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CU Personality // Brian Young

Photo: Jeff Hawkins

It’s no secret that millennials are attached to their phones, but not everyone can make a career out of snapchatting. Brian Young, however, has done just that.

Young pitched the idea of creating a CU Denver Snapchat to Social Media Coordinator Matthew Kaskavitch. One month later, he started his internship and created the first Snapchat account for CU Denver.

“I found that it’s my passion and my calling,” Young said. “I get to be creative for a living.”

Besides being a moderator for CU Denver’s Snapchat, Young also creates content for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and replies to comments, addresses concerns, and reposts students’ photos. He bridges the gap between the university and its social media fan base.

When Young first created the account, he had a following of 183 Snapchat users. About a year later, he has garnered more than 2,500  followers.

“A lot of what I do is direct marketing,” Young said. “I’m trying to tell a narrative about our lives. I wanted to be a voice to our incoming students and for our current students.”

Young often reposts students’ stories as well as local events going on around Auraria Campus in order to engage them.

Although Young curates and handles all of CU Denver’s social media platforms, he prefers Snapchat for its ease. He also believes the platform to be innovative and interactive in an entertaining way.

“Snapchat is an incredibly fun platform,” Young said. “It’s here today, gone tomorrow. Snapchat makes social media fun, because we know it’s temporary.”

When he’s not snapping away for CU Denver, you might find Young’s personal stories about his recent trips to the mountains. Young is an avid mountaineer and has climbed 27 of the 58 fourteeners in Colorado, and is hoping to complete the rest this summer.

“My phone and I are inseparable,” Young said. “Between my job and my personal life, the only time I’m away from it is in the wilderness, where there is no cell phone reception.”

Young has snapchatted several large events, including last year’s commencement and the groundbreaking of the recreation center. However, Young has been doubted by skeptics who claim that using social media is not an actual job.

“We get some angry characters,” Young said. “People don’t realize there are people on the other side of the screen. It takes a lot of time and energy. I do a lot of data collecting.”

It’s safe to assume that Young has had a lot of experience on Snapchat and knows how to curate the perfect Snapchat story. So what’s his advice? “Make a short story that’s interesting and upbeat at less than 30 seconds,” Young said. “Always add text for context. Snapchat is about today and tomorrow.”

Millennials use social media to gather almost all their information, from the latest events to breaking stories. CU Denver’s homepage, for example, has social media links because of how active students are on these websites.

“Social media is the future of marketing,” Young said. “That’s how things are bought and sold by our generation. Millennials see the world through a social media lens. I do my best to respect the platform.”

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