This summer I made the unconventional decision for a Film & TV major and accepted an internship that was “technically” a Public Relations internship. I spent my summer as a Social Media Intern for Boston Children’s Hospital.
Every time someone in the office asked me what my major was they would expect me to say “Communications” or “PR.” They were even more surprised when they found out that what I actually wanted to do in Television was to write and produce for comedies.
So why did I do it?
I, like many others in the industry, have noticed just how Social Media has taken the world by storm. Every single show you see on television has a twitter or Facebook or instagram or all of the social media platforms. I also had done social media for COM and for some groups on campus so I had enough experience to get the job in the first place.
Currently, there are no classes for Film & TV that really focus on social media so I knew that this opportunity would expand my knowledge base and understanding. And isn’t that what internships are for in the first place??
So what did I learn?
I learned A TON. Don’t fret- I DID get to go on shoots and actually help film a lot of the videos that BCH uses on their Media Platforms. However, when I look at Social Media now, I understand the marketing and analytics behind it. I also understand the process it takes to create media content and advertise it online. These are processes that can be directly applied to the Television industry.
One example is a project that I got to work on my own. One of the Directors had informed me that the Boston Police Department was coming to visit a patient and bring him gifts while he was recovering from his 17th surgery. Owen is 6 years old and loooooooves the Police Department. So this was going to be a big deal.
All I had to do was go to the Hospital and get iPhone footage of the visit and then come back to our offices in the Landmark Center and get the story ready. I edited the footage together in FinalCut and sewed together the story I wanted to tell. I also had to contact his Mom and get some information so I could write the social copy for the video.
Once I got the story together, the video went live. It turned out to be our most successful post of the week, receiving 140,000 views, 4,000 likes, 1,086 shares and 140 comments. The story was also picked up by all of the local news affiliates and on Littlethings.com, which filters media through a multitude of platforms such as NBC News and the Today Show. So cool right????
Through this I understood the importance of telling stories like Owen’s. I also got to have a hands on experience of finding a story, producing the story and telling the story.
Another jobs of mine was to go through all of the comments on my video and respond to the many viewers. As a producer this was amazing because I got to see first hand what my viewers were responding to my content.
You can see the video here: https://www.facebook.com/BostonChildrensHospital/videos/10157095426895333/
By the end of the summer, I couldn’t have imagined myself in a better position. I learned so much about how video is taking over the internet and it gave me a perspective on the industry that will help guide me through my entire career. So no matter what your major is, if there’s an experience that you think will help shape you as a person then go for it! Don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things. If you want to work in Comedy like me, when else are you going to get to work for a Children’s hospital??