I first began interning with the Susan G. Komen Iowa affiliate when I was still a freshman in college, afraid to approach an interview and intimidated by the idea of a real job in my professional field.
Two years later, even after my internship ended, I was offered opportunities to volunteer my time with this great organization. Photographing events, helping events staff, and assisting social media efforts.
Life gets busy and with more work experience and jobs filling my time, I have not been able to spend as much time with this organization. However, I am so thankful for the opportunities and connections the organization has brought me.
When I first interviewed, I pointed out that I had little prior experience. My strongest points were my willingness to work hard, learn, and my interest in the organizations mission and interest in volunteering my time and skills towards the cause. My resume was loaded with high school activities, because I was simply a freshman emerging from her first semester of college, watching seemingly all the students around me somehow nab these amazing internships.
Yes, I felt pressured to get an internship, because all my peers at Drake University were doing the same. Yet I am so thankful for the pressure. I’m thankful for the Drake culture of excellence, of pursuing field experience at a young age, even as an underclassman, growing in a genuine, professional environment.
So back to the interview. At first, I did not receive the job. It was handed to someone more experienced and older.
However, I received a call a week or so later with a job offer. I was next in line, apparently. So I said yes.
The internship I received was essentially split into two parts, the spring “events” internship, and the summer “social media” internship. They decided to keep me around through the fall to help with the Race for the Cure 2016, and then a bit of winter, all the way up to my study abroad in January.
I still returned home that summer to lifeguard and make some money as I geared up to study abroad, but this small, unpaid internship made a world of difference as I pursued more jobs into the future.
This internship was not out of the office in Merle Hay, but rather a remote internship. This pushed me to excel in terms of internal communication, prepared me well for future jobs, and helped me forge strong professional relationships despite working from my dorm room or the library on campus. I learned how to network throughout the city even as a freshman without a car, simply relying on email, phone calls, and the occasional Des Moines transit to get me where I needed to be from time to time. (Shoutout to you, DART bus.)
My primary responsibility in the summer was maintaining a schedule of social media posts to Facebook. I learned how to use Facebook’s publishing platform to draft and schedule posts. In terms of content, I followed a pretty straightforward pattern where each day of the week followed a particular theme. I think this idea of day-by-day themes is useful and worth considering as a tactic in future jobs. I know that there is some research out there that suggests companies do not need to post every day, some no more than a few leveraged posts a month.