Internship Experiences

by jamielawlor716

I’ve been interning in the public relations department at the National Constitution Center for two weeks now and it’s already proven to be a valuable experience. I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity and to be working with an awesome supervisor and other talented people who have so much they can teach me. The Center has been a really cool environment to work in — walking through the front doors and hearing the jazz music from the Prohibition exhibit, taking occasional excursions into the museum for photo opts, being surrounded by marketing professionals, history buffs and even the caterers. There’s always something exciting going on.

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Since I’m available to intern for a shorter period of time than the usual semester (my winter session will conclude at the beginning of February), I wanted to spend as much time as possible interning so I’ve been going in every day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Being there so frequently has offered me a genuine experience in the working world and has allowed me to work more thoroughly on continuous projects. Speaking of, some of the tasks I’ve been working on include:

1. Social Media Editorial Calendar. I’ve been putting together a calendar of social media posts for the Center’s Facebook and Twitter with a goal of creating content for 6 months out so that they have something to work off of and don’t have to come up with something day of.

2. Managing the clip reports. This is more of a simple, day-to-day maintenance task but it’s definitely essential for any organization. I get emails from BurrellesLuce, TVEyes and Google Alerts and from those services, organize them into an Excel sheet for future reference.

3. Drafting news releases and media alerts. So far I’ve completed a media alert for the holiday week activities, a news release for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service/Inauguration Day programs, and I’m currently working on news releases for African American History Month and the Center’s “Moonshine and Valentines” party.

4. Taking photos for social media. One of which I am very proud but it hasn’t yet been published. So once it is, you’ll see it!

 Those are the more major jobs I’ve been doing but I’ve also done some random things here and there like updating a list of Mommy bloggers, learning the basics of editing video (which I’ll hopefully be putting to the test soon) and keeping track of social media stats. Some challenges I’ve faced:

  • Coming up with a format for the editorial calendar. I’ve never done one before so figuring out the best layout took a while and I’m still not totally sure my excel sheet is the best way to go. (anyone who’s created one, feel free to send some tips my way!)

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  • Writing posts for the uncertain future. Although the Center has many recurring civic holidays and programs, it’s hard to come up with a Tweet without 100% knowing what else is happening in the world on that day.
  • Channeling my creativity. I consider myself a very creative person but sometimes the creative juices just aren’t there when you need them. For example, coming up with a fun headline for the upcoming Valentine’s Day event just wasn’t happening at 2 p.m. on a Friday afternoon.
  • Writing new and original materials with last year’s perfectly written news releases on hand.
  • Prioritizing/scheduling. Lauren sends me to-do lists which is great because there’s always something to do but I struggle to figure out what I should get done first and how much time I should devote to each task. However, lately I’ve been writing out a schedule that seems to be working.Image

I’ve been loving this experience so far and I’m so excited for what’s to come in the month ahead!

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