Back to School: Why I Decided to go to Graduate School

graduate school - why I am attending



I left the blog for a while there because I was deciding on some big life decisions. Actually, it's not that big, but it does impact my free time. I had always said I would go back to school to get another degree because, in an ideal world, I'd be a professional student. However, I have to pay bills, so I became a working adult.

Fast forward four years and I finally decided that another undergrad degree wasn't something that interested anymore, but rather furthering my current career as a digital marketer. Back in May, I was fiddling with the idea of maybe it's time to go back. I looked at various schools with Digital Marketing degrees. However, the catch was that it would have to be a strictly online degree, from an accredited school of course. After finally pulling the trigger and applied to 3 programs, which all happened to be Master in Science degrees. Yep, that's right, I applied for graduate school.

How To Use IGTV (Instagram TV)

using IGTV content creator

Did you hear the news today? Instagram announced that they launched IGTV to the masses. I’ve been using the app for about an hour and find it… interesting.

First of all, why WOULDN’T I download it? I already have Instagram, Layouts, and Boomerang, what’s one more? When you open the app, it asks you if you want to use your profile to log in – I run 2 personal Instagram accounts and 6 other ones for the company I work for, so make sure what you’re using. When You watch a video/show, and it ends, it just goes on to the next one, very similar to IG Stories and you can also swipe right or left to move between “shows.”

When you swipe up, you can see other videos at a glance. When you tap the screen on the video you are watching, the full portrait video shows and allows you to scrub through the video. i.e., fast forward. 

You can also comment, like, and share. You can search for content creators. In the gear settings, you can add the other accounts you use.

It’s said to be a YouTube killer, but to be honest, I don’t think it will. The UI/UX is not that intuitive, and you would think it’d alert your followers that you’ve posted a longer video or add it to highlights rather than just a Facebook page. I believe there is still a lot of features that could be added to make the app great. Videos do have links that can be shared out, but as of tonight, all links seem to be broken. I guess this might be a bug that Instagram still needs to solve/work on.

Just because you have logged into the app, it doesn’t mean you can post videos just yet! You have to click your profile picture circle on the lower right side. Then, you will be asked if you want to create a “channel.” After you do this, you are well on your way to creating all the content, and upload, all the videos you desire. 

Knowing some content creators on YouTube that receive revenue money based off of AdSense/Google AdWords placements, this might not be the way to go, at least not yet. Certainly, you can create “Trailers” for your YouTube videos and place them into IGTV, but then you create users to check 3 places. 

1)    Sneak peek on IG Stories – swipe up to view on IGTV 
2)    IGTV – continue watching on YouTube (if you care about revenue/ads). 

From playing in the app, I didn’t see a way for someone to link out to a website and perhaps it is to keep viewers within their app. You can still visit people’s IG profiles then they could technically clink and link to an outside website using the link in your bio. This seems like it involves far too many steps.

Note: Video lengths must be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long. Larger accounts and verified accounts can upload videos of up to an hour but must be uploaded on a computer.

It’ll be interesting to see how this takes off and if it’s wildly embraced like IG Stories. I see B2C/B2B companies and artists using this new Instagram venture because they hardly ever enable ad banners on videos on YouTube. 

I do however find it hard for vloggers who do rely on YouTube ad revenue to adopt IGTV. From watching a few videos, I didn’t come across any ads, and if they do, then those ads only benefit advertisers spending marketing dollars trying to capture new consumers.

I might find myself doing vlogs on IGTV. It’s easier as my phone is usually in my hand than carrying around a DSLR or mirrorless camera. 

Will you start creating new portrait (mobile) only content for IGTV? Let me know in the comments!

EDIT: Your IGTV channel is added to your profile!


Sightbox Review: A Millennial Convenience for Contact Lenses

sightbox contact lens subscription


If you were not aware before, I wear glasses the majority of the time. I'm not only nearsighted ( I can't see things from far away) but I also have a little bit of astigmatism. Fortunately, I don't have to use contacts for astigmatism, unfortunately, I've always had different prescriptions powers in each eye. You know what that means, EXPENSIVE VISION!

I had terrible vision insurance before so I was searching for an alternative way to pay for my glasses and contact exam + contacts. After seeing a lot of ads for Sightbox, I figured I'd give it a try.

If you don't know what Sightbox is, they say they are "Your Contact Lens Concierge". Really, they are! All you do is sign-up and pay $39 a month. Think of it as subscription box company like Birchbox, Julep, Fabletics, etc.

Tips for Landing a New Job - Hustling, Networking, and Landing a New Job

land a job in 2 weeks

I have been incredibly MIA from my blog recently, and a lot of that has to do with what has happened personally in my life. But this year, I have made a goal to focus on my hobby, blogging, and provide quality content for all of my readers. Today's post is a life-update chit-chat post.

Life With Felipa Update: Getting Laid Off, Networking, Hustling, and Landing a New Job

Who's Hiring? 

Recently, and by that, I mean as of like 2 weeks ago, a considerable change happened to me, career-wise. After working for the same company straight out of college for the nearly 4-years (March would have been my 4 year anniversary), I was told the company was closing and getting laid off. It was somewhat of a surprise, but you learn to roll with the punches.

I know it's almost unheard of to stay at a company for more than 3-years, at least in my field of work and most importantly you first gig, which is in the marketing field, but I genuinely enjoyed working with my coworkers. They are some of my funniest friends and love hanging out with them. This was really the main reason I stayed for so long, I couldn't have asked for a better team to have a pleasure to work with for my first career move out of college.

Hustle, Hustle, Hustle.

The night I found out the company was closing, I managed to update my resume, spruced up my cover letter, and reached out for recommendations from former and current colleagues and sent applications to several companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I was working my networking skills to the max after I learned I would have to have something lined up ASAP (February).
Advice: Some people say don't add a photo to your resume, I on the otherhand feel like this allows an employer give a name to a face. They remember you. They also remember a great structured resume. I used Canva.com to format my resume. Having a "fun" resume shows a little of your personality and creativity, which many companies these days take into account, especially becuase many are focusing on company culture

NetWERKing (werk, werk, werk)

You never know who knows who until you reach out to your connections on LinkedIn. I had friends from college and even all the way back to high school, to professors and industry leaders I managed to connect with while at conferences, helping me out and giving me leads on companies that were hiring or just getting me in touch with the right people. I was WERKING.
Advice: Don't knock LinkedIn off of your radar! You never know how helpful making these types of connections will help you out in the future, it might even help your blogging/freelance opportunities! 

Interviews For Days

After I sent my resume, connected, and got connected to the right people, I was quite literally taking phone interviews 3-4 times a day for a solid week. Here's a thing I found out when being on the phone that long, I could possibly be qualified to be an account manager, they are usually on the phone all day. Another thing I found out, tea is your best friend. My voice was getting hoarse from all the talking. 
Advice: For those looking for their first job out of college or for those who like me have not interviewed in YEARS, know what you have done, how you have been successful, and be ready to provide examples. 
I will admit I was a little rusty on my first 2 initial calls but finally got it together as the days went by. Some were very simple, and others felt like I was conducting in-person interviews.
Advice: Some ranged from 15 to almost 45 minutes, so be prepared and schedule accordingly. 
About a week after (last week to be exact) I was asked to come in for several in-person interviews for the second round of interviews. Was I nervous? Of course, I was! I was meeting those who I would potentially be reporting to and even some top executives.
Advice: Be yourself, show your personality! By the second round of interviews, some of those conducting the interview are the ones that make the decisions and will be the ones you report to. Show confindence and come prepared with questions to ask them.

Landing the Job

I was fortunate that I stayed at my job for more than 3-years. I gained a wealth of experience and became a well-rounded professional that seemed to fit with the positions I applied for. It also helped that I was able to provide examples of my work. About a year ago, when I finally decided to start Life With Felipa (domain change) I had my name domain (felipavillegas.com) just hanging out and paying for it with no website. So, I decided I'd make it into a portfolio website and showcase my work throughout the years. 
Advice: Guess what? Employers would rather have a digital version of you portfolio rather than a bunch of paper (for some professions). If you're not familiar with WordPress, there are many other great user-friendly solutions to get your portfolio online! Try wix.com and squarespace.com, they have pre-made websites where you literally have to just change the text and images, and you are done! Get your stuff on the web and get noticed guys!
So did I land the job? Yes! I'll leave it at that because it's still new. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I'm not going to leave you guys hanging though! Here are more tips for lading a job.

  1. Send a Thank You email. This is can be simple for a phone interview and can be elaborate when you have interviewed in-person. Reiterate points and how your skill set can directly help the company's goal.
  2. Don't be afraid of the follow-up email. So you haven't heard from them? Send them a follow-up email. Sometimes you are assigned to a company's talent recruiter, email them! They are usually in the know of where they are in the hiring process, and when you can expect to hear back from them formally.
  3. Only apply for jobs you are qualified for and for a company you can see yourself spending a few years at, not just because you are looking for a specific salary. I read many job descriptions and even more company about-us sections. Company culture was very important during my search for a new job. I applied for jobs that I knew I matched. (LinikedIn insights are๐Ÿ”ฅ!) You have better chances of getting your application/resume read if you are almost exactly to what they are looking for. 
  4. Do your homework. You will get asked, "Do you know what we do?" almost 100% of the time. There is nothing worse than going into an interview and not knowing a thing about the company! That's also, IMO, disrespectful. You want to work for them? Then get to know them and show them it's more than just a salary.
  5. Dress Appropriately. Here's the thing, if you have read about the company and read about their company culture, dress similarly. I love fashion, I mean I feature it on this blog, I believe the way you dress shows personality. No, I didn't go wild with my interviewing clothes. You can still show personality even while wearing black slacks and white shirt. Throw on a muted but colored blazer if you have it and wear accessories! 
Let me know if you have experienced the new job hunt jitters before or if you are currently looking for one! I hope my tips and advice help some of you guys!

I have a few blogs already in the works that I can't wait to publish. Stay tuned!

Until next time,
Felipa