Internship Portfolio

Published April 26, 2016 by Hallie Coburn

There are a number of classes that I believe helped me through the process of this internship. The three most important classes that I feel helped me the most are Principles of Page and Digital Design, the Fundamentals of Public Relations, and Interpersonal Communication.

In Principles of Page and Digital Design, I learned about how to create my own personal website and how to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to make newsletters, posters, and flyers in order to use them for advertising purposes. A major part of my internship and one of the main responsibilities I have is making and sending out newsletters for Red Door 104. In these newsletters, I talk about new classes and workshops going on during the month, and any big events that Audrey wants to emphasize. Although I don’t use Photoshop and Illustrator to make these newsletters because I don’t have access to them, I still use the visual aspects I learned in Digital Design to create the best newsletters I can to help Red Door 104 grow. Another responsibility I have is being in charge of Red Door 104’s website. I am in charge of editing web pages, and the web-developing aspects that I learned in Digital Design have definitely helped me with this responsibility.

The Fundamentals of Public Relations helped me prepare for this internship because I learned what I should expect in a Public Relations position, such as what typical responsibilities are expected. From this class, I expected to help Audrey advertise for her studio and for any events and classes she wants to emphasize on. Thanks to that class, I was able to go into my internship having an idea of what Audrey was expecting from me.

Interpersonal Communication helped me understand how to communicate better with different kinds of people of all ages and cultures. Being able to interact with customers, either on the phone or in person, is an occasional responsibility that I am given in my internship. Having taken Interpersonal Communication, I now feel like my confidence has grown and developed, and I am able to communicate effectively and efficiently with customers and answer their questions to the best of my ability.

Some challenges that I faced were taking care of the studio for Audrey while she was sick or running errands. She had me come in a little earlier than I usually do and open the gallery on time, she told me if anyone came in I should help them out as best I can, and answer the phone whenever it rang. I have also had a number of responsibilities in the process of preparing for an art competition Audrey and Bart Kendrick are hosting in September, and some challenges I faced were creating a Call to Artists and a Press Release, and emailing them to a list of editors from different news and media outlets.

As mentioned above, my responsibilities grew significantly from the beginning of my internship. When I first started at Red Door 104, my main responsibility was entering names and emails into a list for sending out newsletters. From there, I was placed in charge of creating the newsletters to send out, as well as creating corresponding classes and events on the Red Door 104 website. Towards the end, my responsibilities grew significantly, and I was in charge of sending out a call to artists and press release, which was a major part of the process of preparing for the upcoming art competition.

This internship has affected my career search by helping me realize what responsibilities are typical in a Public Relations field. It has also affected my career search by helping me keep my options open when it comes to what kind of job I could look for.

I definitely believe I have gained the knowledge and experience I will need when starting to look for a career in the real world. I have learned how to help Audrey build her brand and have helped her manage her website, which I think is a skill that is important in the public relations field. This internship has also helped me practice my skills as someone in the public relations concentration, and it has helped me practice working well with other people. Some of the projects I did for Audrey, especially in the beginning, involved group work and collaboration with others. I have also gained more skills in interacting with customers and helping them to the best of my ability.

I would suggest Red Door 104 as a potential internship for future students. Audrey is very outgoing while still being a good mentor and boss, and she is open to helping you when you ask for it. She is also very easy to collaborate with, and welcomes all different suggestions and ideas for a number of projects, such as creating newsletters and working on the layouts of her website pages. This internship has taught me a good amount about what it is like to work for a real business, and it was easy for me to implement a number of skills I learned in my classes to my responsibilities in this internship.

Things I’ve Done in this Internship:

IMG_6968

IMG_6966

The New North Carolina Law Makes Me Angry

Published April 14, 2016 by Hallie Coburn

Over the past few years of my life, I have become more interested in educating myself on the gender spectrum and on the LGBT+ community. I follow a few individuals that identify as transgendered on popular social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, and these individuals openly share their experiences and insights on their personal processes of transitioning, as well as what life is like for them as transgendered individuals. Through these public figures, I have become increasingly more interested in and advocate for the rights of transgendered individuals, as well as others within the LGBT+ spectrum.

So Here’s What’s Up

I’m sure that a number of people have heard about the new law that was passed in North Carolina back in March. This law that I’m talking about states that any public institutions, such as public schools, government agencies, and public university campuses, that have multiple-occupancy bathrooms are required to designate these bathrooms to only be used by individuals based on their biological sex as stated on their birth certificate. This law prohibits individuals who identify as transgender to use the restroom designated for the gender they wish to be identified as. This law also allows business owners to refuse to hire individuals based on their sexual orientation.

A number of news broadcasters have covered rallies regarding the new law, including ABC and CBS.  Mara Keisling, who is the founding executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, spoke to ABC News about North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s decision to pass the law, stating that she believes he passed the law in hopes of being re-elected this year, using the law “for political gain, and it blew up in his face.” CBS News stated in an article on April 11 that a large number of people gathered to rally, both for support and for opposition of the new law. One opposer of the law, Shane Thrapp, told Western North Carolina News CBS that he feels the law has “hurt North Carolina as a whole … It’s hurt our brand, it’s hurt our people, it’s hurt our nature of who we are as loving, inclusive people.”

How This Connects to Gender Theory

Gov. McCrory defended the law, stating that it was passed to ensure that the right to privacy of individuals in public high schools, universities and community colleges be given to those designated to use gender-appropriate restrooms; “For those who disagree with that basic norm, they have that decision to make.”

But what about those that don’t meet the “basic norm”?

I think this concept can be best connected to the ideas of growing up masculine, growing up feminine, and growing up outside of conventional gender roles. According to Julia T. Wood in her book Gendered Lives, there is a powerful and influential model of masculinity and femininity that society expects every man and woman to follow, respectively, even though, in reality, there are many different variations on these concepts, and sometimes the societal norms are challenged (Wood 2015). For example, men are expected to “not be female” and to “embody and transcend traditional views of masculinity”, while women are expected to take care of their appearance and expect negative treatment from others. For those that do not identify with the “basic norm,” however, they are often met with social isolation and contempt from others. With the passing of this law, it can ultimately lead to, not only the social isolation of those that identify as transgender, but also those that might not be “masculine enough” or “feminine enough” according to society’s standards.

This can also be related back to Equal Opportunity Laws, which Julia Wood discusses in her book as well. Equal opportunity laws are put into practice to prohibit the discrimination of any individual based on their sex, race, or gender (Wood 2015). While equal opportunity laws are not necessarily concerned with the discrimination of groups, an individual that does feel discriminated against by public institutions can use equal opportunity laws to their advantage. Mark Creech, a member of the Christian Action League, stated to a crowd that the North Carolina law “protects small business owners who want to follow their religious beliefs” by choosing not to hire someone because they happen to be attracted to their same sex. I think Creech forgets, however, the importance of the separation of Church and State. If an individual that feels as though they are being discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender, they would be able to reference equal opportunity laws to prohibit that discrimination.

Wrapping it Up

In my humble opinion, I feel as though North Carolina has taken a big step backwards with the passing of this law. An article on Time Magazine’s website discussed the growing gender-neutral bathroom revolution, with Philadelphia, PA, Seattle, WA, Washington, D.C., West Hollywood, CA, and Austin, TX, on the list of cities that have taken this step, with San Francisco, CA, to soon be added as well. So many of our country’s citizens worked hard to finally give justice to the LGBT+ community with the passing of the national law to permit gay and lesbian couples to legally get married. If North Carolina’s governor were aware that there, in fact, are more than two genders within the spectrum, then perhaps this country would be making some significant headway in giving civil rights to every person in the country, regardless of their gender identity.

Internship Journal 6

Published April 8, 2016 by Hallie Coburn

I believe I have experienced and witnessed a number of communication theories during my internship. One theory that comes to mind is the Communication Accommodation Theory. This theory states that individuals who interact with others will change their communication patterns, such as their speech, vocals, and gestures, to accommodate the individual they are speaking to. I’ve seen this theory put into practice in a number of ways, and I have used this theory myself, oftentimes without realizing it. For example, the way that I speak to my supervisor is different from the way I speak to my co-workers, and the way I speak to customers is different from the way I speak to my supervisor. When I speak with my co-workers, I use more casual speech patterns and talk to them in the same way I would speak to my classmates or my friends. When I speak to my supervisor, I keep eye contact with her to make sure she knows I am listening, and I speak assertively with her when I am sharing ideas with her and discussing my responsibilities. When I speak with customers, I speak openly and in a welcoming tone of voice to let them know that I am there to help them.

Another theory that I have witnessed in my internship is the social exchange theory. This theory states that when individuals interact with one another and exchange information with one another, all individuals involved will feel satisfied in the exchange because everyone gains something positive. My supervisor at the beginning of my internship taught me how her website works so that I would be able to work on it for her. Because I received that information from her, I have been able to create events and pages for her and her customers to see so that I could help grow her business.

Internship Journal 5

Published March 24, 2016 by Hallie Coburn

There are a number of classes that I believe helped me through the process of this internship. The three most important classes that I feel helped me the most are Principles of Page and Digital Design, the Fundamentals of Public Relations, and Interpersonal Communication.

In Principles of Page and Digital Design, I learned about how to create my own personal website and how to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to make newsletters, posters, and flyers in order to use them for advertising purposes. A major part of my internship and one of the main responsibilities I have is making and sending out newsletters for Red Door 104. In these newsletters, I talk about new classes and workshops going on during the month, and any big events that Audrey wants to emphasize. Although I don’t use Photoshop and Illustrator to make these newsletters because I don’t have access to them, I still use the visual aspects I learned in Digital Design to create the best newsletters I can to help Red Door 104 grow. Another responsibility I have is being in charge of Red Door 104’s website. I am in charge of editing web pages, and the web-developing aspects that I learned in Digital Design have definitely helped me with this responsibility.

The Fundamentals of Public Relations helped me prepare for this internship because I learned what I should expect in a Public Relations position, such as what typical responsibilities are expected. From this class, I expected to help Audrey advertise for her studio and for any events and classes she wants to emphasize on. Thanks to that class, I was able to go into my internship having an idea of what Audrey was expecting from me.

Interpersonal Communication helped me understand how to communicate better with different kinds of people of all ages and cultures. Being able to interact with customers, either on the phone or in person, is an occasional responsibility that I am given in my internship. Having taken Interpersonal Communication, I now feel like my confidence has grown and developed, and I am able to communicate effectively and efficiently with customers and answer their questions to the best of my ability.

Internship Journal 4

Published March 2, 2016 by Hallie Coburn

These past couple of weeks, I have learned a little bit more about what it is really like in the real world, and what it will most likely be like when I go out and get a job in the Communications field. One thing I’ve learned in particular is getting over my fear of actually talking on the phone with people, especially strangers. Before I started my internship, my mom gave me some advice: when it becomes part of your job, answering phones becomes no big deal. I definitely believe she was right. A few responsibilities I have completed this time around was calling Farmville Printing to acquire about how much printing flyers and invitations would cost, walking down to Farmville Printing and getting flyers printed, and creating a newsletter that highlights a couple drawing classes that Audrey is holding in the gallery.

I have had to face a couple challenges this time. One challenge that I faced was taking care of the studio for a day while Audrey was sick. She had me come in a little earlier than I usually do and open the gallery on time, and she told me if anyone came in I should help them out as best I can. She told me that if the phone rang she would be able to answer it from her home above the gallery. One other challenge that I faced was similar to the last one. This week she had to leave for Richmond to pick up some supplies for a party she is hosting in April, and she left me one hundred percent in charge of the gallery: that included opening the gallery on time, helping anyone that walked in, AND answering the phone (I know, shocking). These challenges have helped me open up a little bit more and have kind of forced me to come out of my little turtle shell.

The skills I have learned so far will help me seek a future career by continuing to prepare me for when I am looking for a job after I graduate. Having this experience will make it easier for me to find a steady and solid job before I figure out what I think will be a good and fitting career for me in the future.

Dancing to the Beat of Your Own Drum

Published February 24, 2016 by Hallie Coburn

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when someone says the words “belly dancer?” What about “dancer” in general? When some people think of the art of belly dancing, many associate it with women with athletic and curvy bodies who are so flexible it hurts just looking at them. Before I joined Longwood University’s Company of Belly Dance my freshman year, that’s what I

Longwood Company of Belly Dance Oktoberfest Performance 2015, Photo by Baylee Holloran

Longwood Company of Belly Dance Oktoberfest Performance 2015, photo by Baylee Holloran

associated belly dance with. Needless to say, I was nervous and a little hesitant before going to the first meeting. When I walked into the dance studio, however, I couldn’t help but notice something: not only were there women of every shape, size, ethnicity and race coming together and dancing, but there were men dancing there as well. This was a refreshing sight to see, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised.

This topic seemed like a good fit in regards to discussing gender norms in our society because of the stereotypes that our culture, as well as the rest of the world, associates with the art of belly dance, or any form of dance in general. By discussing this topic, I’m hoping that this blog will teach readers that the topic of gender and the ideas of masculinity and femininity are a social construct. I’m also hoping that readers will become more open-minded in regards to any gender enjoying activities that are mostly seen as “feminine,” such as belly dance.

Ever since I started dancing at Longwood, I wanted to learn more about how belly dance is viewed in our society today, and how it evolved into a more open and welcoming form of dance for all genders. The art of belly dance has a number of stereotypes associated with it; Angela M. Moe, in her scholarly article about belly dance as a form of leisure for women in Western culture, states that belly dance throughout history has been seen as “erotic, seductive, and titillating” (I hate that word). Over the years, however, and especially recently, belly dance has defied a number of societal norms by being a form of bonding for women as well as men.

How Does This Relate to Gender?

In a newspaper article written in The Canadian Press, Steve Lillebuen interviewed Denise Enan, a belly dance instructor who’s been teaching belly dance for 32 years. In her interview, Enan stated that a few years ago it was considered “shocking” to see a male belly dancer; “I still think it’s a very feminine kind of dancing, but lots of men do it now.” This statement can be connected to symbolic interactionism and, more specifically, the concept of gender roles in our society. According to Julia T. Wood in her book “Gendered Lives”, a gender role is “a set of expected behaviors and the values associated with them.” In other words, a gender role is a behavior or action that society expects a man or a woman to do based on their gender. In this case, a gendered role that is traditionally considered “appropriate” for women but “inappropriate” for men is the role of a belly dancer. These gender roles, however, have begun to be challenged over the years, especially more recently. In the same Canadian Press article, Lillebuen interviewed a number of male professional belly dancers who stated that they dance because they think it is fun, even if they receive little respect for it.

“A few years ago, it was shocking to see a male dancing this way. I still think it’s a very feminine kind of dancing, but lots of men do it now.”

Hakan was interviewed for Pittsburgh Magazine by Nick Keppler, photo by Becky Thurner Braddock

Hakan was interviewed for Pittsburgh Magazine by Nick Keppler, photo by Becky Thurner Braddock

Why We Should Care

Being personally exposed to gender roles being challenged in Longwood’s Company of Belly Dance, reading more about it and learning that these roles are being challenged everywhere has opened my mind to the idea that these times are changing. People all over the world are beginning to express themselves in ways that they never thought they could, and one of these ways is through the art of belly dance. People are expressing themselves in other ways as well: women are playing football, and men are wearing makeup (and they’re really good at these things too). I’m hoping that through this blog, readers are able to understand how important this change is to our society, and how through these changes the world will eventually become a better and more welcoming place where everyone feels safe and free to express themselves.

Internship Journal 3

Published February 19, 2016 by Hallie Coburn

Over the past couple of weeks, I have helped Audrey with a number of new responsibilities to help build her company. The other intern, Renee, and I both helped her advertise for her “Paint Your Shoes Party” which she is holding Friday evening. I have also helped her with making a brochure for a homeschooling conference coming up. With the brochure I helped her advertise for her homeschooling programs and classes that she holds in the gallery, and I am hoping this will help her gain more business from the homeschooling community. My most recent responsibility for her was making an instructor evaluation form for her new art instructors. She hopes that this will help her have a feel for how well the new instructors work with her students and whether they are a success or not.

Again, I have not faced very many challenges yet. I believe that as my internship progresses I might face a few difficult decisions to make, but over the past 3 weeks my responsibilities have been relatively simple. I do think that as my internship continues I will have more challenging tasks to do that will further help me prepare for my future career in the Communications industry. Renee and I have learned to work well together and collaborate our ideas to come up with ways to better Red Door 104 as a business.

The skills I have learned so far will help me seek a future career by continuing to prepare me for when I am looking for a job after I graduate. Having this experience will make it easier for me to find a steady and solid job before I figure out what I think will be a good and fitting career for me in the future.

Internship Journal 2

Published February 3, 2016 by Hallie Coburn

So far, I’ve really enjoyed my experience at my internship. I have learned what one of my first responsibilities as one of Audrey Sullivan’s communications interns is, which is creating a template for and sending out an electronic newsletter to people around the city of Farmville and surrounding communities who had given Audrey their emails to be notified of upcoming events for the month in the art gallery. She is expecting me to contribute a lot of my creativity in my responsibilities, and she is allowing me free-reign in some aspects of the newsletters I put out, such as what events to promote and what to write about these events. Another responsibility that I am working on alongside another communications intern, Renee, is advertising for one of her events coming up in the next few weeks, and she is allowing us to share with her any ideas we might have in getting students to come to the gallery for the event. She is also expecting us to create flyers or posters for the event to display around campus to get the word out there.

I have not faced very many large challenges yet, although there were some aspects of the advertising responsibility that Renee and I had to negotiate on. We both had ideas that we felt were good for creating the flyer we were making, and we negotiated on how the flyer could be changed and created to incorporate all of our ideas.

These experiences are helping me seek a future career by preparing me for what kinds of jobs I could look for once I graduate. They are allowing me to expand my skills as a potential employees for companies that need advertising and want new ways to reach potential clients. They are also helping me think about what kinds of jobs I really want for a future career as a graduated Communications student.

Internship Journal 1

Published February 3, 2016 by Hallie Coburn

As an intern at Red Door 104, it will be part of my responsibility to help her build her business and get the name of her business out there around campus, as well as online. I will also be responsible for making newsletters for her and flyers to pass out around campus. Audrey Sullivan, my future supervisor, has shared with me that she has a few other ideas of responsibilities, and she intends to share them with me as the internship progresses and I continue to share my ideas with her. When it comes to getting the name of her business out there, I expect I’ll be spending the majority of my internship helping her with that. I also anticipate that more than 50% of my hours will go towards helping her make newsletters and flyers.

As far as my skills for this internship, I have taken the interpersonal communication class at Longwood University, and I believe taking that class has helped me understand how to communicate well with different groups of people. I am a member of the Longwood Company of Belly Dance, and I was their public relations officer for a semester. I made posters and advertisements for the company, as well as posted about them on their personal Facebook page and Instagram account. I believe the skills I gained while I was in that position will help me during this internship. I have skills in different computer programs, such as Microsoft Office and Photoshop, that I also believe will help me during my internship.

Through this internship, I’m hoping to gain the knowledge and experience I’ll need when starting to look for a career in the real world. I’m hoping that this internship will help me practice my skills as someone in the public relations concentration, as well as help me practice working well with other people.

 

 

The Art of Dancing in the Rain – An Introduction Post

Published January 27, 2016 by Hallie Coburn

Hi friends! My name is Hallie Coburn, and I’m a junior Communications major with a concentration in Organizational and Public Relations. I’m from the historical but small city of Williamsburg, VA, and I have lived there most of my life. Here at Longwood, I am a member of the Longwood Company of Belly Dance and have been a member since my fall semester freshman year. We put on a final performance at the end of every semester, as well as perform for Oktoberfest, Spring Weekend, and other smaller performances. Thanks to this organization I have made friendships that I know will last a lifetime. I’ve been interested in art, dance, and fashion my whole life, and I hope to pursue a career in the fashion industry by attending a textiles merchandising graduate program at North Carolina State University once I graduate from Longwood.

1781746_10153310628417208_1991171950797720148_o

Performing Spring 2015 – “After the Storm” Belly Dance Performance

11230595_1013976665326259_3666710343003659804_o

Performing Fall 2015 – “Hafla Soul” Belly Dance Performance

As far as my “Communication expertise,” I’ve held executive positions in the Longwood Company of Belly Dance for a number of semesters. One position that I held in this organization was “beginner coordinator,” where another beginner coordinator and I taught new “beginner” members of our organization how to belly dance, and we choreographed a dance for them to perform in our final performance. Through this position, I’ve been able to communicate with new people and communicate to them what is considered appropriate stage behavior and what is not. In Belly Dance this semester, I am one of our organization’s “ethics parents,” which teach new members of our organization about the history of our organization, elaborate on appropriate stage behavior, appropriate costuming, and about the cultures associated with and the different styles of belly dance. In this position, I’ll be able to further communicate with new people and strengthen my abilities to be in a leadership role.

I’ve always considered myself to be interested in gender and how society views gender, and I believe that over the course of my college experience my interest has grown and I’ve become more interested in the feminist movement and gender equality. Last semester, I took Media and Society here at Longwood, and this class had a big influence on me and opened my eyes to how society views women, minorities, and members of the LGBT+ community in media. I know I keep talking about belly dance but I’m going to mention it again, sorry friends. When I first heard about it, I expected it to be an organization of all girls with specific body types, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only were there women of all shapes, sizes, skin tones, and sexual orientations, there were men in the organization as well, of all shapes, sizes, skin tones, and sexual orientations. Joining this organization helped me see how open-minded this University is in regards to gender. From Gender and Communication, I hope to be more informed on different genders and feminism, how communication plays a role in gender equality, and what I could do as an individual to help make the world a better place for women, men, and members of the LGBT+ community.