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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.

 

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:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/381belOZreA[/youtube]

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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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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3 ways to settle in at your new job

Have you ever gone in to a new job and felt lost or uncomfortable? Felt out of the loop with all of your co-workers? There is always a period of time when starting a new job, that we have feelings of being uncomfortable or alienated and it happens to us all.

Having to assimilate and familiarise within a new work place is a necessary evil for every new employee but there are ways to help an employee achieve a sense of assimilation. Karen Myers and John Oetzel did a study in 2003 that proposed a model, that discusses the processes involved in socialisation.

To elaborate, Katherine Miller went on to clearly outline these processes in her book Organizational Communication: Approaches and Processes and I have chosen to discuss what I view as the most effective three that are involved when learning to assimilate in a new workplace, these include:

  • Developing familiarity with others
  • Acculturating – Learning the culture of the organisation
  • Becoming involved in the organisation

Developing familiarity with others

Russell Korte developed a study of how relationship building is a primary component of socialization processes in organisations. Korte discusses how studies on socialisation highlight “a need for newcomers to learn to interact successfully with others in the organisation”. As most of us probably know, in the working

Creating familiarity in the office is a great tool for assimilation in a new workplace

world it is more likely than not that you are going to be surrounded by other employees that you have to interact with on a daily basis, which makes social interaction crucial as we begin to familiarise with our co-workers.

If you’re a new employee and don’t develop a strong familiarity with your co-workers it can harm any chances to gain experience or reduce any help you get from your colleagues. For example, if you don’t know how to use a specific set of software or the photocopier and you need to ask for help from a co-worker that you’ve never introduced yourself to or even acknowledged, then are they going to be a lot less likely to help you figure it out compared to a situation where you had familiarised yourself and gotten to know them.

Acculturating – learning the culture of the organisation

Each organisation has a different ‘culture’ a different way of dressing, a different manner of interacting, or even a different ethic towards work completion. For example, one office may be very laid-back in terms of dress but their interactions around the office may be kept to a minimum. Now compare that to an office with a strict dress policy, think full suit everyday, but office interactions may be encouraged to allow workers to bounce ideas back and forth or even to sit and create ideas and strategies.

The culture of a work place is a big influence on an employee and it is important to learn the culture of an organisation quickly. Learning the culture of a company relates to being able to develop a familiarity with others because being seen as someone who knows the culture and fits in will change the perceptions of others looking upon the new employee as just that, the new guy (or girl). The extreme differences in office cultures means that employees have to adapt to a lot of different things and quickly. The need to adapt to cultures relies heavily on adaptability and this is key in learning the culture of an organisation. This article from America’s Job Exchange discusses the importance of flexibility in the workplace and it’s benefits.

 Become involved in the organisation

Being involved in an organisation can show co-workers and upper-management that there is a willingness to engage in the company and a desire to excel and improve. Showing involvement is not only important as a new employee that’s trying to assimilate but it continues throughout working life to develop better performance from employees. Involvement in a company helps in the assimilation process through socialisation because it means the employee is willing to go out of their way to make themselves comfortable in the organisation and learn more about the company.

For example, if you are an employee that does not look to be involved in the company or be engaged, it can send a negative message about the employee to the rest of the company and having co-workers thinking negatively about you can be detrimental and links back to familiarising with others and in turn relates to acculturating.

Let’s sum it all up

Assimilation in to a new organization takes place through a variety of different socialization processes. There are many ways for a new employee to make the most out of their time in a new job and the three ways listed above are all a part of the bigger picture, which is the socialization process.

After what I have researched and discussed in this blog I know and hopefully you can take away a little insight in to the ways that can help you settle in to your new workplace. It is all about familiarising yourself to your surroundings to make yourself comfortable in them, adapting and understanding the culture of the organisation in order to do the right things and finally, once you’re comfortable, going and being involved in your organisation and showing an interest for your place of work.

Daena Bodie.

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Social Media and the Self.

As people, we need to grow. We develop and we feel the need to achieve a sense of self-actualization. This normally comes through interactions with others. We gain a sense of who we are through how we naturally act/react or how we choose to act/react within interactions with other people BUT social media is beginning to change how people achieve self actualization, if they even do.

Self actualization is being tampered with and a lot of it is happening through social media. The idea of self actualization is for us to reach the best us. Social media allows us to be seen at our best, or at least we think it is. We tend to change our personality or our appearance for an audience. This is what social media encourages. After all, if you’re putting yourself out to the world you want to be seen as a normal person that fits in with the norms. But social media can also have a big part to play in how we treat people as discussed in this article from the NY Daily News.

Is social media changing how we treat people? In the linked article from the NY Daily news it is discussed that treatment of people over social media is starting to ruin relationships in real life. This is another example of how through trying to achieve self actualization people begin to treat others incorrectly over social media. Trying to be cool and more important then others through social media is having affects on face to face relations, so the question is..

Is that really who WE are? Is that really our own identity, do we really reach self actualization in an honest manner, or are we playing up to what the people around us would consider the best version of us via social media, then shying away in person or not reflecting an online persona?

Where do you fit in?
(click to link to original image)

In the book Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters author Julia Wood defines a persons self actualization as our human need to fully develop our unique talents, capacities, and potentialities. With social media and video gaming starting to become such a big part of our lives it is becoming more and more difficult to really achieve some of these talents.

A great example of how it is becoming harder to fully achieve some of these talents is the situation of public communication. One article discusses in depth how college students are being affected by the ability to use social media as a means of communication, which is making the students less willing to participate in class when they are infront of other people. Then, as shameful as it is to admit, there is the text talk and abbreviations that begin to creep in to the students school work.

Overall, it is becoming more and more apparent that social media is beginning to affect the real life social aspect of our lives. From the children who are playing online video games, to the teenagers who are still trying to find out who they really are, all the way to college students who are becoming so sheltered and inadequately prepared for face-to-face communication that they are starting to negatively affect their own learning.

The debate is huge, is social media really causing a problem amongst all generations of our society or is it simply still helping us to broaden our horizons and interests. Do we accept how it is shaping our lives or do we change our attitudes towards it to truly reach the self actualization that Maslow highlights in his Hierarchy of Needs.

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