Internship: Portfolio

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What classes/assignments prepared you for the work you performed during your internship?

There were a lot of classes that helped me to prepare for what I was asked to do during my internship. My organizational communications class set the foundations for what I do on a regular basis within my internship and public relations and communications. Public Relations writing helped me to understand the different messages and audiences that need to be considered when writing as well as the different forms of messages that can and need to be sent through the various channels. It was a public relations campaigns class that really helped me to understand the long haul of what it takes to work for an organization, which was extremely valuable going in to the internship because it gave me a good look at the way public relations works within various organizations.

 

What challenges did you face?

There were a lot of challenges that came up during my internship one big challenge I faced was managing different groups of people and keeping their needs in check. This was most prevalent with regards to TheRealCOMM competition. Having the department and Habitat for Humanity both looking to come away with something was difficult. It was also challenging to think of a variety of fun games that students and professors could participate in and would donate money to play. The fundraising side of the event was important so being able to come up with games that students would be interested in donating money too was vital. Luckily for me Habitat for Humanity was on board with a lot of the suggestions I was putting forward and they were very satisfied with the fundraising side and how it turned out. It was also a great opportunity for them to raise awareness for their organisation. Another challenge I face was still related to TheRealCOMM but involved the event preparations, such as videos and posters. This was a challenge for me because I had very little experience with Photoshop and also FinalCut Pro, which made it difficult but very worthwhile once it all came together. 

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After Digital Media won TheRealCOMM

How did your responsibilities grow over the course of the internship?

Throughout my time in the internship my responsibilities definitely changed. When I started out in the department my workload was filled with research more than anything but as I began to get deeper in to the role I started to develop my own work and began to put across ideas that I wanted to pursue. This lead to more responsibility on my end to begin generating content for the department. After that stage of generating my own content and blogging regularly I began to receive more responsibility with TheRealCOMM event beginning to take shape. I was entrusted with the department’s Twitter and Instagram accounts as well as being responsible for creating the materials for the event, which included posters, a video trailer, press releases, PSA’s, and the responsibility or providing the games for the day of the event.

 

How has it affected your career search?

The internship hasn’t strongly affected my career search in a sense of wanting to change what I do with my career but what it has done mostly is helped me to gain the necessary hands on skills that I can translate in to the working world. This has been extremely beneficial to me bulking up my resume and putting me in a strong position to apply for jobs within the communication studies field. I feel as if the internship helped me hone my skills but didn’t help me to fully realise what type of public relations I want to go in to, which means my career search has the same outlook as when I began the internship process.

 

Have you gained the skills you hoped you would detailed in the 1st journal entry? Why or why not? 

I definitely think I have gained the skills that I set out to gain. I can now boast about my ability to plan events, albeit nothing on an extremely major scale, I now have the basic understanding and appreciation of what goes in to planning an event. I have also developed my Photoshop skills to the point where I can develop a good piece from nothing but an idea and a vision. I now have the ability to record audio and video as well combine the two and make a short video clip similar to The Human Games trailer.

 

Would you suggest this organization/company to future students seeking internships?

 

I would suggest this internship to a lot of people. It helped me to continually practice the skills I have been developing throughout my college career. It helped me to gain new skills and add more strings to my bow. The internship was also a great opportunity to give something back to Longwood as well and understand how higher education organizations work and the audiences they look to target. These are skills that are very valuable and have helped me put myself in a very strong position going in to graduation.

Samples of work

TheRealCOMM Human Games Poster

TheRealCOMM Press Release

TheRealCOMM Trailer

Internship Spotlight: NatJo

A Look Inside: French Studio

Communication Studies Internship: Journal 6

What 2 communication theories have you witnessed during your internship?

  • Framing
  • Agenda Setting

Explain the theories and explain your observations:
Framing:
My internship has allowed me to come across various situations that bring in communication theories. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed in terms of applying theories during my time as an intern with the department is making sure my message is suitable to the audiences that I am trying to reach. This concept is framing and the framing of messages is something that has been extremely relevant during my time interning. Framing has been a large part of my blogging experiences and also more relevant now as I have started to tweet for the department about The Real COMM competition. For every blog post I have written and posted to the Communication Studies site I have always had to keep in mind that there are various audiences that need to be considered, from prospective students, current students, to alumni. Now, as I begin to tweet The Real COMM event, I know that I have to frame my tweets and my message towards current students that will create a buzz and get them involved in the event.

Agenda Setting:
Agenda Setting as a theory is something that has come in to play a lot during my internship. Not in the sense of being an actual media source myself but still in terms of displaying the message that the organization wants to send out and being in control of what the organization wants its audience to see. Agenda setting has come in to play through my blogging and tweeting for the department as my control of the department’s social media means I control what I want our audience to see. Agenda setting is a valuable theory when considering what you post for an organization and what the organization represents itself.

Communication Studies Internship: Journal 5

I think my Organizational Communication class was extremely beneficial to helping me develop a set of skills that I use on a regular basis, within my current internship and the internship I completed in the UK. Overall, that class helped me to understand the ways that organizations work and what is most effective when you find yourself working for an organization. This class was also very blog intensive, which gave me the opportunity to familiarize myself with blogging platforms. It also helped me develop an understanding for the types of audiences you can reach through blogging and helped me form good habits when trying to blog professionally.

Another class that really helped me prepare for this internship and my other internship was my Public Relations Writing class. This class taught me how to write strong Press Releases, Backgrounders, and how to reach the right audiences. Knowing how to write different types of releases including PSA’s and proposals has added to my skill set. Knowing how to write to inform has helped me with blogging and knowing how to write to persuade has helped me write proposals and PSA’s, both of which have been required in my internship.

The third class that helped me going in to my internship was a Public Relations Campaigns class. This class helped me to understand the importance of knowing your organization and how a company may vary your style of writing. Knowing your organization and what their goals are has allowed me to write good pieces during my internship and appeal to the right audiences. Also, being able to write in different styles is crucial because adaptability is a handy trait to have. Whether it is various releases for one company or writing for different people within an organization, it is important to know the company’s voice and their vision.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES INTERNSHIP: JOURNAL 4

What have you learned since your last journal entry?

  • Since my last post I’ve been working a lot on organising an event. The event planning process is a very long and intricate one, which is forcing me to stay on top of various elements at one time. Having said that, I have learned a lot about organisation and what it takes to effectively put on an event. The Real COMM event has helped me learn how to generate content and use my ideas in relation to a specific audience. In the upcoming weeks I will be getting hands on with Photoshop and more experience with InDesign as I begin to prepare posters and other relevant promotional tools. The event planning process has also taught me a lot about the various components and people that are necessary to put on a simple event.

What challenges have you faced?

  • A lot of things I’ve come across this semester have been challenging in terms of new experiences and adding new skills to my repertoire. While most of what I have done so far involve organisation and content generation, which I am good at, they have been in a context that is unusual to me. Coming up with good ideas for an event that has to cater to a different audience has been challenging in comparison to composing blog posts for a general audience. One of the biggest challenges I will face, is going to be Photoshop and InDesign because I haven’t used the software for a while. It is going to be difficult to get back in to the rhythm and use them effectively.

How are these experiences helping you seek a future career?

  • As most experiences during my internship, these experiences will help me because they all add a new set of skills. I have majorly improved my writing and being able to add the Real COMM event along with Photoshop proficiency

Communication Studies Internship: Journal 3

  • What have you learned since your last journal entry?
    • Since my last journal entry I’ve learned a lot about the event planning process. There are a lot of difficulties that come with generating creative ideas as well as the need to satisfy both parties involved. Being the middleman for both the organisation and the client is a tough role to play, especially when you begin to factor in the people that you want to attend the event and putting on activities that will draw them to the event and also donate.
  • What challenges have you faced?
    • The biggest challenge I’ve faced is the ability to juggle different groups of people and keeping them in line. In regards to the Real COMM event, it was also challenging to come up with fun activities that students and professors could participate in. The fundraising side of the event is important so being able to come up with games that students would be interested in donating money too was difficult. Fortunately, Habitat for Humanity was on board with a lot of the ideas and they were very satisfied with the fundraising side and also the opportunity to raise awareness for their organisation.
  • How are these experiences helping you seek a future career?
    • Being able to add skills to my resume is always beneficial and event planning is something I have never done before. Having this as a skill is definitely going be great for me as I look for a future career. Even if I am not the best event planner in the world, being able to step in and help is a valuable asset. Despite the fact that I don’t want to go in to event planning, the fact that I do have some experience in it, will look good for me as a well rounded individual in the Communication Studies field.

Communication Studies Internship: Journal 2

  • What have you learned since the start of your internship?
    • I have learned a lot since the start of my internship, most of my biggest learning experiences have come in refining my writing. Writing numerous blog posts and having my writing critiqued by Dr. Hosterman has helped me to focus in on the important aspects of a piece and cut the fluff side of my writing out. I have also developed a lot of interpersonal skills and grown in the way that I converse and attain information from others. This has come through a lot of interacting with a variety of different people and interviewing people for my posts.
  • What challenges have you faced?
    • I don’t think I have come across anything in the internship that has been overly challenging or something that I wasn’t going to be expecting. While the time keeping and organizational aspect of integrating the internship hours in to my schedule has been a factor, nothing has majorly challenged me, which may be a testament to how well prepared I was going in to this opportunity. One thing I did struggle with last semester was getting a solid amount of internship hours done, which I think will be less of an issue this semester mainly due to my commitments towards the RealCOMM event in April.
  • How are these experiences helping you seek a future career?
    • The experiences I am going through in this internship are really helping me grow as a person and giving me a lot of extra training to hone my skills and improve in areas I may be weak in, such as interviewing and content creation. The extra work and constant blogging and activity is an opportunity I get to practice my craft and find my own voice/style. The experiences have really helped me realise what I want to do with my career, which I hope will stay in the Public Relations field. Whether it is web content, copywriting, or working with clients, I feel prepared to do so after my experiences in this internship.

 

What’s on the Agenda?

Turn on your television, scroll through your Twitter timeline, or even go to your Facebook feed and you will see an array of news stories. These stories are filling up the screens of your tablets, phones, and computers. The medias influence is unparalleled in today’s society and its messages are put out across the world for the consumer.

Therefore, the information in the forefront of people’s minds is largely down to what the media decides to put out. A big story that is currently being publicized heavily by the media is Indiana’s religious freedom law. This story is stirring up a lot of discussion based on what the law could lead to in terms of discrimination towards the LGBT community who have become a much larger force over the last few years.

With equality being such a hot topic at the moment the media jumped on this and set the agenda to air this issue heavily. Agenda setting is the technique that the media uses to focus the publics attention on a topic or event. Julia T Wood explains in her text Gendered Lives that the media uses agenda setting not to tell us what to think, but rather what to think about.

Indiana’s religious freedom law provides some great examples of the agenda setting technique being put in place by the media, in this case through news outlets. One way in which this has been executed can be found in an interview (below) with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

https://youtu.be/hjjyuo921RA

The interview is quite extensive and I am not picking sides on the topic but at the 4.12 mark, Pence condemns the medias role in reframing the intentions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). For example, Pence details that the media has made the law seem to focus on one particular aspect, the potential LGBT discrimination, rather than the law as a whole, which also includes the right to express religion freely (hence its name). The media has done this in order to bring equal rights discrimination to the forefront of the publics minds.

Gov. Pence is facing the full force of the media on this issue and these media sources have ‘set the agenda’ for the public to think about the spread of discrimination in the United States and are using Indiana’s stance on the RFRA as a means to do so.

Despite the fact that Indiana and their support of the RFRA has caused enormous controversy over the last week or so it is important to understand the underlying topic here, of gender and gender equality. How gender and sexual orientation are being portrayed and supported in the media is a sign of the changing times that we must all be a part of or at least be educated on in order to create equal rights for every member of society.

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Why ‘boys will be boys’?

Walk in to any toy section at your local Walmart and you’ll find three or four aisles packed tightly with a sea of pink, attributed with shiny glittering tassles and fairy wands. Walk down further and you’ll see the aisles of neutral colored boys toys, with guns, swords, and bows.

You can look and see this distinct separation and it has become the breeding ground of gender identity and gender roles. Toy expert Richard Gottlieb discusses exactly just how far Walmart’s toy catalogue takes it subliminal gender role influence in this 2011 article.  However, the type of toys that boys and girls use is only a small part in what molds a child’s gender identity.

In Julia T Wood’s text Gendered LivesWood defines gender identity as “a person’s private sense of, and subjective experience of, his or her own gender” so when you look at childhood and how gender is influenced it is important to consider how social learning and cognitive development come in to play. The development of gender identities can be influenced through the response of others through social learning and the role models that are present in their life, which is cognitive development.

If you look at how boys are brought up around other people it is rare to see them be held regularly by others, instead they can be found to be left alone more to figure out the world for themselves. Where as girls are encouraged to share their feelings and are given closer attention for the most part. I came across this light-hearted Buzzfeed video that emphasizes the gender roles that are put on to children if they were still heavily imposed as adults:

In the video the obvious gender roles are covered but one really captures my attention. When a woman asks her colleagues to clean up compared to a males request for the same action. Because males are left alone more during childhood they are seen to be tough, independent and have a set of leadership qualities unlike girls who are seen to be dainty, innocent, and interdependent on other people.

Gender identity is something that is constantly shifting, it is happening more today than ever before. Understanding what molds these identities and understanding gender identity itself are both important. Having a strong knowledge of gender means that it less likely society will cage males and females in to gender, but to allow for each sex to harness the best qualities from each type of identity. Let’s face it, every girl likes a guy that can cook and knows how to keep himself clean and guys like a girl that doesn’t need to be carried through life and can handle herself.

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The Second Coming

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Longwood Part 2

Hey there guys!

My name is Daena Bodie, I am currently a Junior (quite possibly a Senior, it’s a little complicated!) Public Relations and Organizational Communication major.

I’m Bahamas born but moved to England in my early teens. I am a soccer player here on the Longwood Men’s Soccer team and have played the sport my whole life. My main professional interest is definitely soccer and I took a semester out last Fall to pursue some avenues within that.

However the lure of finishing up my degree at Longwood within the strong communications program we have here was too much to keep me away.

Whilst I have written previous introductory blogs that outline my own experiences and expertise within the communications field I feel as if nothing has help me put in to practice the skills I have learnt within communications as much as my last job working at The Rockmount Bar & Restaurant over the last few months.

I was a bartender there and nothing has translated more from the whiteboards to face-to-face interaction than my time within that job. Not only did my experiences extend from handling basic customer interaction but also to dealing with managing crisis situations on a bigger scale.

Having worked in a bar I have experienced a lot of situations regarding gender and how gender norms aren’t really set in stone, which has led to a few awkward moments.

One particular scenario takes place very frequently that defies our stereotypical idea of gender norms. This situation occurs where a couple walks in and both sit at the bar and the male orders the drinks for the two of them. One is a draught beer and the other is a vodka and coke. Being presumptuous and trying to serve as quickly as possible, I will just assume that the beer is for the male and the vodka is for the female.

However often times this is not the case, but having grown up where it is usually men that drink beer and women that drink wine or liquor, I would never give it a second thought that it may be the reverse.

Throughout this semester I hope to understand the bigger picture on how gender norms and roles affect people that lie outside of the stereotypical gender ideals.

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3 WAYS SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT IS IN YOUR BUSINESS

You’re a college student working at your fast food job trying to make some money to keep your parents off your back, every day it’s the same thing and every burger is built the same way. Bun, burger, pickle, onions, lettuce, ketchup, and bun. Your first day at work and your boss has specifically told you “this is the way to make these burgers, this is the best and the fastest way to do it and that’s how you’re going to do it.” Yeah, it’s a really specific script.

Frederick Taylor, the creator of Scientific Management

Since the turn of the 20th century businesses have been structured around efficiency and it is all down to the vision of one man Frederick Winslow Taylor who was the catalyst behind a management tactic that is known as Scientific Management. This tactic of management has continued to live on in businesses to this day and while it is not as glorified as it once was, scientific management still looms in the background of each company.

Let’s look closer at Scientific Management and why it’s still a cornerstone in pretty much every business out there:

  • Each job has its own specific guidelines for the most effective output
  • Your job description is best suited for you as an employee
  • You are rewarded and recgonized for what you do

 Effective output

As I mentioned in the example within the introduction to this post, some jobs have a set list of actions necessary to complete a task in the most effective way. Businesses like McDonalds have a set routine to make their burgers, some companies have a specific chain of actions necessary to pitch their ideas. It all comes down to the principles included scientific management.

Frederick Taylor realised that in order to get the most out of employees there should be a structure in place that has been thought out and proven to be the fastest and most efficient course of action for that particular task. Sounding familiar? It should, every business still aims for efficiency from it’s workers in order to make sure they are getting the most out of them for the customers they cater too.

Fitting the role

Next on the list is how Taylor’s principle of having the right man (or woman, of course) for the job is still important in each business. There is a lot of emphasis in the modern business world placed on having the right employees filling the right roles and this article from Forbes titled Successful Companies put the Right People in the Right Jobs highlights the importance of having the right people and what that can do for a company.

Once you have the right people in the role Taylor’s principle also includes that these employees continue to be trained in that role to further develop their understanding and maintain a steady output of quality work. A lot of companies still put their employees through training programmes that can not only improve their work but also refresh them on techniques and strategies that are relevant to their job.

Rewards and Recognition

Employee of the Month, Christmas Bonus, Promotion. These are all examples of Taylor’s principle that includes management being supportive and recognising achievement of their employees. Now while this article titled 5 tips for Effective Employee Recognition highlights employee of the month as an ineffective form of recognition the rest of the article still reinforces Taylor’s ideas towards the importance of awarding employees that deserve it.

Taylor understood that in order to get good work from employees, it was important to provide incentives that they could strive for. This strategy is the epitome of what Taylor’s Scientific Management tactic is all about, mutually beneficial behaviour for both employer and employees. The employers will get better work for employees and employees will get rewards for doing good work.

Mind your Business

To conclude, Scientific Management is still alive and kicking in the business world, although it isn’t the overbearing power that it once was it still lurks in the deep realms of each business. These management tactics have been modified and revamped but Taylor’s inital management ideas are still the basis of each organization from fast food restaurants to PR firms around the world.

Remember that when you go in to your job that there’s always going to be the best way to do something a set of specific guidelines for your tasks, you were hired in you your role for a reason so go with it and improve in each aspect of that job and who knows, you could get that reward of the promotion you were seeking or that bonus you wanted.

Daena Bodie.

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