Monthly Archives: June 2013

My #UMSocial Internship Experience

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This post was contributed by Communication Studies & Spanish Junior Katie Szymanski, Social Media Intern at #UMSocial.  Follow her on Twitter: @KatieSkii

I usually have a hard time explaining my internship, and what it entails, when people ask.  How do you describe social media posting strategy and analytics to your grandma, let alone the entire idea of social media?! Even among my Twitter-loving and Vine-obsessed friends, the response is always the same: “You sit on Facebook for your job?”

Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. My internship involves curating the main University of Michigan Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram accounts, while also helping generate content for the Facebook and Twitter accounts if need be.  I also must stay on top of social trends, campus news, and do a lot of research.

Before working for #UMSocial, I, like many others, took for granted the Facebook posts, tweets, and Instagram pictures that appeared (almost magically) in my feed.  Deep down, I knew that the content had to originate somewhere, but I never gave it a second thought!  When I heard of this opportunity from a friend, who happened to intern for #UMSocial at the time, I soon realized that it’s much more than any post or tweet.

During my interview, I fell in love with the job description, along with the adorable Michigan Creative office. I immediately felt like the internship was a perfect fit for a Communication Studies major like myself (and also for my inner social media junkie).  Unlike other students, I would finally have the insider’s look at #UMSocial and meet the man behind the hashtag.

Well, I should say woman.  My boss, Hillary Frazier, is the driving-force behind all things #UMSocial.  Since January, Hillary has been my mentor and creative brainstorming partner (in-crime).

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Each day at Michigan Creative and #UMSocial is different because things are constantly changing on campus!  Instead of sitting in our cubicle, some days we’re out on campus creating content, some days we venture over to one of the office’s creative spaces, filled with bean bags, white boards, and overly comfy couches.  Above: Hillary in her natural brainstorming habitat.

Fast forward 6 months, I can truly say that I love this job.  I really appreciate the variability that it allows!  From hanging out with Dhani Jones, attending a Darren Criss concert, to sifting through hundred-year old photos in the Bentley Historial Library’s collections, I’ve realized that working for #UMSocial is more than a desk job, and much more than “just sitting on Facebook.” While I am considered a “Social Media Intern,” I am learning so much more about our University and its students through this process!

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Throughout the remainder of my internship, I will be regularly documenting my experiences and sharing behind-the-scenes pictures on our new blog, umichinterns.tumblr.com!  In doing so, I hope to shed light on the University of Michigan, social media in general, and why these platforms are important for harnessing student involvement and bettering the overall UMich experience.