USF students use YouTube to achieve goals

(left to right) Samari Blair, Lauren Banawa and Jake Chivers.

From fashion tutorials to vlogs, YouTube videos provide an outlet for students to share their passions with an audience and to further their careers. 

Lauren Banawa, a senior majoring in theater with a concentration in costume design, runs her own YouTube channel, Lauren Banawa, about DIY fashion and travel with roughly 6,000 subscribers. 

Despite people thinking her online presence damages her work reputation, Banawa said her YouTube channel helped her acquire her current internship. 

“They want to see people who are kind of involved in social media already and who have knowledge and want to get better,” she said.

Banawa is in the process of tailoring her YouTube channel into something she can add to her resume. 

In hopes of strengthening his resume, Jake Chivers, a junior majoring in advertising, is using his YouTube channel to pursue his dreams of becoming an Oscar-winning filmmaker. He hopes his YouTube channel, Jake Chivers, with roughly 300 subscribers, will be practice toward this goal. 

“I just make videos as often as possible to just keep pushing my creativity as far as I can go,” Chivers said.

His channel is mostly comprised of vlogs. 

Chivers is involved with video making and even cofounded Lonely Loch Films, a company that makes films and posts them on YouTube. 

“Now we’re just trying to take as much promotional and commercial content as possible and get our names out there,” Chivers said.

Chivers does not feel his videos hurt his chances with employers.

“I’ve actually made some parts of my videos in my office at work,” he said.

Comparatively, Samari Blair, an alumna who graduated last spring with dual majors in biomedical science and public health, had her YouTube channel, SamariSafari, leave a positive impact on her work life. She has over 1,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel, which is about make up and her college experience, especially nursing.

Blair said that when she did a summer internship, “they found my YouTube channel and they loved it. They watched my videos all the time.”

However, she did note she was careful about what she posted online while applying to graduate schools. 

“The most important thing is just like choosing carefully what you put on the internet because once it’s on the internet, it’s not going away,” Blair said. 

Blair has additional advice for those starting YouTube channels. Start simple and continue trying new things until something works.

“Don’t go out and buy all this fancy equipment that you think you don’t need,” Blair said. “Just like start off and see like what your subscribers want from you, what content you want to put out. Don’t give up.”

Banawa also cautioned against making videos with the goal of popularity alone because there’s more to it than just gaining notoriety. 

“You should make it because you have something to say and you want to share, no matter if there is just one person viewing it or 10,000,” Banawa said.