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Internship Ideas: Class Edition: Nickole at "About-Face"

Time to check in with another one of our Communication Studies Internship students. Who’s sharing internship wisdom today? Nickole Mariona! Here she is…

Q: Where did you intern and what do they do?

Nickole: “I work at About-Face which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to help women and girls resist the harmful messages from the media that affect their self esteem and body image.”

Q: How did you find this internship?

Nickole: “I found this internship through Professor Doohan at the beginning of the semester and decided to intern there in September.”

Q: Why did you decide to intern there?

Nickole: “The main reason why I decided to intern at About-Face is because a student in my Rhetoric and Social Movement class last year used to intern there and her experience sounded amazing so I wanted to see and try it for myself.”

Q: What did you do on a regular basis at your internship?

Nickole: “As an intern I do some general office tasks but I mostly handle their social media networks. My duties include updating their Tumblr, posting things on Facebook, and tweeting anything that pertains to women empowerment or sometimes calling out the media for sexualizing women. A fun thing that interns get to do is look through magazines and cut out ads and articles that are offensive to women and girls as well as ones that empower and celebrate women and girls. These ads are then put on About-Face’s gallery of winners and gallery of offenders.”

Q: What have you learned from this internship?

Nickole: “Working for a nonprofit is really exciting and different and there are many opportunities to learn new things. Before this internship I did not have a clue of how to use photo shop or edit and launch a website and doing this was crucial to my internship since About-Face was working on launching their new website.  My supervisor was very helpful throughout my internship and gave great criticism to help me improve my skills.”

Q: What advice do you have for other students looking for an internship?

Nickole: “My advice for anyone looking for an internship is to be open to any and all internship positions. Even if a nonprofit org was not your first or ideal choice for an internship, you should definitely try it because you never know what you might learn and that knowledge may be able to help you in the future.”

Q: What other advice can you offer based on the internship class, your assignments with the Career Services Center, or your internship supervisor? 

Nickole: “One last piece of advice that I got throughout this whole internship process is to find something that you are passionate about. If you get and internship and you are not passionate about it, you will not be happy at your job and will definitely regret it. Being passionate will help you grow not only in your career but also as a person.”

Thanks Nickole! As Nickole mentioned, we have a few Communication Studies majors intern at About-Face. And, they are looking for spring interns! Check out the Internship Binder in KA 313. You can find out more information about About-Face here: http://www.about-face.org/

COMS major Nickole, smiling because she found an ad to post on About-Face’s gallery of winners!

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Internship Ideas: The Class Edition: Elijio at Charles Zukow Associates!

Tell me I’m a mindreader. That all you want for Christmas is an Internship Ideas post. Well, get ready, because I’ve got many Internship Ideas postings to come because our COMS 496: Communication Studies Internship students are all sharing their internship experiences and advice here on the blog! First up is senior Communication Studies major Elijio Arreguin…

CZA intern and COMS major Elijio

Q: Where did you intern and what do they do?

Elijio: “I am a Public Relations Intern at Charles Zukow Associates (CZA), a boutique public relations firm in the heart of San Francisco.  Some of their clients include Beach Blanket Babylon, Cirque du Soleil, American Conservatory Theater, Safeway’s Holiday Ice Rink presented by American Airlines, Yigit Pura’s Tout Sweet Patisserie in Macy’s at Union Square, and Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.”

Q: How did you find this internship?

Elijio: “After finding and applying for seven other internships (via the Career Services Center’s DonsCareers Network), this opportunity came to me directly from Professor Doohan as a forwarded email sent to the class.  USF students have interned for CZA in the past, and they reached out to her to see if we might again be interested in applying. Clearly, they can’t get enough of us!” Elijio’s right… Charles Zukow Associates has been hosting our interns for several years now and it is a great internship! And, they are currently looking for a spring intern! Check out the Internship binder in KA 313 for more information!

Q: Why did you decide to intern there?

Elijio: “As soon as I entered the office for my interview at CZA Charly Zukow, the President and CEO, smiled and reached out his hand to introduce himself.  Julie, Kevin, Kimberly, and John were all equally friendly, and the interview felt much more like a conversation than an interrogation or test.  I could see that given the size of the office and attitude of the team, I would have an amazing opportunity to see and hear about all aspects of the public relations business.  They worked with me to create a mutually manageable schedule and have since continued to demonstrate a commitment to making the internship a positive learning experience for me.”

Q: What did you do on a regular basis at your internship?

Elijio: “I am constantly updating media contact lists in Excel in order to keep pace with changes within a wide variety of outlets around the Bay Area.  I also help package and prepare media kits, which are either compilations of press releases, photos, and informational handouts relevant to a certain event or gift packages of a client’s products.  These are sent to reporters in an effort to generate awareness of and interest in a client or specific event.  I also perform research relevant to various projects.  For example, I developed a list of women’s auxiliary groups to help identify speaking opportunities for one of CZA’s clients.  One of the larger projects I’ve had the chance to work on involved drafting and sending an email to the authors of prominent blogs requesting their contact information, allowing us the opportunity to add them to our list of media contacts and giving them the chance to receive media kits and event invitations.” Funny, Elijio, I didn’t receive any sort of kit. Is this blog not prominent enough? Sniff.

Q: What have you learned from this internship?

Elijio: “Through this internship, I have gained a working understanding of the dynamics of the public relations industry and developed a familiarity with many of the daily tasks that PR professionals perform.  I even got the opportunity to write my own press release, which was sent to media outlets and used as the basis for stories!  The practical experience of working alongside others in an office setting is one of the most valuable aspects of my internship.  Reporting to others on projects has taught me the importance of clear communication and asking questions, and meeting deadlines while maintaining a high standard of work will be applicable to any future job I accept.”

Q: What advice do you have for other students looking for an internship?

Elijio: “From the process of finding, applying for, and performing an internship, the most salient lesson I learned is that preparation is the most important tool for success.  When preparing for your own internship experience, do your research on each employer to determine if it will be a good fit.  If you get the chance to interview, then you will have a solid understanding of what the employer expects of and can offer you as well as how you can assist them.  As a second piece of advice, don’t hesitate to over-apply.  I applied for eight internships and only received any sort of response from three employers.  It’s important to keep your options open, and if nothing else you’ll get some great practice at writing cover letters!”

Since this is “Internship Ideas: The Class Edition” I asked our students to share another piece of advice about something they learned from the class and assignments, the Career Services Center, or their internship supervisor.

Elijiio: “Related to the theme of preparation is a concept presented to me by Lynn Butler, the Global Staffing Director at ON24 who so kindly conducted my mock interview with the Career Services Center on campus.  In our post-interview discussion, she introduced to me the idea of an ‘elevator pitch,’ something she insisted every aspiring professional should be ready to deliver at any moment.  Essentially, the elevator pitch is an explanation of your skills and career goals that you could deliver in the time it takes to ride an elevator from the tenth floor to the first floor.  While social media sites such as LinkedIn continue to play an increasingly central role in the job market, interpersonal networking in physical contexts can still provide great opportunities.  You never know whom you may meet or what they may be able to offer you!”

Great advice, Elijio! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us! Keep checking our blog for more entries from our students!