Learning the Ropes
This internship course was unlike any other course I’ve taken at Rowan. It was demanding at times but also very beneficial. I say beneficial because within this internship I did many tasks that allowed me to use the writing and website skills I already learned in several other Rowan courses. For the first time in my life I got a chance to see those skills be used in the professional field and know that I was generally good enough for that environment. Some of these skills were how to manage a social media account, edit a website or comment on others’ work within the department, and how to be a part of a team. I also got to participate in a career fair, which helped me be more aware of the kind of jobs available. By the end of the internship, I can say with good confidence that I was actually more qualified for the professional world than I previously thought.
My fellow intern Sincere and I were assigned to social media account and were each given separate days to post content. The account was on Instagram and belonged to the Rowan Writing Arts Department. At first I didn’t really have clue of how to run the account. Of course I’ve had my own social media account, but doing it for a professional account is a very different concept. Sincere and I learned how to be very consistent and cautious with what we posted. We had to be sure that the voice and language for every post between us was overall the same. This was a challenge for Sincere and I. We overcame our issues by monitoring what other University accounts were doing, both what they posted and how they communicated about others or themselves. In addition, we constructed a style guide, where we jointly worked on which type of voice the account should have. The elements we considered included news stories and what events to promote, tone of voice and it’s class of language, the color scheme of each post and so on. It was both fun and interesting to promoted events and courses for the writing department. If managing a social media account has taught me anything, it’s that I should be more aware of the genre I’m working in and representing. By the end of the semester, I believe we achieved something really consistent and well thought out.
Editing the Website
Working within the Weebly interface and updating the department’s was one of the most important tasks I thought we were given as interns. After all, the Rowan Writing Arts website is used many writing students and faculty during the semester. It has tons of significant details on the courses and programs a students can take and be apart of. There’s information regarding student scholarships, undergraduate and graduate programs, minors, how to write an analysis statement for senior portfolio, etc. My team and I had to be very accurate on the types of details we were adding to both new and old pages, where principal terms and courses were linked to, and how to format everything. We had a significant duty to get the correct information out to these people, and if we messed up or confused data, could hinder their knowledge of courses or programs and how they could plan out their semester. However, while working on this website I recognized that most of the skills I became well acquainted with by using social media, Microsoft Office, and website creators like Wordpress really made it easier for me to achieve my goals in Weebly. Plus, since my contribution to the website would help other students, I knew the work was worth doing. I was giving them a more convenient and reliable way of choosing their courses, which would benefit them both now and the future.
The two Career fairs I participated in were The College of Communication and Creative Arts (CCCA) Career Expo and Student Showcase and the Black Horse Pike Regional School District one. The first was at Rowan where college students and faculty could attend, while the other was a fair at Highland Regional High School for their students and two others high schools, Triton Regional and Timber Creek Regional to participate in. At the Rowan one my fellow interns and I worked a table to showcase the latest copy of Writer’s Insider and to encourage students to join our Internship team for the next semester. This was a chance for students that were unfamiliar with the internship to get the scoop on what different things they would be doing for the department if they join and how it will benefit them. I imagine that when students first hear of such an internship they think it’s going to be a lot of work and so much will be expected of them. Having this in mind I wanted insure them that most of the skills they’ve already learned in Rowan has mostly likely qualified them enough for the tasks they will be given. That, and it help them know what to expect from a professional position. By the end of the showcase we handed out many Insider flyers and gathered many students’ emails. It was great to meet many different people and I felt like my interns and I were really helping our department for next semester or so.
At the career fair in Highland I met many high school kids from different backgrounds. I had to help Professor Stephen A. Royek from the writing department with working the table. Several students came to us asking about Rowan, writing, what types of sections of writing they could take, like new media or journalism; what clubs Rowan had to offer, etc. It was difficult answering some of them, but I made sure I directed them to Royek too so I didn’t lead them a stray. We also handed out many copies of the latest Rowan Avant’s Literary Magazine, which helped them see the fun part of writing and the publishing opportunities they could have. In addition, Royek was also handing out his business card so he could email them information about the college later if they wanted to get in contact with him. It was nice to see a very diverse group interested in our college. Again. I felt like I want truly helping the department and getting the word around of what Rowan has to offer.
Being Part of a Team
Teamwork isn’t always the easiest thing, especially when you just met the people you’re going to work with. Among this internship there were three other students besides me. We only met once a week and communicated else where over the rest of the week, via text online group chat, and email. It was when we met up that we were giving specific tasks and duties. So most of our communication wasn’t face to face and that sometimes made things difficult. I had to be wary and always keep my phone close, at any moment I could get a message and someone might need me. Often someone would say something or we’d be trying to help each other out, and there was a communication barrier because the words didn’t have a voice or tone to match it. Still we had to work through these issues and complete the assignments we were given at the original time we each said we would. And if either one of us couldn’t hold our end of the bargain, we had to zero down the next time things could get done. Working with this group taught me a lot about responsibility and keeping my word. I realized quickly that in a work group such as this, it less mattered who I was or who they each were as a person. What mattered was my work ethic, that became my image and what I needed to focus on.
This Internship tested my skills within the professional field. I had to discern wisely what should fit with the genre of posting for the department or how to set up pages on the site. I got a look at some different careers at the Expo and did my best to create a well oiled machine with other interns. I now the expectations of the workplace and the skills that can help me meet them.