By Melanie De Anda, senior in public relations
In summer 2020 I had the privilege of working as a marketing and public relations intern with LifeServe Blood Center, located in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. This experience is one I will never forget. Despite the unique terrain created by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such an outstanding group of people and gather an abundance of knowledge and experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my career.
Throughout my internship, one of my tasks was figuring out how to attract donors, especially during big donation events such as Blood Donor Day. This blood drive gave me the push I needed to create social media plans which included myth-busting posts that focused on easing the worries of any potential new donors. On top of the myth-busting content, I also created an interactive quiz for our social media users to take, in order to test their knowledge when it came to blood donations and blood types. While I also helped manage LifeServe Blood Center’s social media, I was also able to help create partnerships with local businesses to gather incentives in order to reward our donors and acquire sponsors for our blood drives.
My experience with LifeServe Blood Center also consisted of creating bilingual flyers, brochures, signages and paperwork for the organization’s Spanish-speaking donors. Having this opportunity also gave me the ability to interact with many people and create many connections that I didn’t even think I would have the opportunity to make during a pandemic.
Through weekly huddle meetings, where those that are part of the marketing and public relations department would join in on a call, I was able to share ideas of my own and become involved with any decision making for the organization. This gave me the chance to be part of something that felt so important and created a vision for me that reflected the type of job I would like to have in the near future.
I am eternally grateful to the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication for giving me the ability to focus more time on gaining in-depth experience with such a great organization. Receiving the Greenlee Internship Scholarship was an immense help financially and it also helped me dedicate more time to my learning, which will help direct me into the career path I am envisioning for myself once I have graduated.
Editor’s note: Greenlee 499A internship scholarships support students who have a primary major in advertising, journalism and mass communication or public relations and are completing their required 400-hour internships. The application is available each spring.