a broad term. We are all content creators when you think about it, but the difference is, are you generating revenue? Are you gaining a wider audience? Are you influencing?
5. What do you think are essential skills for a good content creator, especially individuals trying to boost their visibility and numbers?
I would say you have to post content consistently. The content must be relevant and timely. You also have to know your audience, they guide you and based on their feedback, they let you know what they like and what they don’t like. Your content calendar should also have a mix of photos, videos, gifs, and infographics. Not the same thing every time. It is also important to know what works best on what platforms.
I think at this point, the micro-influencer, depending on their goals, is relevant to their niche but if they want more followers, they can make some tweaks and work on gaining new followers.