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.
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