A Look Back on my Internship with #CSUSocial

As I graduate, I’m taking a look back at some of the highlights and lessons from my internship with CSU Social.

In April 2020, I sat at home seeing my fears come true: school was going to stay online for TBD, all restaurants and bars were closed TBD, my summer internship was TBD, and the general state of the world was TBD. In a time defined by uncertainty and stress, one of the only moments that brought me clarity and excitement was when Kimberly Stern emailed me asking if I was interested in joining her team as a student intern, specifically to help with the team’s Twitter efforts. I said yes, and the rest is history. 

Almost 15 months later, I’m taking a look back at some of the highlights and lessons from my internship with CSU Social. 

Student Q&A’s

Getting to spearhead the Student Q&A initiative was a meaningful project that helped promote events, share identities, and celebrate the amazing community at CSU. For me, I was able to have powerful and candid conversations with my peers about their backgrounds, struggles, and goals. These conversations brought me a lot of connection during a year of isolation, and I was grateful to extend that connection to the entire CSU community on social media. The initiative came full circle when I was featured as part of the #CSURamGrad2021 celebrations on social. 

All things Twitter

I’ll admit it, I love Twitter. I could spend endless hours scrolling through the app, and will swear by its power. I was beyond excited to help manage the flagship account at CSU, and after writing around 2,000 tweets in the last year, I still feel the same way every time I hit the blue “Tweet” button. Twitter is a powerful way to share messages with an audience, and the Twitterverse continues to be the place where social conversations begin. CSU’s role on Twitter as an information hub, story central, and fun zone of memes and aesthetic imagery meant content was always available and there was plenty of room to explore. I now feel that I have the ability to manage a brand account and can employ successful social strategies on behalf of an organization.  

Graduation #1, #2, #3

Supporting CSU Social during the university’s Commencements was a highlight of my time interning, and it was valuable getting to help the team during my own graduation. While virtual graduation ceremonies weren’t necessarily what people expected, the social efforts each time demonstrated a new way to approach meaningful events, and I felt nothing but excitement and good vibes on social media during Commencement. 

Social media is always changing

One of the major lessons I learned during this job was how fast, and significantly, the social media landscape can change. It can be frustrating that tactics from 2018 are now obsolete, or how genuinely fast some platforms come and go (cough, Snapchat, cough, TikTok). The rapid pace of social media means constantly paying attention, and having a solid set of values, principles, purpose and mission to stick to. 

While my time at CSU has come to an end, and I’m now officially an alum, I’ll always look to my time with Team Social as one of the most valuable experiences of my college career. Getting to work with such an excellent team through a pandemic, election, social justice movement, wildfire season, and so many other things in between, I learned more than the technical skills of social and digital media practices — I learned skills of resiliency, tenacity and kindness from my mentors. Thank you for everything!

Brian Dusek in his car holds sign out the window that says "Go Rams, it's your birthday" while passing by CAM the Ram on the Oval.
CSU Social intern Brian Dusek helping CAM the Ram celebrate Colorado State University’s 151st birthday in a car parade.