Hi! I am Lauren Serpico

I'm your instructor - a psych ph.d who researched social media & has been working in the field for the past 10 years.

I was born on Aug 6. 1991, the same day the very first website went live. It was pretty much written in the stars that I would follow this digital trajectory.

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As a child of the 90’s, I grew up on the cusp of the social media boom.

I vividly remember my first desktop computer being delivered into the family den. 

The patience it took to log in with dial up, and frustration when getting booted off because someone was using the microwave at the same time. I remember the important decision of choosing my AIM screen name, and the pressure of who I was going to choose to put in my Myspace Top 8.

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In college...

While I always had a love for this new digital world, it wasn’t the booming industry it is today when I went to college in 2009. I decided to pursue a degree in psychology at Sacred Heart University (SHU), because my love of social won over my love of media.

I was ALMOST about to follow the standard psychology path of graduating and pursuing a career as a therapist. In 3 years, I graduated with my BS and was quickly accepted to SHU’s grad program for a MS in Applied Psych, with a concentration in community. The plan in my mind was that this degree was a “stepping stone” to entering a Psy.D program in San Diego where I would train to become a child psychologist. 

Because that's what psych majors are suppose to do, right?

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I neglected to think about a pivotal factor: money.

I was in this fast paced track towards a career that I wasn’t even sure that I wanted.

I was accepted to this Psy.D program, but how the heck was I going to move across the country and afford it while working my way as a full time student at age 21?!

So I turned to my holy grail at the time: Craigslist.

It was there that my digital destiny tapped me on the shoulder, and I found an ad that read: Paid Internship - Social Media Strategy. *insert gasp here!!*

My Craigslist mindset was that this could be hit or miss, but it was worth writing a message to learn more about it. As it turned out, this ad was very much a hit. This company not only provided me with an awesome paid, remote internship opportunity, they helped me get back onto a track that was near and dear to my heart. I realized I was never really that far off my path to begin with.

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My Professional Life...

In 2013, when many of today’s leading social media like Snapchat and Instagram were in their infancy, I graduated with my MS in Applied Psychology with a concentration in community, where I focused on the underpinnings of online social networks. I was the only one in my program to apply psychology to this digital world, and earned the Silver Medal of Excellence for my graduating class.

I swiftly transitioned from remote intern to remote employee at this social media management agency, and that is where my career truly began.

I took full advantage of my remote work and almost immediately traveled to California, (my first solo adventure), and spent about 3 months in Airbnb’s from San Francisco down to San Diego. It was then that I realized how much I love to travel, and having a remote job that supports my geographic freedom.

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I knew in my heart I still wanted to pursue the highest level of education.

There were 2 main reasons:
  • The first being how inspired I felt by my psychology professors, and how they were able to inspire young social science students through their passion and education.
  • Secondly, I was so deeply in love with the research I began as a Master’s student, that I knew I NEEDED to continue. The field of social media is ever-changing, so the research conducted must be just as cutting edge. Who better to research this field than the media maven born on the day the first website went live?

 

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If my career is remote, why not have a remote education as well?

In recognizing my new found love of travel, I decided to pursue my degree digitally. So, I traveled, worked, and studied relentlessly for four years.

After earning my Ph.D. in psychology where I continued my research on social media, I landed my dream job as the Sr. Project Manager of Social Media at Scripps Research Digital Trials Center.

I have overcome the stigma of working in social media as a “silly job.” I have learned to find the work/life balance necessary to succeed in working remote. I have found a reliable career that allowed me to stay employed when the pandemic began in 2020.

Most importantly, I wake up every morning happy because I feel so freakin proud of this life I built for myself.

I am here to share my passion and knowledge with rising social scientists who are looking to embark on the path less traveled: the social science side of social media. If you are looking to jump on this train and live the remote life working in social media, I am here to help you do so productively and happily.

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Psi Chi events:

Digital Festivals:

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