Digital Marketing Internship: My final week
By: Clara, Digital Marketing Intern 2022 and BSc Geography student
I’ve reached the final week of my internship! So just before I log out from all the GeoSciences services and finish up my final few things, I thought I would reflect a bit on what I have been up to this summer, and what this internship has meant for me.
I came into this internship not really knowing what I was expecting at all. I knew I wanted to work with my school and figured it would be interesting to stay in Edinburgh over the summer. This time, as a staff member rather than a member of the student body. In that, I was right. It has been so insightful to see the School and the university from a staff member’s eyes, rather than just as a student. There’s so much going on behind the curtains here, all the time, that most students will never even know about!
Before my internship, I could not for the life of me imagine what kind of things could be going on at the University over the summer. Sure, I presumed that the academics would be working on their research as per usual. But what could the other professional staff be doing, now that the students (all the undergraduate students at least) had left the city? I (naively, yes) did not consider the amount of planning that could go into preparing open days, welcome week, and student recruitment. The number of hours that needed to be put in, as professional staff worked with prospective and confirmed future students, as well as with continued marketing and maintenance of what is already happening in the School. Now, all of this seems obvious to me. Of course, it takes months of planning to prepare for the welcoming of new students in September. Of course, tons of organisational hours have been put into making the Open Days run smoothly. Of course, there is always someone’s work behind every Instagram and Twitter post that is put up, every School of GeoSciences banner and leaflet that is made.
This past summer, I worked with both smaller and larger projects, social media, organisational things, and student welcoming and marketing. Some things I have found more enjoyable, and some things have been more challenging.
When I started this internship, I was primarily looking forward to working with research marketing, and scientific communication, if I could. I was keen to learn more about what kind of research was going on within the school, and how, if in any way, we let people know about it. It was interesting to see on what platforms these things were shared, and how language varied between them. How sharing a post about research on Twitter was one thing, compared to sharing it on LinkedIn. And how sharing research on Instagram was apparently not really relevant to that specific audience at all.
I also enjoyed being able to ‘read in’ on email threads and see the discussions that occurred the final weeks before the research was published. How academics worked with communicators on press release drafts. What should and should not be in a press release? Was there anything research or funding-specific that the academics wanted to mention? And how did communicators ask for images or quotes? For many years when I was younger, I wanted to become a journalist. I am happy with my geography degree, I was always more inclined toward the natural sciences anyway. Nonetheless, watching this exchange really brought back the old feelings of excitement I had thought about a possible future within journalism. It has made me realise, or rather, cemented the thought, that I could really see myself working with scientific communication in the future. I can think of few things as interesting as being able to constantly learn about new research, and having the ability to share that research with more people.
My internship has also involved loads of social media marketing through TikToks and Instagram. Making small videos and posts to get people to engage with the School. Although I was excited about this part of the job, it is something I always considered more daunting. I can be a bit shy and have never been big on managing my private social media accounts. However, working with the team this summer (thanks for a great few weeks, Ysabelle, Vojta, and Nikki!) has helped me step out of my shell, and the small box that was my comfort zone, a bit more. As the weeks have passed, I have increasingly enjoyed that part of the internship, too. It has been fun brainstorming ideas, and a great relief to come to understand that people do not really care about what you post. If it is fun, or interesting, they will talk about it. If it is boring, it will simply disappear quicker in an ocean of new posts, videos, and stories. And that is not the end of the world.
With the last week of my internship coming to a close, this, for me, means finalising all the small projects that I have started. As I finish typing this blog post, I have just scheduled those final social media posts and made all the finishing touches on the organisational projects that I have been working on. Having had the opportunity to spend the summer with the Marketing and Communications team has been lovely. I have learnt so much, both about myself, the School, and marketing and communications. Most of all, I have had such a fun time getting to know and working with the team all in the office and through the lens of my laptop camera.
A huge thank you to Ysabelle, Nikki, and Vojta, (and towards the end of the summer, Katrina!) for taking care of me and working with me these past weeks, and for being such wonderful people. It’s been great!