By Kenni Terrell
Year In School: Junior
Major: Journalism and Mass Communication
Internship: Social Media and Event Coordinator Intern, Ames Chamber of Commerce
My “summer” internship at the Ames Chamber of Commerce started in January 2017. After an exhausting amount of applications to numerous places (most of which I did end up interviewing for…). I finally landed my 499A Greenlee internship.
How I Landed My Internship
I submitted a resume and cover letter for a “Social Media and Event Coordinator” intern position (although there is another Event Coordinator intern, so I’m usually called the Social Media intern.) I have a love for and knowledge of social media and had already worked on social media platforms for SIR Magazine (and Iowa State campus publication) as well as for my sorority, Gamma Rho Lambda. In my coursework, I have taken public relations, advertising and journalism courses. I knew how to brand, manage and create content for many social media sites at once.I used the real-life experience and the knowledge from my coursework to explain what I would do to enhance the Chamber, Main Street Cultural District, Ames Economic Development Commission, See Yourself in Ames (Intern In Ames) and Work In Ames – local job board. My speaking skills and my knowledge of the platforms are what helped me land the job!
Fun Fact: While sitting in the waiting area for my interview, I spoke with the CEO of the Chamber (I did not know it was him at the time!) He asked me what I would do to bring students down to Main Street or what would interest them. I told him my honest answer and included what I loved about Main Street Cultural District. You never know who you’ll meet before the interview.
Overview of My Day-to-Day Life at My Internship
A common misconception held by many about Social Media Marketing is that it is just “posting online.” That is not the case. The task I do the most at my internship is analyzing the numbers. I know what my audience likes and dislikes and can predict what will happen in a few weeks, a few months and more. The first part of every day for me is checking all social media sites (around ten websites) and looking at their numbers. If something is distinctly strange or different, I make note of it. For some webpages, I track numbers every day. For most, I track numbers every month.
Now that numbers are out of the way (sorry for those who don’t like math!), I focus on engagement. Have I invited people to like our social media pages? Have I liked comments? Should I be commenting in reply to every one? I look at our investors’ pages and see what content from them that I can boost on our pages. A key of public relations is being the liaison between the company and the community. I must understand what is best for my company and the investors and how to send that message from each of them, while maintaining our brand, to the community.
Lastly, out of my top three things I do every day I work on content. (I do lot more here and there, but there are highlights.) When creating content, I focus on brand (style guides, etc.), my target audience and details (such as the numbers and spelling). These three things go into one post. Each post follows a bit of a format to generate the largest audience. With understanding how audiences change, I also predict what might work to reach a better audience later, but not a large audience now.
My advice for students is to apply for internships in what you might see yourself doing in the future.