Internship Ideas: Brittany at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital

I have exciting news to share about our department blog! We have partnered with our COMS 323: Writing for Public Relations students who will all be writing guest posts for our blog! This means, more posts, more often, and a great way to provide writing experience for our COMS majors and PR minors! A big thank you to Professor Stoddard for working with me on this!

Up first is a post by COMS senior Kianna Fernandez about COMS senior Brittany Olivar and her current internship with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. (Don’t you love that… a blog post about a COMS major written by another COMS major!). Take it away Kianna…

With the internship class in full swing, senior Brittany Olivar had an opportunity to put her passion to work at her new job. Brittany is working on a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies with a health studies minor. Entering college she was a pre-nursing major but quickly realized that was not what she loved. Now she is blending her two passions of public relations with a health care focus through her internship.

Brittany Olivar helped at the St. Jude’s Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer on September 24, 2016, in San Francisco.

Brittany Olivar helped at the St. Jude’s Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer on September 24, 2016, in San Francisco.

Q: Where do you intern, and what do you do?

Brittany: “I am interning for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The point of the organization is that, no matter what service is received, parents do not receive a bill for treatment.”

Q: What is your job title?

Brittany: “I am a field operations intern.”

Q: What do you do on a daily basis for the position?

Brittany: “Honestly, it sounds so cheesy, but no day is the same. Generally when I first get into the office, I say hi to everyone and check my emails and voicemail. Then I go from there. Nothing is the same. I will either be calling businesses in the area, or I will be putting together a spreadsheet of an outreach list, or I’ll be preparing a social media post. I feel like I do multiple things. It just depends on what event is coming up and then go from there. That’s honestly what I love about the internship; no two days are the same. I feel that I am getting a lot of experience in different ways, and that’s what I love.”

Q: How did you find this internship?

Brittany: “It was honestly completely random. It was over the summer, and I was on an internship job board site. I didn’t have an internship over the summer, and I really wanted one for the fall. So, I just typed in health care communication to see what would pop up because just typing communications seemed way too broad. Then the opportunity popped up. I ended up just going to the St. Jude’s website and applied directly through them.”

Q: Why did you decide to intern at St. Jude’s?

Brittany: “I feel like it was the perfect fit because of my major and minor. I felt I could bring a lot of my background and what I’m interested in into the work I would do with the organization. Also, the mission of the organization really resonates with me. Even now, working with them, I realize how amazing it is because everyone is genuinely passionate about what he or she is doing. It’s nice to know the work I’m doing is bigger than myself.”

Q: What have you learned from this internship already?

Brittany: “I thought it was really cool when I was added as an administrator to some of the main St. Jude’s social media pages. I am on Facebook more for personal use, so to be added on as an administrator was a big responsibility. It was cool to see the behind-the-scenes of what goes into making a functioning page, like seeing who has viewed your post, how many views this post has reached, and seeing the behind-the-scenes of analytics. One thing I never knew was that you could schedule posts if you own a page. It’s really awesome when I think of something really cool. I can schedule it to post in two days for the perfect timing. I’ve learned to do that.”

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

Brittany: “When you are looking for an internship, don’t just leave it at communications sometimes. Think of different positions or even organizations that you would be interested in interning. Field operations intern definitely did not sound like communications intern. Just explore different companies and different options. It sounds really cheesy, but don’t give up. I feel like there became a period during spring going into summer when I was thinking that I might not be on the right path because I didn’t have an internship. The most important thing I’ve learned out of this is to not give up. Find something you are really passionate about and have a love for. Everything has a way of working itself out the way it’s supposed to work out.”

Congratulations Brittany, on interning with such a great organization!