Megan Mittelhammer is a rising senior journalism major with a minor in political science and a certificate in public affairs communications. (Photo: submitted, Graphics by Sam Perez)
Grady InternViews: Megan Mittelhammer
This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.
Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.
A typical day will always start with coffee! I drive to the Capitol, where I compile news clips to send out to the office. We have a morning meeting and discuss what everyone is working on and what’s on tap for that week. I mostly work on proclamations and commendations (when the governor wants to proclaim a certain day or month, or recognize an individual for their contributions to the state). I also update the website, draft social media posts and work on press releases. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to draft remarks and video scripts for the governor, which is exciting. I’m lucky that I have another intern in the communications office who’s a UGA student. We have a ton of mutual connections, so we’ve become great friends.
How is it structured? Is it remote or in-person and what has that been like?
I’m fortunate to have found an in-person internship, and despite having to wake up early this summer, I’ve loved getting to be in the office and meet new people or just hang out at someone’s desk and chat. You can’t really do that over Zoom.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
I think writing remarks is the biggest challenge so far because I’m still learning the governor’s voice and how to write from his point of view.
What has been the biggest growth you’ve experienced so far?
I feel like my confidence in my abilities has grown, especially over the past year. When I was offered the internship, that boosted my confidence tremendously. Most of my experience has come from writing for The Red & Black, but getting to put skills from my Public Affairs Communications classes into action has been rewarding.
How do you feel that Grady has prepared you for tackling the job?
My classes and professors at Grady have done a great job preparing me for this internship. In my PAC class, we practice writing a variety of releases, briefs, etc. — a lot of things that I’m working on right now! And when I have to fact check information or craft social posts, I know I’m using skills from my journalism classes.
What is your advice for other students looking to take on a similar role, and what advice would you give them if they’re considering a PAC certificate?
It’s all about connections! I knew some friends who did this same internship and encouraged me to apply, and my mentor was a huge help in so many aspects of the internship search process and acted as a knowledgeable resource. For new Grady students, start out networking among your cohort and professors, and definitely get involved with the UGA Mentor Program. Your list of connections will only grow from there.
If you’re thinking about any combination of writing and politics, definitely connect with a PAC student and apply to the PAC program!
What lessons will you take back with you to Athens in the fall?
The lessons I’ll take with me are to trust in my abilities as a writer and communicator, and to not be afraid to try new things. I take the initiative to ask for certain projects that I’ve never really done before, and it has paid off. I like serving and informing Georgians through this internship, and I’ll keep that in mind when I begin Newsource in the fall. I’ve been given a lot of responsibility and opportunities that I know are preparing me for my classes in the fall as well as life after college.
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