My internship this summer was as a digital intern with the 2016 Republican National Convention. This was the first time a Republican National Convention had a stand-alone Digital department, so being an intern in this department was a unique experience. Specifically, I worked under the Director of Content in the Digital department, so I worked closely with her to develop content for our social media platforms. Specifically, this included creating Snapchat stories, writing blog posts, filming and editing videos, drafting tweets, organizing spreadsheets and more.
This internship was unlike any other that I’ve done before because it was very hands on. One key lesson I learned from this experience is I’m capable of more than I knew. When I found out I was going to be working twelve hour days and seven days a week leading up to Convention, I found this news daunting. I thought to myself, “How am I going to survive this summer?” With the help of lots of caffeine and amazing colleagues, the experience wasn’t that painful—and actually turned out to be one of the best of my life. Although the hours were long and the sleep was little, I’m now able to say I was a member of the Digital department for the second largest media event in the world (second only to the Olympics!).
My best piece of advice for future student interns is don’t turn down internships just because they’re unpaid—sometimes these can lead to the best opportunities. Prior to my internship with the Republican National Convention, I completed two unpaid internships. Of course if an internship arises that is a great experience AND is paid then take full advantage of this opportunity, but don’t think less of yourself if you take an unpaid internship. I know I will be set up great for the future after graduation due to the connections I’ve made and lessons I’ve learned through my internships.
-- Sarah Matthews, Senior Public Relations Major