Interning. It is a necessary experience, which most students face with reluctance because it means the ‘real world’ is fast approaching.
As a senior studying journalism and Spanish here at CSU, I knew that I needed more experience with the skills and knowledge I have obtained these last three years. Luckily, the opportunity to be a Social and Digital Media Intern for CSU’s Division of External Relations came my way.
This blog tracks my efforts to navigate the life of an intern. Here are the first four things I have learned in my time here:
1. Spreadsheets, spreadsheets and more spreadsheets.
I knew that spreadsheets were often used to manage social media, but I did not understand the extent of it. There are spreadsheets of hundreds of email addresses, social media analytics, account handles and archives.
With the amount of work, planning and organization that goes into social media management, it is necessary to use spreadsheets to maintain all the information and data.
2. Data analytics are vital.
Social media data analytics show quantitative results of the hard work done by Team Social. Data analytics track the progress of CSU’s social media. Being able to visualize the influence and positive effects social media has with the university tells Team Social what they are doing right and what they need to change.
Once a week, I log CSU’s social media analytics in a, you guessed it, spreadsheet. I predicted this would be a mundane process. I was wrong. Seeing the impressions and reach of content made by this team is exciting and impressive.
3. There is constant innovation from social media platforms.
One of my weekly tasks is to research all social media platforms for news, updates and announcements. At first, I thought this search would be futile and lack substantial news worth sharing. However, that has not been the case.
I have found that social media platforms are not just sending out updates to fix bugs, but are often launching new apps, features and constantly innovating. Many social media corporations are even moving into developing hardware for their apps and sites. Snap Inc. is developing video enable sunglasses and Periscope is now compatible with professional broadcasting equipment. Tracking these platforms has become one of my favorite weekly tasks.
Social media develops daily and following its progress is crucial.
4. When you care about what you are doing, you do it well.
One of the more philosophical lessons learned in my first four weeks with Team Social is that if you care about what your work is benefitting, you will create great, effective work.
In my interview, I was asked about Colorado State, its brand and the community. Answering felt almost effortless because my experiences at CSU have shaped an appreciation for this place and the people here. I love talking about CSU, I love being a part of CSU and now I get to work for CSU.
Everyone on Team Social cares about CSU and its people. It shows in the content created, the engagement from CSU’s community and awards won by this team.
I genuinely enjoy the work I get to do here and that is something a lot of people cannot say about their internships.