What’s one skill or concept from one of you classes that you found yourself using in your internship?
I would say strategic social media stuff because you have to come up with strategies on how to really engage your followers and audience and how to build a network up of strong and weak ties that I learned in many of my communication studies classes.
Walk us through a typical day at your internship.
I actually share an office with our data management center manager and he runs everything within WVNet. Ill just go and have my own computer and desk space, go through and bring up all my social media feeds and first thing I like to do is see if anybody has followed me, or mentioned me or how I plan on engaging people that certain day. And you know every day really varies because it’s just starting to take off the ground now. So I have a whole media team, I have a graphics designer and video editors and web designers so I tell them what I need for that day, if I need a new logo, or need something new, a new photo I can go to them and ask them what I need. And I really like to specify my content towards if there is an event going on or anything like that and it just changes day to day on how I feel and what creativity comes to me that day.
How do you connect people in these rural communities with Internet?
What URcast and WVNet does really is provide caching services which is, if these places have low broadband or internet connections, if 5 students get on they’re not going to be able to get on it will be way too slow so what this allows is for them to all get on at the same time.
With more and more commerce taking place online, access to broadband can level the playing field between rural and urban communities. What drew you to an internship at WVNet?
I was really looking for something within the field of Social Media and the fact that it’s not only you know that this is a good internship and I’m getting great experience, but I am also really making a change in the state that I really love and going to WVU you feel even more of a sense of pride for West Virginia. You’re making a change and it’s kind of a sense of fulfillment to see how happy they are just to be able to be doing something new and something different. And you can see how much they improve within the classroom.
What has been your favorite moment so far in the internship?
On March 13 there was a nationwide initiative called Digital Learning Day. I actually organized an entire event which was a DLD carnival. So this is at an elementary school and we had different types of games that related to technology. We had them create a digital superhero online and it was like the Marvel website. They created a superhero and wrote a paragraph about how you could be saved using something online or learn something digitally. We had different prizes, we had games for them.
Fill in the blank: Majoring in Communication Studies has …
Really just helped me to be able to do what I want to do because it is such a broad field. I can go on to do some marketing, I can do web design, I can go and do a little bit of social media.
What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve had while interning with WVNet?
Being comfortable and being confident about what I know because you’re on the phone with people who have years of experience they’re all older than you, they’re all established financially within their job you know and you feel as though you’re learning so much from them. It’s kind of nerve racking when they come to you what do you think we need to do, what do we need to do (with marketing) and being confident in your ability to say “this is what we need to do!” and really being able to utilize it and go through with it and see the results. It’s nerve racking, but when you see the results you see that you are confident about what you are doing.