Throughout the entirety of my internship, I can definitely say that help building Elevate Physical Therapy’s social media brand is one of the most engaging and rewarding parts. I’m doing a lot of other tasks, like community outreach and creating easier/newer ways for patient communication, which are great—but it’s great to see the company grow virtually. I also find in doing this that my bosses and I are able to create better relationships with patients and also just show off the morals of the brand.
This company was founded a few months before COVID-19 lockdown hit, so they had a rough start. They established a clientele from mostly doctor referrals and previous patients but weren’t able to bring in many new patients. They’re also really busy in and outside of work, so managing social media and community outreach wasn’t in the cards! I’ve been able to post twice a week, ranging from patient highlights to physical therapy tips, and have increased engagement immensely. This role in social media is able to keep me completely engaged and constantly take initiative in creating new ideas.
In today’s age, social media brand is a first impression for a lot of people, especially the younger generations. Plus, it’s just something where you can show more about your company other than a Yelp or Google review. Physical therapy and the work Elevate does is all about rehabilitation and supporting their patients to a great recovery, and it’s great that we’re able to highlight their journeys. Overall, having the opportunity to help this company is definitely helping to strengthen my current skills while also creating more, and that’s all I could really ask for.
After losing one of my nannying jobs due to COVID at the beginning of the school year, I felt as if I needed to make a decision regarding my future, get a basic job just to make money, or really focus on school and try my hardest to get an internship. After researching potential companies where I might fit best, I saw that H2 Public Relations was hiring a spring intern on the College of Communication internship board and I decided to apply. Being only a sophomore, I was unsure if I was qualified enough for the position, but I decided to take a leap of faith and see if I could get the position. I fixed up my resume and portfolio and curated a cover letter to their business and pushed submit. Thankfully, I got a response back for an interview a few days later.
While prepping for the interview, I researched the company and all of their clients; I wanted to make sure that I was well prepared and knew what I was talking about. I had written down answers to all of the basic questions like “tell me about yourself” and “why do you want this job?” just so that I had something prepared, but I didn’t want it to sound too scripted. A few days after the interview, I emailed the woman who interviewed me, thanking her for her time. I also made sure to mention that I appreciated our conversation and mentioned something very specific that we talked about. She replied a day later, offering me the job! I was so excited.
Before I started, my supervisor Andrea gave me an “internship manual” and told me to study up on it before my first day of training. On my first day of training, I learned a lot about the company in general but also what they expected me to do on a day-to-day basis. We talked on Zoom most of the day because this internship is completely virtual, but she gave me a few small assignments that included things like “clipping” and researching clients/stories. Each day she made sure that I wasn’t afraid to ask questions about things I didn’t know and always explained things very well to me. One of my first “big” assignments was making a fact sheet for one of our clients. I was nervous at first, but my supervisor guided me through it, and it ended up turning out great! Now I really feel like I have the hang of things and have multiple tasks to do all at once.
I’ve been at this internship for almost two months now, and I really enjoy working with everyone at the company, and I am learning so much! Even though there is a lot of work to be done, I don’t feel overwhelmed or anxious anymore. I actually feel like I know what I’m doing, which is a huge step from when I first started.
As an intern, I never thought I would get the opportunity to meet the authors and illustrators who I would be marketing. But I felt as giddy as the animals and children in the illustration below when I found out that I was going to be interviewing all the authors and illustrators that Global Kidz House is publishing.
Prior to my internship, I always thought that working in marketing meant working behind the scenes: ensuring brand image, social media engagement, drafting emails, brainstorming ideas, coming up with projects, and so on. However, when it comes to marketing, how can you market something or someone you don’t know or understand? At Global Kidz House, I have been able to work on the front lines while also working behind the scenes.
So, a day in the life of a marketing intern for a children’s book publishing company will look something like this: morning Zoom call, afternoon emailing, evening check-in. Fascinating, no?
No, you’re right. It actually looks something like this: emailing Anil Tortop, a children’s illustrator who lives in Australia and interviewing her about her upcoming book, drafting interview questions, drafting blog posts, drafting social media posts, creating social media graphic designs, and finally posting the work for the world to see.
Although we live in a digital workplace environment, it is thrilling to be able to have opportunities to speak with individuals who live seas and continents away, similar to Anil. But because I am working from home, my interactions are limited. During the day, my supervisor and I will check in with one another either via email or Zoom and proceed with our responsibilities. Typically, I am responsible for drafting and scheduling all the social media posts for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Additionally, I am also then responsible for creating graphic designs that are needed for certain media posts. But when I am not managing the social media for this publishing house, I am able to get creative with what blog posts are being published on the website.
Recently, I have initiated the project of interviewing the authors and illustrators who will be published with Global Kidz House. On the days that I am working on this project, I am scheduling Zoom calls with the authors and illustrators and chatting with them about the upcoming books and what their journey as an author or illustrator has been like.
I have thoroughly enjoyed all the projects I have managed and executed as they have all taught me how to maintain a professional digital presence, time management, and challenged me as a writer and communicator.
I'll be off now reading some of their work!
Before beginning my internship as a sportswriter, I really did not enjoy writing. I thought writing, in general, was extremely boring and there was no point in it. However, that all changed when I became a sportswriter intern at The Game Haus. Through my time so far as a sportswriter, I have learned so much about writing and the foundation of writing. All writing is, is storytelling. Every article that I write is a story that involves a who, what, where, when, and how. Not only does this involve sports writing but any paper that one writes. Writing was not my strong suit growing up, but by learning from my mistakes and incorporating an aspect of storytelling into my writing, I can now say that I love to write.
★ How it all started?
As a junior in college, I felt the pressure of trying to find an internship. I always pushed off the idea of having an internship during school because I thought it was too much. However, during quarantine, I finally started to look at internships revolving around sports. I eventually started to look and found this sportswriting internship at The Game Haus. My eyes were immediately drawn to this position because of their hook. "The mission of The Game Haus is to bring unbiased, factually sound opinions to audiences across a range of mediums that are not readily accessible in the day-to-day media outlets." Immediately I applied for this position looking to bring my widespread knowledge of sports to this company. After writing a sample article and through an interview process, they accepted me to be their Chicago Cubs and Dallas Cowboys writer.
★ Week 1: The Struggle
I was extremely happy to receive this position. I love sports, and any chance I get to write/talk about sports, I am going to jump on it. However, my first week was very stressful. To be completely honest, when writing my first article, I was terrified. I didn't want my editor or my supervisor to think my writing was bad. I didn't know how to write articles because I have never done that before. Nonetheless, after writing my first article on the Dallas Cowboys, I was extremely relieved. In the first week, I was constantly asking questions about how to do certain things. I felt like I was annoying my supervisor as he probably had better things to do than answer my "dumb" questions. It was a rough week trying to fully understand how to write sports articles and how to incorporate pictures and media into my articles. However, like anything, I got through it and learned so much in one week at my internship.
★ My Responsibilities
As a sportswriter at The Game Haus, there are some responsibilities that each writer has. For starters, each writer must complete 5+ articles each month. This requirement seemed like an easy one because I planned on writing 2 articles a week. As of now, the articles I write per week has increased to 5 and a total of 20 for the whole month. Another responsibility of mine is to submit articles for the editor to check by 7 p.m. For example, if I was submitting an article on Wednesday, I would need to get the article to my editor by Tuesday at 7 p.m. Other than these two responsibilities, I write/publish articles at my own pace, which is a major reason why I love this internship. I love to write articles at my own pace. Overall, this internship is such an exciting experience and something that will help me get further in life.
Before beginning my internship, I associated the word fundraising with car washes and Girl Scouts selling cookies at every “L” station. My perspective on fundraising has completely changed now that I am interning at RK March, an advancement communications agency helping nonprofits and universities reimagine their fundraising campaigns. There is a lot of fun to be found in providing clients with “the vision, confidence, and tools to reach their long and short term fundraising and outreach goals” (RK March).
★ STARTING OUT ON MY INTERNSHIP JOURNEY
My journey began with a phone call–the first check-in of my internship career. It is here where I got my first taste of how fundraising campaigns work, in addition to general university communications. We began with case statements. As Tom Adhern, fundraising message creator extraordinaire, states, “a case is not a description of what you do. A case is a description of what you promise.” My supervisor assigned me the task of examining various case statements from various universities in order to get a feel for the field. I was given the freedom to choose which schools to examine and had some fun with it. Being from Michigan, I am very familiar with the Michigan State and University of Michigan rivalry, so I explored and compared the fundraising campaign case statements of these two schools. Any U of M fans will be happy to know that my supervisor and I agreed that University of Michigan presented the stronger case.
★ WEEK 1: HOW I FELT
Starting a new job or internship evokes many emotions—excitement, nervousness, anticipation, and optimism. After my first day check-in I felt all of these. Most of all, however, I felt excitement. Like I said, fundraising communications is actually fun, and university fundraising holds a particular appeal to me being that I am a college student. The first round of assignments mostly consisted of gaining knowledge about the field and learning the basics. As this is my first internship and first time exploring the field of fundraising communications, I felt grateful for the opportunity to learn and gain this introduction into the field. Feelings of interest and investment emerged as I dug deeper into this complex field. I distinctly remember conducting research on St. John’s University’s past fundraising campaigns and unearthing a major scandal. St. John’s Dean Cecilia Chang, a top fundraiser for the university, embezzled around $1 million from the university! Even the less intense information I stumble upon, like the approach universities take to fundraising, is fascinating to me.
★ INTEGRATING INTO THE ROLE
As I’ve mentioned above, my integration process consisted of a lot of research and learning more about the field. My supervisor provided me with readings and resources which gave me a run-down of typical fundraising and communications operations in mainly university and nonprofit settings. One particularly beneficial assignment was taking notes on nonprofit fundraising campaigns led by the successful Tom Adhern. I read each case and took notes on the features of each campaign which made it compelling to read and successful in raising funds. Being a big-time animal lover, my favorite moment was examining Adhern’s case with the Connecticut Humane Society. I noted the use of emotional triggers, the focus on “why now?,” aka why it is imperative that people donate now, and the impeccable use of photos. Learning these techniques prepares me for working with an actual RK March client later on in the quarter.
Even just one day into my internship, I began to realize the appeal and fun of fundraising communications. It is interesting to see all the work, roles, and little details which go into planning a fundraising campaign. It is also fun to get a glimpse into the world of fundraising itself, whether it’s via comparing different university campaigns to one another or discovering a scandal within the field. Now when I hear the word fundraising, I don’t just picture a Girl Scout holding up a box of Thin Mints, but a whole career field based around helping businesses, nonprofits, and universities succeed in their fundraising campaigns.