Joining the Department of Campus Recreation team as a Social Media Intern last summer was one the most fruitful and fulfilling decisions that I’ve made as a student leader at Oakland University. The atmosphere is welcoming and full of creative autonomy, which is something that, as an intern, proved to be beneficial in the growth of all social media platforms.
When I first started, Sarah Button, the Marketing Graduate Assistant and my direct supervisor, casted a vision for both myself and Ethan Scott, the Graphic Design Intern, in terms of where she wanted the marketing department to be by April 2014. Since the beginning of that vision, I’ve been able to work with some incredible people who all have the same common goal in mind: to create a space for the students, faculty, and community to come to have some fun and better themselves.
This is a place where goals are set, a place where meeting those goals becomes a priority the moment that you walk in the door.
I hit the ground running when I started because I wanted to jump right into assessing the current social media efforts at the time. It was important to me to learn everything that I could about how things worked in Campus Rec because without a full understanding and a general idea of the road that we were on, I didn’t feel as if I would be able to effectively market the department.
Throughout the summer and fall semester, I made it my goal to make sure that every piece of information that was sent out to our followers (Facebook, Twitter, the Blog) was relevant to the mission of the department and was helpful for our students and patrons. Meaningless interactions weren’t going to generate any buzz on what it means to use the Rec Center.
Moving into the winter semester, I wanted to end strong. I didn’t want all of the work that we had done together as a team to go to waste. So I hunkered down and set out to finish strong.
I’d be lying if I told you that there weren’t bumps in the road. There are always bumps in the road. In fact, I’d be worried if there weren’t any. I failed at some things. I got things done late. I dropped the ball a few times. But we always managed to pull through when it mattered. Here are some things that I recommend you do if you want to be successful as a Social Media Intern:
- Start early and get things done ahead of time. You’re going to get projects at the last minute or a month in advance. Do your best to stay on top of it.
- Work diligently.
- Form a great relationship with the other interns, as they are in the same boat as you. Rely on each other to get things done as a team.
- Form a great relationship with the graduate students who you’ll be working with regularly on projects. Especially form a relationship with the Marketing grad. They will be the person that you work the closest with.
- Get to know the professional staff, too. They are going to have projects for you and it’s important to help whenever it’s necessary.
- Have some fun. Cliche, I know. But the work you’ll be doing will bog you down if you let it.
- Get up and take a lap around the track. Just do it. It’ll help you think clearer.
Overall, this is a great opportunity and you have the chance to make it whatever you want to. So dream big!