Chaminade Students Learning About Professionalism Using Social Media


Guest speaker, Jennifer Adams, at the professionalism workshop.

After a typical weekend for college students, dozens of photographs of fellow classmates drinking and making questionable choices cluster the Facebook news feed.

It may seem appropriate in a college setting, and most students don’t think twice about posting the photo of themselves huddled over a toilet bowl. But in a year or two, those photos may come back to haunt them.

That was the main message from Jennifer Adams, who spoke on Feb. 2 to a dozen Chaminade students in a workshop about professionalism and work ethics.

“Whatever you put on social media is a big piece of who you are and it is important to understand that social media overlap plays a vital role for businesses in discussing grounds of termination,” said Adams, a senior director of Strategic Academic Partnerships at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

This is why the Office of Health Professions Advising and Undergraduate Research provides Chaminade students opportunities in enhancing their educational experience with services, such as a professionalism workshop.

Adams has experience providing leadership and professional development services to student pharmacists and has received national awards in recognition of her leadership skills.

“I think it is important to really understand what does it means to display professionalism, what are the traits of a professional,” Adams said. “The key in being a professional is the knowledge and skill of the profession. You have to be committed to self-improvement because knowledge of things change every day; there are new developments, new discoveries, or new knowledge of a disease and how to treat it. If you are not committed in self-improvement, then you are going to fall behind.”

This workshop does come in handy for students that need professional advice by providing students the basic skills of effective communication, professional appearance, attitude, and mannerisms that impact how others perceive you. All of these skills are important in helping students have an awareness of what it means to be a professional.

“No matter what health profession you go into, you will be considered to be a leader in your community, a leader in your team, and a leader in your profession,” Adams said. “Think of exploring all of the leadership opportunities whenever you can because someday you might have be in a role that requires leadership.”

Most students attended the professional workshop knowing the basics of what it means to be a professional but came in search of finding out what professional programs are looking for in applicants. One of the main concerns at this workshop was on the ethical situations that professionals, such as Adams, have stumbled across in her experiences.

Students attending the workshop were concerned about why their personal lives on social media had to affect their careers. One student disagreed to the terms of social media policy because his argument is that he is of legal age to drink, therefore, posting a photo of him drinking on social media shouldn’t be looked upon as a means of termination.

But Adams continued to reiterate that from her own experience working as a pharmacist, she did not want to give the wrong impression of herself to anyone, whether it be a supervisor at work or a potential customer. Adams thought it was essential for any professional to maintain a level of professionalism, both in and outside of work. 

“It might be best to not post any pictures involving drinking or any other illegal activity on social media,” Adams said.

In this day in age, social media has become a platform for publishing narcissistic photos or statuses about ourselves. Others might argue that they have a right to post anything personal about themselves on their own accounts as they please. While many, will in fact, not realize the consequences of posting a little too much about their personal lives on social media.

Nowadays, social media is a platform that is accessible to anyone, even employers, and what Adams wants everyone to realize as she did is that we need to be extra careful in taking a moment to stop and think before we post anything on social media because it might jeopardize our career. We see it happen to celebrities all the time, and it is a serious matter.