A person’s life can be changed in an instant. This certainly
seemed to be the case for Hodges alumna Gibranna LaCava when she made the
decision to attend Hodges University. A digital marketing expert and owner of
Social Butterfly Marketing in Naples, Florida, it was an ad on the radio that
led her to apply.
“If it were not for Hodges, I may not have been able to
finish college at all. It was an amazing experience. I will always be grateful
for the day I heard the radio ad about classes starting, stopped by on a whim
and enrolled full time within two days,” she said.
Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in management, LaCava was
enrolled in the wheel program, which required her to attend classes once a
week. Claiming the program to be “so simple and professional,” she appreciated
the format, which took away the stress and uncertainty of determining which
classes to take and when.
Also, instructors such as former business management professor
Dr. John Meyer, played a significant role in assisting LaCava through her
educational journey. Combined with real-world experience, his ability to engage
and excite students, as well as his flexibility, led LaCava to consider the
idea of pursuing a master’s degree one day.
“I had my first child right in the middle of my bachelor’s.
I worked 30 hours a week, cared for my daughter and attended Hodges for three
hours on Saturday mornings. I did homework from 9:00 p.m. to midnight after I
put my daughter to bed. For many people, that might sound like a nightmare or
more then they could handle, but for me, it was a godsend,” she said.
Graduating in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in management,
LaCava followed her dreams of becoming a business professional and started
Social Butterfly Marketing in 2010. A full service marketing company, she works
with companies throughout the United States, providing social media management,
website and graphic design, digital ad placement and management, event planning
and more. Working in a fast-paced industry, she works to add new services,
improve her skill sets and create new systems to help with workflow.
“My greatest reward is that I am living my dream by doing
something for a living that I am passionate about and truly love. I make money,
while being creative all day, and I am constantly challenged intellectually, which
is important to me. I also have complete freedom and financial freedom. I am in
control of my own schedule and finances,” she explained.
As a professional consultant, LaCava credits her degree from
Hodges for providing her with the confidence needed to provide for her family.
Balancing school, work and a family, she understands the stress and hard work
that comes with earning an education; however, she admits, “It was far less
stressful than the financial struggles I would suffer the rest of my life if I
didn’t have an education.”
Witnessing the accomplishments of raising a family and
building a business from the ground up, she cannot help but think back to the
radio ad that brought her to where she is today. “If people knew how easy and
doable Hodges makes it, many more people would follow their dreams and pursue
continuing education. If you want more for yourself and your family, make the
sacrifice now to get what you want and deserve in the future.”
When she isn’t helping others market their business, LaCava
can be found outdoors with her husband and children. From biking to running to
kayaking and paddle boarding, she is a fitness guru and even coached her
9-year-old daughter’s Girls on the Run running club.