By Destinee Bullard
During my final semester at St. Petersburg College, I was presented with an opportunity to partake in an internship with the college’s Strategic Communications department. I knew this would be an excellent and valuable experience to add, not only to my resume, but to my own personal knowledge as well. Throughout my college career at SPC, I’ve had a strong interest in Mass Communications and Marketing. The Bachelor’s degree that I am currently pursuing is in Public Relations. This upcoming fall, I will transfer to the University of Florida with the upper-hand in my career field because of this internship. I will have learned and gained so many different skills and tactics that will help me excel in the field of Mass Communications. From reporting to blogging, the training and proficient leadership helped me learn to love and enjoy my future passion.
My first week on the job, my supervisor explained the duties and responsibilities of what was expected weekly. I always thought of Communications as being merely broadcasting and reporting. During that first week, I learned that it was both of those things and so much more. I realized that there was more ‘behind the scenes’ work that was put into Marketing and Communications than people outside looking in realized. I was introduced to all of the social media outlets and websites that were college wide. It absolutely amazed me how much work and persistence had to be put into making graphics for the website, creating content for the blogs, and developing tweets and posts for upcoming college events. A successful first week on the job would mean that the other intern and I would have to come up with future content for videos that we could post on the college’s Facebook for the remainder of the semester. The content for the videos would contain valuable information for students that attend SPC. For example, some of the videos would contain helpful tips and information about different departments and programs SPC offers, while others would be interviews from current faculty, staff, and students. The goal of this project is to help inform students of all the benefits that are offered to them by the college. It will also give students the chance to become familiar with the faculty and staff of the college. The videos took place on the different campuses at SPC.
For the next couple of weeks, the videos were put aside, and the college’s social media outlets were pushed to top priority. Our supervisor introduced us to the Ask Maria blog first. Ask Maria is a blog open for all students with inquiring questions regarding all things SPC. Our supervisor, Social Media Manager for the college, Lise Fisher, made the decision to add the other intern Marilyn Shaw and me to the blog team. Students were encouraged to ask questions regarding classes and programs at SPC and ask the three of us about our personal experiences as well.
Being a blogger on Ask Maria was one of the most fun and fulfilling duties I have had at SPC. Being able to connect with current and future students and give them helpful advice made the experience inspiring. I also learned so many new things about the college. The launch of Ask Maria opened the doors for my love of blogging. Connecting with individuals through this blog gave me the chance to be myself in my writings. I was given the opportunity to share some of my own experiences at SPC to help other students during their college journey.
Next on the list was learning how to operate Hoot suite. We started training in Hoot suite during the fifth week of the internship. Hoot Suite is a Social Media Management Dashboard. Through Hoot Suite I scheduled tweets for the college’s different departments such as Career Services and Financial Aid. Hoot Suite allows you to schedule tweets and Facebook posts months in advance to the actual event date. I had never worked in Hoot Suite before, so this was a total new experience for me. I always wondered how people had the time to send out multiple tweets at a time within minutes of each other. It’s definitely a helpful site that I will use for future purposes in my career.
The Blue and White SPC Employee newspaper has become traditional at the college. Even while working as a student assistant for the college, I would receive a copy of the Blue and White. This semester I was lucky enough to be a featured writer for the newspaper as an intern. Usually reporters and content managers from the Marketing Department will cover the current stories happening around SPC. The particular story that I covered was the Student Government Association Budget Presentation. I got the chance to sit in and listen to the different presentations and interact with the different SGA officers from each campus.
The tools and knowledge I have gained from this internship have helped me tremendously in the field of Communications and Public Relations. I feel confident moving towards the next milestone in my life at the University of Florida. I’m going into my Bachelor’s Degree with prior knowledge of duties that are needed for my major. Most importantly, I have to thank all of the people that have helped me on this journey. I have learned so much from my supervisor that I will carry with me even after I graduate college. Needless to say, it has been a wonderful and humbling experience and semester.
To discover more about internship opportunities at SPC, go to their website!