Concordia Graduate an Instagram Sensation
Shayda Torabi, a 28-year-old born and raised Austinite, is quite the hit on the web. A 2012 Concordia University Texas Communication graduate, Torabi remains proud of her alma mater and has been back as a campus guest speaker several times. She even had her own campus radio show during two of her undergraduate years.
"My mom actually graduated from Concordia herself," Torabi said. "I knew that I wanted to go to a school in town that gave me the right curriculum and exposure that I was looking for. Concordia was the place."
She was active in her major and was able to secure an internship related to one of her biggest passions.
"Because of the small class sizes at CTX, all my teachers knew I was into live music and blogging."
Thanks to CTX faculty, Torabi was able to secure an internship with the Office of the Texas Governor in their Texas Music Office. During that year's SXSW festival, she discovered WP Engine, an Austin-based WordPress hosting company that was in early stages at the time. Torabi was hired as their events manager, and spent the first six years of her professional career there.
"I went from events manager, to product marketing manager to partner marketing manager," Torabi said. "And it was through those roles and experiences with WP Engine, a managed WordPress platform, that I launched @withshayda. I've been blogging under that name for four years."
After spending one year at WP Engine, Torabi decided to go back to school for her master's degree.
"Naturally, Concordia was a great fit because it allowed me to maintain working full time and get my MBA over the course of two years," she said. "I was always a creative person, but wanted to learn more about the business side of things."
In 2017, she left WP Engine to become a marketing director for a top WordPress agency called WebDevStudios. Torabi spent about nine months there before using the skills she learned at Concordia to launch her own business with her sister, Sydney Torabi.
"I founded a CBD business because three years ago, I was in a car accident and broke my pelvis," she explained. "I used CBD oil to help heal myself. We care about the ingredients we put in our bodies whether it's food or medicine and saw an opportunity to create a THC-free CBD oil and help create education in an industry that is honestly really lacking awareness. Concordia prepared me for this and to be an entrepreneur."
"My blog has evolved over the years," Torabi said. "When I first launched, I was 'Dine With Shayda,' but after the accident I began to focus on my health and wellness. I began working out more, eating better and I lost over 30 pounds. I ended up dropping the 'Dine' in my name about a year ago and became @withshayda, which allows me to create content that speaks to what truly motivates me."
Her goal is to use her platforms to motivate others to live their best life.
"I really believe Concordia set me up for the successes I've had in my life," she said.
Read more about Torabi's professional timeline here.