Deanna Carwile’s Internship Portfolio

My colleague, Monica, and I at the Manhattan Penthouse.

  • What challenges did you face?

In my internship with the Matchmaking Institute, one of the most significant challenges was working remotely. I needed to manage my time in a way that left me three hours of the day to work independently from home. I was often tempted to do other work, but I remained accountable to the schedule we agreed upon. In the past, the organization I worked with did not have interns working effectively for them. There was a lack of instruction that required me to figure out how to accomplish the tasks assigned to me, but this forced me to work with my fellow intern, Monica, and improved my independent work ethic.

  • How has it affected your career search?

I learned a lot about an industry I knew very little about. I know how experience with event planning in a for profit environment, but I don’t think I want to be an event planner or coordinator in my career. I learned about interesting positions in the matchmaking industry, like recruiters, who are employed by matchmakers to go seek out single men or women to add to a matchmaker’s database of potential clients or matches for clients. Recruiters must be very charismatic, confident, and comfortable with striking up conversations with strangers. They must also be persuasive and subtle, so as not to annoy a potential recruit. The idea of working for someone by going out to socialize is very intriguing, but I see little future for me in this career.

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

I absolutely gained skills in persuasion when I was required to reach out to potential sponsors and guests. I was required to call matchmakers who were not certified by the Institute and explain why attending our conference would be a good idea. In one call, I spoke with a matchmaker who had a poor experience with our organization. I was unexpectedly forced to justify our organization to a professional in the industry. I was caught off guard but it improved my conflict resolution skills. I did gain more experience in how to manage time effectively, which was another goal.

I took this photo at the conference. Harvey Goldberg was my favorite speaker at the conference. He discussed how to handle triggers in daily life.

I took this photo at the conference. Harvey Goldberg was my favorite speaker at the conference. He discussed how to handle triggers in daily life.


  • Did you achieve the goals you set during your performance evaluation? How so?

My goal of improving work ethic was reached. By the end of my internship I had a schedule that I stuck to and I was able to stay on track each day. In addition, I did gain more confidence speaking to professionals in the industry. This included potential sponsors but not members of the press, as I anticipated. I did learn more about how to plan a successful event, but I believe this is a skill that is gained more effectively through the actual experience than through instruction. In other words, I would gain more skills and knowledge from planning more events than I did from just a single conference and the instruction and mentoring that accompanied it. Trial and error paired with feedback from event attendees, and then implementation in the future, would create a more appropriate incubator for learning.

  • How do you feel you were mentored

I was mentored well and my supervisor was always accessible to answer questions. This was important to me as I was working from home. She made sure to check on my progress and was flexible with my schedule. She identified my strengths and gave me tasks that were related to them, making me feel appreciated and noticed by my superiors. When I attended the actual conference, I was very pleased to meet my supervisor, CEO, and founder of the Institute when I attended the actual conference, and they made it a very valuable learning experience for me. They taught me how to travel and work out of state by myself, as well as work with international love industry professionals.

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

I thoroughly enjoyed my internship with the Matchmaking Institute and I would recommend it to someone with event planning experience and patience. There is a significant amount of independent work, so any student who required more guidance and advice is less likely to succeed and enjoy the internship.

I loved working from home.

I loved working from home.

Work Samples:

Conference Website Audit: Deanna Carwile

The first assignment I received in my internship was to perform an audit of the conference website. My supervisor asked me to go through the site and check all the links for functionality, as well as check for spelling and grammar in the copy. The format was flexible, and my supervisor responded through comments on the document.

Conference Itinerary Draft

I was also tasked with creating an itinerary for the conference that could be sent to attendees. It needed to include the schedule of the day for attendees, as well as the locations of the events and the expected attire. This will be added to the manual for future conference planning.

Goodie Bag Items, Potential Sponsors

Much of my work involved brainstorming and receiving feedback about my ideas. This was one of the early lists that encompasses all my brainstorming about potential sponsors and items to include in the goodie bag. I included links and quotes about how much they would cost and where to order them. This was later edited and added to the Manual for future interns and conference planning.

Master Executive Matchmaker Certification

This is a link to an evaluation survey I created for part of the conference. The conference offered an executive training class for attendees of the conference who bought a silver or platinum pass. My supervisor recognized my affinity for research and gave me this job. I used the knowledge I gained in Public Relations research to craft a survey that satisfied this request.

2017 MMI Annual Matchmakers Dating Coaches Conference Manual

This is the final piece of work that is the culmination of my internship. The format was provided but I created the template emails, my fellow intern and I collaborated on other sections like the lists.

Posts for Social

This spreadsheet encompasses all the drafts of the social media posts that my fellow intern and I created over the course of the semester. We uploaded the drafts to HootSuite for approval from the administrators and supervisor. Some samples are included below. These posts were created to be shared across social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Swan+quote Singles Events-If you're giving love and not receiving it, you're not in the right relationship. If you're receiving it and not giving it than you are taking advantage of the other person.-Expert Matchmakers Toss Their Two Cents

registration reminder Facebook post











Internship Journal 3

In two weeks I have learned many new skills related to graphic design. I was instructed to create social media content for the various platforms for MMI. I created images for the articles we shared, in addition to writing drafts of the copy to accompany the image. In addition, I researched uncertified matchmakers and practiced my data entry skills with GoogleSheets. I became familiarized with HootSuite and I learned how to upload and create content on that platform. The social media content I created was critiqued, so I learned how to apply constructive criticism to my work to make a better version.

The most difficult challenge I’ve faced has dealt with making cold calls. The Matchmaking Institute wanted me to reach out to uncertified matchmakers to give them more information about the upcoming conference and attempt to persuade them to sign up. I was very nervous to do this the first time, and the signal was not very good. The client grew frustrated because she couldn’t hear me and I fumbled over myself trying to troubleshoot. The next client I called was snippy and asked questions I wasn’t prepared for, so I tripped over that, too. While those were the only clients I actually spoke with, I am actively learning how to stay professional on the telephone in numerous circumstances.

These experiences are helping me to think on my feet in front of a client or potential client. I am learning how to save face when I am unable to control the circumstances around me. Additionally, I am learning about the different platforms available for professionals: Canva is a graphic design site and HootSuite is for social media. I learned how to use RingCentral, an application that lets me make phone calls from a number alternate to my own personal line. These are all applications that I may encounter in my future career, so practicing with them now is very helpful.

Fake News: Blog 3

This election cycle has proved interesting for any number of reasons. The candidates created enough authentic, newsworthy content throughout their campaigns, but why report facts when even fictitious stories prove believable? The epidemic of fake news being spread as real has spread across Facebook and other social media. I think the fake news spreads so easily because this election was so divisive. Both candidates brought unique policies and character traits to the table, but with controversy surrounding both, the need to prove one candidate’s competency was great. Additionally, in an effort to prove to friends, family, acquaintances, which candidate would be a good (or poor) choice, fake news stories that appear credible can be used to persuade audiences who fail to check the credibility of a source.

Not all of these fake news sites are totally false in what they report. Sometimes they rely on click-bait headlines, which manipulate the facts into an enticing title to draw in readers. When a title is captivating, readers want to find out more, but the content of the article doesn’t always reflect the message of the title. The combination of fact and fiction in this way is especially deceptive, because social media users might recognize the illegitimacy of a story with a click bait title, but decide to share it anyway because of the minimal facts in the article’s content. This creates a “fudge factor”: if a click bait story is posted by a user who is okay with misleading the audience because of the minimal facts in the story, the fudge factor is dependent on how engaged the audience is with the source. In other words, a user who posts the content might not feel guilty about deceiving the audience, because they might rationalize it by saying that the facts are present, it’s just up to the reader to do the work of identifying truth from fiction.

The Varnished Truth: Chapter 4 Questions

Nyberg describes some deception as “letting it happen.” Is it equally wrong to not identify the truth when we can keep someone from being deceived?

How much of an obligation does a person have to ensure the truth is known when that person is not responsible for the deception of the victim?

Deception and Politics

When attempting to explain just why politicians give constituents a version of the truth can be best summed up by the following quote from the article Lie or lose? Deception has become a political survival technique:

“Hubris and narcissism mean the consequences of a politician getting caught are outweighed – they think – by the benefits of telling voters what they want to hear. They know we seek support for our preconceived notions, and avoid information that challenges established views.”

If politicians assume the public is adverse to information that challenges their notions, the truth might be dangerous for that campaign. This assumption that a bitter truth is dangerous to a campaign inevitably leads to the justification of a modified version of the truth. For example, Donald Trump was asked his opinion on Vladimir Putin in recent weeks. If Donald Trump admitted that he believes Putin to be a powerful leader with strong governing techniques that he greatly admired, he likely would lose the support of some constituents since the general consensus of our country is that Putin is an ethically questionable leader. Instead, his modified version of the truth was that he “did not know the gentleman” and therefore had no opinion to speak of.  If a campaign will be negatively affected by the truth, a politician must decide whether to lie by omission (like Trump, not admitting his true opinion of Putin’s politics), or somehow develop a version of a truth that is more palatable to the public (Trump has never met Putin; he has no experience from which to judge).

In my opinion, if a politician has good character and policies, deception is unnecessary in a campaign. The public should find the strong leader with progressive ideas more appealing than the politician who manipulates the truth. Modern technology makes lie detection easier; fact-checking is nearly instantaneous. In addition, the media is a valuable tool for lie detection. In the words of James Cusick, “The primary role of the Fourth Estate, the media, is to act as a lie detector, and that – more than courts – acts as a deterrent to politicians.” Good journalists should be concerned with keeping politicians accountable for their statements; the public may not always be willing to seek the truth for themselves.

“Not All Men” But “Even Harvard Men”

It’s not unreasonable for a male to feel uncomfortable during discourse about sexual assault and prevention. In many conversations about gendered violence, the average male is painted as a savage animal with sexually aggressive motivations. It makes sense that males might want to object to this sentiment and say “Hey, that’s not me! I fully respect the bodily autonomy of another human and would never force myself on anyone!” The underlying generalization about the male sex is pretty clear when society makes assertions like “he can’t help himself,” “boys will be boys” and “she shouldn’t have done “x”; she was asking for it.”

However, even the most prestigious students are guilty of subscribing to this flawed logic. And that’s a pretty big bummer to me.

I read an article by Total Sorority Move contributor WineFirst_AskLater last week, and the title was pretty rash:

“Harvard Men Say They Don’t Want Women In Their Clubs, Because They Might Rape Them.”

Harvard University and Crest

Harvard University and Crest

While the title was admittedly a little hyperbolic and out of context, the same underlying concept that sexual aggression in males is uncontrollable and dangerous was present. The article offers a brief history of “men-only” clubs at the ivy league school, citing tradition as the chief reason to resist the school’s push for clubs to be co-ed. The club in question is the prestigious, secretive Porcellian Club, with traditions of male-only membership dating back to its conception in 1791. The following excerpt summarizes the short article more clearly:

I don’t see anything wrong with wanting to keep the club men only when it’s been that way for over 200 years. It’s called a tradition for a reason and women have their own clubs to worry about, i.e. sororities. What I do find fault with, is their reasoning.

In an interview with the Harvard Crimson, a former member wrote, “Given our policies, we are mystified as to why the current administration feels that forcing our club to accept female members would reduce the incidence of sexual assault on campus… Forcing single gender organizations to accept members of the opposite sex could potentially increase, not decrease the potential for sexual misconduct.”

Translation? They’re not able to keep it in their pants.

In Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, and Culture, communications scholar Julia T. Wood notes several “rape myths,” one of which is particularly relevant here: “Men can’t control themselves when they get aroused” (2008, page 256). This assumption that males are unable to restrain their sexuality is one of the most common arguments made by “victim-blamers,” that is, those who believe it is appropriate to hold a victim responsible for the harm that another person has inflicted upon them. When society tells women not to dress in a certain way because it might provoke unsavory reactions from their male counterparts, society is also sending a subliminal message that males are incapable of self-control. For those who have never engaged in any kind of antagonizing behavior towards the opposite gender, this is pretty insulting.

What do we make of such a prestigious intellectual who claims that Harvard men are more likely to engage in sexual misconduct with the inclusion of women in their clubs? Why would any educated, self-respecting, ethical person offer such an insulting excuse for the theoretical violence that would occur as a result of the admittance of women?

Personally, I believe the former member who made that claim did a real disservice to the credibility of his beloved organization. The implications of his statement are more dangerous than a female’s membership to an intellectual organization. Does he truly believe his fellow members are likely to react to this change with sexual violence, or is this an empty excuse based on unfair assumptions or misunderstandings about male sexuality? I truly hope it’s the latter.

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Another Perspective On A Modernized Classic

Is it just me, or was I the only one who noticed that all my Barbie dolls were essentially clones? That is, nearly all of them were the same blonde girl with the same facial features on each doll. I had one treasured “Theresa” model, a doll friend of Barbie with brunette hair instead of blonde! She was special to me because she was different from the rest, and as a result, Theresa received the most playtime in the Dreamhouse. I craved diversity in my toy box that wouldn’t be available until now, in 2016.

By now, I think it’s pretty safe to say most readers have heard about the changes Mattel is making to diversify their classic Barbie doll toys.

In case anyone forgot, Mattel is offering dolls with three different body shapes in addition to the original: petite, tall, and curvy. In addition, they offer a range of skin tones and hair textures.

Examples of Mattel's new Barbie dolls, for sale online now.

Examples of Mattel’s new Barbie dolls, for sale online now.


“Petite”, “curvy”, “tall”, and the original.


For her Time Magazine cover story, Elaina Dockterman researched the reception of the new dolls by the target audience.  In a focus group, young girls just out of kindergarten played with the new Barbies unattended, and then with an adult in the room. The girls definitely noticed the different body shapes. But not because they appreciated a new doll that reflected the diversity of modern beauty standards, as more mature consumers do.

The comments made about the “curvy” Barbie when the girls were left unattended and observed from a two-way mirror speak for themselves:

“In one session, for the pleasure of her peers, a 6-year-old speaks as if she’s the curvy doll. Here’s what she says: “Hello, I’m a fat person, fat, fat, fat. Later, when an adult arrives, she calls the doll “a little chubbier.” Another child says she doesn’t want to hurt that Barbie’s feelings, so she spells it: “F-A-T.” A Mattel research head told Dockterman that, when adults weren’t in the room, focus-group girls often undressed the curvy dolls and laughed at them.”
-Christina Cauterucci, 

The new dolls are pretty revolutionary for a company that has maintained a classic image since 1959.

Maybe I was a socially progressive kindergartner, but I know I would have been so excited to have a new line of dolls to add to my collection. But obviously, not every child is as accepting of the new shapes as Young Deanna hypothetically would have been.

The conversation I’ve heard regarding the new body shapes and facial features is generally positive.  In a progressive culture that has started to question the gender expectations of women, Barbie was beginning to go out of style as more consumers recognized the homogeneity of the brand. The new models are celebrated as a modernization of a classic toy that embraces the diversity of our society.

Time Magazine’s heading shows the difference in height.

Females are socialized to identify certain physical attributes as more desirable than others, and the focus group indicates that girls as young as 5 are being “gendered” to associate beauty with thinness. As heartbreaking as it is, it appears that body-shaming habits take root earlier than I ever anticipated.

Julia T. Wood, author of Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, and Culture, and distinguished professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, points out some of the major characteristics of ideal femininity in Western culture. She describes how gender is formed from the earliest interactions and experiences of a child, intentionally and unintentionally. In her book, she notes how feminine women are expected to concern themselves with looking slim and attractive at all times. Sensitivity to the feelings of others is another characteristic expected of the ideal woman. But sensitivity does not always translate to kindness, particularly in interaction between females. Another characteristic of the feminine experience is negative treatment from other women. “Girls can be highly critical of other girls who are not pretty, thin, and otherwise feminine,” Wood notes.

The behavior of the girls in the focus group is a near perfect example of how young girls are socialized to act to achieve the ideally feminine image. The little girl who didn’t want to hurt the doll’s feelings was socialized to be sensitive, but she has also been socialized to criticize someone who doesn’t fit the description of “attractive” as she understands it. In her article, Little Girls’ Reactions to the New “Curvy” Barbie Prove Why We Need “Curvy” Barbie, Christina Cauterucci pointed out how the little girls identified that “the thicker barbie is the odd one out.”

The next step for parents, it seems, is to start a conversation with their kids who don’t accept the new toys as a positive thing. “Redirecting the body-shaming tendencies,” as Cauterucci put it, will likely be the next hurdle to clear in the future of modern beauty expectations. By creating this new line of dolls, Mattel is providing parents with the tools to stimulate that conversation and further break down the outdated gender norms in our society.

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Hi, class.

Hi class. I’m Deanna. I’m a Comm Studies major with a concentration in PR. I’m a junior here and I’m a sister of Alpha Gamma Delta. When I’m not at school in Farmville, I live with my mom in Richmond. I work at Burger Bach in Carytown, so if you’re ever in the neighborhood, stop by and try the best burger in RVA.


My roommate got a kitten this semester. His name is Champagne.

My roommate got a kitten this semester. His name is Champagne.

Regarding my experience with communication, I’ve had experience in my sorority as the Vice President of Operations. In this position, I was expected to take meeting minutes and relay information to the rest of my chapter. I know what it takes to convey a message efficiently, and I’m eager to learn how I can apply new perspectives gained in this class. In addition, at my part time job, I am required to communicate professionally and effectively as a hostess in the restaurant. Not every customer is pleased to hear they might have to wait half an hour before they can be seated for a meal, and so learning how to communicate that message in a friendly and professional way is crucial to my job.

As I reflect on my experiences with gender, I recall a time when I was in elementary school. I was on vacation with my dad, stepmom, and stepbrother, and we stayed in a hotel. My stepbrother and I are the same age and have much in common, and so when he was allowed to visit the hotel gift shop without a chaperon, I expected the same treatment. I asked my dad if I could go to the floor above us to fill the ice bucket, and he said I was not allowed to go alone. I was very upset by this. I asked why I couldn’t go by myself, and he simply retorted “Because you’re a girl.” He said it was dangerous for a girl to go out alone, but I couldn’t fathom how much danger I could possibly be in. Ever since that moment, I have made every effort to prove that I am completely capable of holding my own in the world in spite of my perceived weakness. I am excited to learn how I can further prove my strength by applying the concepts I learn in this course. I want to learn how to challenge the expectations put on me.

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