By: Brynn VanHorn, junior, public relations
Hello, I am Brynn, and I am a junior in public relations.
I just finished my summer internship and am ready to share my experiences! I wanted to be close to my hometown and applied for a social media marketing internship with the Iowa 80 Group in Walcott, Iowa. The internship was for their website Iowa80.com, which has all the main social media platforms to direct traffic to their website. I worked full-time in person for this internship and met and connected with many nice people.
This internship was very self-paced and independent (like a real job). I did not shadow people for the whole internship. I still had guidance, but almost every project I worked on was on my own. This was great for me to build up my portfolio.
I was in charge of all their social media accounts and did most of my work through Meta Business Suite, YouTube, and TikTok. I set objectives and recorded my progress on likes and engagement through Excel. I used many tools like Microsoft Office, Adobe (InDesign, Photoshop, Lightroom), and Canva. All of my posts fell under strategies I created at the beginning of the summer to meet my objectives.
I took photos and videos with a work phone and learned some basics in Premiere Pro. I had to closely monitor trends to post TikToks, Reels, and Shorts. I also gained experience with event management during the Walcott Truckers Jamboree. I helped plan, set up, and worked at the Iowa80.com booth for the whole weekend. I got to talk to customers face to face, and we also had a game with prizes to entice people to our booth.
I had to do a lot of research within this role as well. It might be a surprise, but I am not a trucker. I had to research their behaviors, interests, demographics, and more. I kept an organized log of any information I could find and would use it to tailor my posts. This helped me decide on design factors, what time to post, and what content they would be interested in. I also had to research the company I worked for more in-depth. Iowa80.com sells thousands of products, most of which are truck accessories, so I had to be knowledgeable enough to respond to DMs and comments with helpful information.
I learned how to present and speak up confidently through weekly meetings with the marketing department and my supervisor. They would give me feedback and help me brainstorm ideas when I was stuck. I also learned how to carry myself in a professional environment. My desk was close to many other full-time employees, and I saw the ins and outs of office culture, which I had no experience with before.
Overall, I had a great experience at my summer internship. I had friendly coworkers, a healthy work environment, and I learned a lot along the way. I met nearly all of the objectives I had set for myself by the end of the summer on their social media channels.
This was an amazing opportunity and it would not have been possible without the help of the Greenlee scholarships for the 499A summer internships. The scholarship helped to pay my summer tuition costs so I could fully use the summer to work on an internship instead of doing it in the fall or spring. This internship gave me a sneak peek into the professional world of adulthood that I am about to enter in less than two years, and for that, I am grateful.
Editor’s note: Edited for length and clarity. 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.