Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How I got my social media internship

My name is Mindy Rappoport and I’m a Peer Career Advisor (PCA) at CU Career Services. I’m currently a senior news-editorial journalism major who is also earning a technology, arts and media (digital media skills) certificate. My interest in communication ranges from traditional print media to public relations to social networking.

A little over a year ago, I interviewed Elyse Heslin for the Career Services blog. Elyse was a former PCA who had graduated the semester before I started working at Career Services. After graduating, Elyse began working at Room 214, a social media agency based in Boulder. I had stumbled upon their website while I was searching for social media and communications internships in Boulder. I couldn’t help but wonder what Elyse’s job was really like, so I emailed her some questions for her to answer for the Career Services blog post. I was amazed when she replied and told me that part of her job entailed managing “social media communities and online conversations” about such brands as Sanrio (Hello Kitty) and Crock-Pot. Working at a social media agency sounded like an incredible job for someone like me, who has strong research and writing skills and also loves social networking and communication. Once the blog was complete, I sent Elyse the link and told her how interested I was in her line of work. I could see myself going into a similar career after graduation. Elyse replied back with an offer to meet with me to talk about my career interests and learn more about social media marketing.

With graduation just a year away, I needed to hone in on the specific type of communications job I was interested in. I set up an informational interview with Elyse, where I asked her even more questions about her job and what it’s like to work at a social media agency. I left the meeting more ecstatic than ever! Not only did Elyse love communications just as much as I did, but she had landed what I was convinced was my dream job. I immediately scoured Room 214’s website for information about their company and watched every YouTube video they had posted.

Once I completed my research, I emailed Room 214 my cover letter and resume. I hoped that I could show them what a valuable and helpful part of their team I could be. They didn’t have any open positions at the time, but nevertheless I applied because the worst they could say was “no.” After interviewing with Room 214, they extended an internship offer to me and I accepted.

I’ve been working at Room 214 for a little over a month now, and as a social media intern, I conduct research, test Facebook applications that our developers have created (quality assurance), and help manage social media accounts for clients. I love the work I do in the office, and to this day I can’t help but think that if I hadn’t met with Elyse to find out more about her job, I might not have found my place in this growing social media industry.