Turn a hobby into a career? Yes, really! Guest Post: Juleka Hundley, current student from UMD at USG

Juleka “Jules” Hundley, Communication student at University of Maryland, College Park at USG
(Pit lanes at Lime Rock Park, CT after JDC Motorsports Unitronic TCR car win)

Have you ever truly enjoyed an activity and thought about turning it into a side hustle or even your full-time career? I had this same thought during my senior year of high school. I had so many interests and passions that I wanted to pursue but was fearful that I couldn’t fulfill them all. . . that is, until I found my program at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG)! 

The University of Maryland’s Communication program at USG offers a focus in digital media, which allows me to dabble in all of the creative areas I love: writing, event planning, photography, production, and graphic design. Since being surrounded by like-minded communicators and creatives, I have learned how to put my love of my hobbies and my studies into a career. Here I found my love for all things marketing and creative management. This blog post is a simple guide using four steps I’ve learned to transform your passions into a career:

Step One: Find something you’re truly passionate about.

You won’t enjoy the hustle of profiting off of a hobby if you aren’t doing what you love.

For me, this looked like combining my love for digital media and cars with content creation. Growing up, I was always at car shows or the track. I often loved pretending I was one of the professional photographers around the track and in the pits with the teams. Remembering times like this made me really think — why not combine my hobby of cars with what I’m studying in school? That’s how I found my niche!

Step Two: Find your niche.

It’s true! Finding a niche is an important step to making your profit a unique experience. Not only does having a niche allow you to have unique experiences, but it often creates loyal consumer relationships. A niche can be anything from eco-friendly content to tourism and travel. Whatever floats your boat! 

No matter what your ball game is, there is always someone that will be looking for what you’re producing. 

Step Three: Research

Explore the market of what you’re passionate about and what your goals are to see if it’s already being done. If it is, you can join a team to learn the ropes and join in on the fun. 

In 2021, I stumbled upon Out Motorsports, an LGBTQ+ car enthusiast and motorsports competitors company connecting people within the community all over the nation. Out holds car events, posts reviews, and even has a membership program. On a whim, my partner and I reached out to get involved and connect with others by creating content for their social media accounts. After they accepted our offer to do an Instagram takeover, we traveled to Lime Rock Park in Connecticut to brainstorm and create content. Shortly after this project, I learned from Out about how they connect with their audience and how it all started for them. Then, I applied those skills to my current marketing intern roles where I get to create, write and post social media content, including fun animations!

Turn 7 bridge at Lime Rock Park, CT.

Step 4: Put the process into motion!

And just like that, you’re ready to put your skills into motion to turn your passions into a profitable market! It may be a slow and difficult process at first, but it will eventually be worth it. Continuing to network while building your passions is the best way to have a steady source of income and mentors in times of need. 

Good luck, and don’t forget to never stop driving! : )

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