Grady InternViews: Erin Riney

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and your responsibilities.

As a project management intern, I am working on the Regions Bank and Blue Cross Blue Shield accounts this summer. I will be working under two senior project managers. In this role, I will be creating timelines, estimating budgets, and scoping the necessary resources for all our projects.

How will this role guide your future career path?

I knew that I wanted to pursue project management at the end of my undergraduate career. I have prior experience creating timelines and managing a team, but I have never done anything regarding budgets or resource management. I am excited to learn more about these so I have a complete skillset as a project manager. These next two months will also help me decide whether I want to work at a bigger agency (like Luckie) or a smaller one after I graduate with my master’s degree.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far?

Be flexible! Agency life is fun, but it is also extremely fast-paced and challenging at times. Sometimes proofing takes a little longer than expected, or a design is finished earlier than the date listed on the timeline. Regardless, be flexible and work together to submit the deliverable to your client when promised.

What has been your favorite part about your internship so far?

My favorite part of the internship has been the people. Everyone that I have met at Luckie so far is incredibly talented, but they are also extremely welcoming and willing to help in whatever way that they can, even if they do not work in your specific department. I have also enjoyed working with some of the bigger clients that Luckie has.

Erin works in an office in Duluth, GA. (Photo:submitted)
If you could describe your internship in only three words, what would they be?

Challenging, hands-on, rewarding.

What advice would you give to students looking to pursue similar opportunities?

For those who want to pursue a career in advertising, I would suggest working in an agency at least once. Even if you decide that you want to work on the client side, agency life challenges you and causes you to grow extremely quickly. It is also beneficial to know both sides of the industry.

Grady InternViews: Dania Kalaji

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and your responsibilities. 

I am a Dow Jones News Fund intern. I’m in a cohort of around 150 other Dow Jones news interns who are placed in specific newsrooms around the country. These newsrooms have a contract affiliation with the Dow Jones News Fund so that they can better equip younger journalists. The one I’m with is called Bay City News Foundation. It is based in Oakland, California, but I’m living in San Francisco. It’s a newswire and a nonprofit that covers the entire Bay Area.

My internship is really flexible, so some days of the week, I’ll be writing daily news stories that are cast out on its newswire to around 8 million audience viewers. On the other hand, I’m also working on bigger capstone stories. Although my position is listed as a copy editor, they’re giving me the ability to also write stories – which is really great for me, because that’s my forte. I’m doing a mix of writing, copy editing and social media.

student on computer
Dania attended training at the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas before moving to the Bay Area for her internship this summer. (Photo:Bradley Wilson)
What has been your favorite part about your internship so far?

My favorite part about my internship so far would definitely be the 10 day training at the University of Texas. For those 10 days, it was long hours and pretty rigorous training, but it really taught me how important it is to be a well-rounded journalist. It doesn’t just take writing, telling a story and giving people voices that we seldom hear – it’s also about the nitty gritty stuff. By that, I mean headlines, SEO and framing your stories in particular ways on social media or in newspapers as well.

I was in a cohort with about 15 other Dow Jones news fund interns and that was the best part of it, being able to make new friends that are at my exact same level in journalism and my age. It was great to connect with them, and connect with the professors that were leading the program and to hear from different panelists from, for example, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post – it was really such a well-rounded experience.

What about this role has surprised you?

I think what’s most surprising is the trust that they’ve placed in me as an intern. I think that it’s really important when they place trust in you, because it allows you to grow and to see where your interests lie. I’m really interested in arts and entertainment, as well as critical writing. I think having that time to experiment is very important. Having these resources around you, all the professional journalists who’ve been in the industry for so long, they want to give you the guidance and the training. I think that is surprising to a lot of interns, especially myself, is that people really do want to help you and see you thrive. That’s why they gave you this position.

Dania will serve as the digital managing editor for The Red and Black this fall. She’s glad to have found a student-run publication that feels like home, where she’s grown as a journalist. (Photo:submitted)

Given that trust, I’m able to cover bigger stories. I’m working on this huge story on the Bay Area about gentrification and how it’s affecting artists of color. The trust they’ve placed in me is what gives me that confidence to reach out to what I call “sharks”, those are the sources that are really hard to seek and are sometimes impossible to reach. But because your mentors give you that competence, you never know what could happen. So, because I was able to reach out to this person, with the confidence and the trust they’ve given me, I now have this really big interview, and I wouldn’t have had that if they didn’t push me to do so.

How will this internship guide you in your future career path?

Coming into college, I felt really lucky knowing that journalism is what I wanted to do, and choosing UGA wasn’t hard because I knew Grady had such an incredible program that sets you up perfectly for all these careers. I got my current internship because I did an internship last summer with Pensacola News Journal, which is my hometown paper. It’s part of Gannett, which is the USA Today network. I was able to get that internship because my professors and mentors at Grady, who were the ones that pushed me to do so. They gave me that competence to do it, because I knew I could, but I just needed to hear it from other people who I trust and look up to as models. After getting that internship, that’s when I was able to open my network in the journalism world. Now, I feel that I’m in a good place to explore the many options of journalism. Since I’ve been at The Red and Black (this will be my third year now), I’ve moved my way up in the ranks. I started as a contributor on the news desk, and then I was the outreach manager, and then I was the diversity, equity and inclusion chair for a year. Coming into the fall, I’ll be the digital managing editor. It’s really cool to be able to immerse yourself in everything that Grady and UGA has to offer, because that’s what’s going to ultimately lead me into my next role.

Dania’s view from the press box at the Chase Center, where she covered the NBA finals game for the Golden State Warriors. (Photo:submitted)

This internship is teaching me about different aspects of journalism, so that I can figure out exactly what I want to do later down the road. Given all of these opportunities, I’m really interested in the arts and entertainment world of journalism. I think the landscape of being a critic and writing film reviews is really exciting. What also excites me is breaking news and enterprise stories that are focused on diverse communities, and the people that we don’t really get to hear from a lot. When you look at my work, that’s what my stories are mostly focused on. I think as a young journalist, being able to navigate through all these internships and through all the different opportunities that you’re given is such a blessing because you get to experience all aspects of journalism.

How have your experiences at Grady prepared you for this internship?

I’ve started speaking at a lot of journalism classes, especially the journalism seminar that Dean Davis leads. Every time I’m asked to speak in those seminars, I always start with this, and it’s that if I hadn’t joined The Red and Black, I would not be where I am right now. I say that with full confidence. Without The Red and Black, I wouldn’t be half the journalist I am today. It’s so easy to start somewhere there, and then so quickly get sucked in and go up the ranks. All of a sudden, you’re the digital managing editor, and it’s because you love it so much. It’s just an overall well-rounded experience. Through The Red and Black, I’ve been able to work alongside people, not only in my journalism cohort, but people of different ages. It’s cool to communicate with everyone and build those relationships, because it shows you how important it is to keep those people close to you, because we’re all going through the same thing. The Red and Black is like my home – I’m really lucky to have found a student-run publication that’s made me feel so comfortable, and that I can grow in any aspect that I want to.

As a multiplatform editing intern, Dania is writing stories for the Bay City News Foundation. She recently wrote a story on the Golden State Warriors victory at the NBA finals in San Francisco on June 16. (Photo:submitted)

I really think that the professors at Grady are so well-equipped for the world beyond college, and they really prepare you for that. Out of all the classes that I’ve taken, two classes I took in the past semester have especially prepared me for this internship. One of them was feature writing with Nick Chiles. I’ve never been challenged that much in a course before, and it’s because he really pushed us to be the best journalism students we could be. Especially in feature writing, I learned how to display human emotion through stories – and it’s really hard. You don’t really know how hard it is until you’re actually sitting there with a blank Google doc, and you’re like how do I even start…how do I convey a human emotion through this hour long interview that I just had? Also, I took a multiplatform story production with Charlotte Norsworthy. She’s so incredible – she was also my newsroom advisor at The Red and Black, and part of the reason why I’m in this internship today is because she’s just so stellar. I learned so much about not just writing a story, but how to equip it with good visuals, audio, video and social media – all the things you need in today’s day and age in any journalism role. Those two classes really showed me how important it is to put care into my journalism classes as much as I put care into working at The Red and Black. At the end of the day, those professors are going to be vouching for you, and they will remember you.

Dania (back row, third from left) pictured with other Dow Jones interns at the University of Texas. (Photo:Bradley Wilson)

Grady InternViews: Caroline Parlantieri

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and your responsibilities.

As a public relations communications intern, my responsibilities include monitoring and reporting on team coverage in new and traditional local and national news outlets, as well as maintaining and updating all media archives for press. I assist with the development of departmental publications including but not limited to press releases, media advisories, game notes and media guides. I leverage existing media relationships and cultivate new contacts within the industry and local market media and pitch compelling and creative storylines to the media.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far?

The most valuable lesson I have learned with Nashville SC is the impact I have as an individual working for a specific team. The impact goes far beyond the organization and its fan base. Because I am employed by a team instead of an outside publication, my work reaches countless people through different media outlets as opposed to a specific publication. This emphasizes the importance of credibility across all areas in communications.

How have the classes you’ve taken at Grady prepared you for this internship?

Along with the UGA Sports Communications staff, Grady has prepared me tremendously for this internship. The hands-on experiences I’ve had in my public relations and sports media classes helped groom my writing skills, my awareness of newsworthiness and my ability to produce quality content under tight deadlines. I have learned far more from Grady that has prepared me for this experience, but those are among the most important.

The relationships I have created with my Grady professors and other staff members have guided me through this process immensely. Their experience, expertise, advice, guidance and encouragement have prepared me and allowed me to thrive.

What qualities or qualifications do you have that you believe made you stand out in the process of getting this internship?

The qualifications that made me standout were based on my experiences working in the UGA Sports Communications department. My delegated game day tasks and duties at Georgia are very similar to my assignments for Nashville SC. This provided me with the proper knowledge, familiarity and qualifications to operate media relations with another organization.

Caroline pictured at Geodis Park, the stadium in Nashville, TN home to the Nashville Soccer Club. (Photo:submitted)
What advice would you give to other current sports media students?

It is important to get involved in sports any way that you can if that is your desired industry. You might think you want to pursue a specific path, but you never know what else is out there until you give it a chance. For example, my knowledge of professional soccer prior to this summer was very little compared to that of other sports. However, I have already gained invaluable knowledge and increased my skillsets remarkably within a short period of time. Having knowledge of multiple areas is a great way to market yourself. There are countless opportunities to get involved in sports at UGA, within the Athens community and sports media program; therefore, you shouldn’t limit yourself.

Grady InternViews: Jack Casey

Graphic which says Jack Casey, Hometown: Marietta Georgia, Title: Visual journalist, Company: The Oglethorpe Echo, Location: Oglethorpe County, GeorgiaThis is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.

I’m doing an internship through Grady with the Oglethorpe Echo. It’s a newspaper that covers all of Oglethorpe County, a county east of Athens. I’m a visual journalist, so I take photos and videos to go alongside stories, that are both printed in the paper and put on our website.

How will this role guide your future career path?

Somewhere in my career, I really just want to be able to document life around me and create stories from that. With the Echo and the small town stories you find in Oglethorpe County, this internship is perfect for that.

How have the classes you’ve taken at Grady prepared you for this internship?

Even though I am majoring in Entertainment and Media Studies, the sports media program really has prepared me best for this internship. The classes I’ve taken through it so far have taught me skills including how to communicate with sources, how to work with fast-paced deadlines, and then a little bit of camera work here and there. I feel like those classes I’ve taken so far through the sports media certificate have really prepared me the best.

How has this role helped you discover what you are passionate about?

I’ve known for a while – if not forever – that visual journalism and visual media have been my passion. This internship has allowed me to really take that passion of the real world and run with it. The Echo isn’t a newspaper where you’re learning as things go – it’s the real deal. You’re making a paper weekly and uploading articles to the website. As a digital journalist, that’s just music to my ears. I get to see photos and videos that I produce in real works, and it really pays off.

student holds up camera to take photo
Jack’s role as a visual journalist includes taking photos and videos that accompany stories for the Oglethorpe Echo. (Photo:submitted)
What advice would you give to students who are looking to pursue similar opportunities? 

My advice would be to take advantage of whatever opportunities come your way. Apply to things, talk to people and get experience. You’ll find that wherever you end up, you’ll get experience that is maybe a little outside of your comfort zone or something that you didn’t initially sign up to do while you were there – which is a good thing. I’m a visual journalist for the Echo, but I’ve already written an article. It’s that kind of experience – that isn’t what you’re necessarily there to do – that’s actually a good thing, and you’ll benefit from it.

Grady InternViews: LJ Jackson

 

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

black background graphic with red text that says "LJ Jackson, hometown: Acworth, Georiga, Major: journalism, title: digital/social media content intern, Company: New York Red Bulls, Location: Harrison, New Jersey, along with Grady College logo.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.

I am currently a digital and social media content intern for the New York Red Bulls, and I assist with content creation to all major New York Red Bull social media sites via video editing, photography, graphics and story production. I help plan content schedules to showcase player personalities, game highlights, brand activations and sponsorship sales. Most of my time is spent filming practice content and then editing reels and photos for the social pages. When I am not doing that, I am in collaborative meetings with the marketing and/or video teams.

I work from two locations. Red Bull Arena is the main office that is a short 10-minute ride across the Hudson River to Manhattan. This is where most of administration, marketing and content creators are located. This is also where the team hosts their home games. I also work from the practice facility located in Whippany, New Jersey. Most of our Instagram Reels and TikTok content is from practice, so I spend a considerable amount of time here as well.

What has been your most memorable experience so far?

The most memorable experience I have is working at Red Bull Arena for the friendly (scrimmage) against Barcelona. I grew up watching Lionel Messi, Neymar and Pedro. I never thought that I would have the opportunity to watch Barcelona in action, because of the distance and costliness of the matches. So, not only did I get to see them play in-person, but I had the chance to create content involving them. It was crazy how much of a full circle thing it was.

What’s the most challenging part of this position?

The biggest challenge has been finding effective ways to showcase all of the personalities we have on the team. The club has some great guys like Dru Yearwood, John Tolkin and Thomas Edwards. I want to represent them accurately to really allow the surrounding community to see that despite their incredible athletic ability, these guys are human and love to have fun on and off the pitch.

student LJ is holding up a camera while in the Red Bulls Soccer Club arena
LJ holds up a camera. Part of his role as an intern is to create video content for the soccer club. (Photo: submitted)
How has the certificate in sports media prepared you for this role?

The social media class that I took prepared me for this role exponentially. When assigned our team sports that we would be following for the semester, I was disappointed that I did not receive baseball, but in the long-term it was the best thing that could have happened for my career ending up with the soccer team. Running the Clarke Central boys soccer social media sites enhanced my knowledge of soccer and it taught me how to be anticipatory of plays that I could capture for content. Since the Red Bulls are a Major League Soccer organization, it’s easy to see the connection here.

What advice would you give to other sports media students?

Sometimes you just have to walk in the room and act like you own it. You may not know what to do, and that’s okay. You can figure out the logistics later, but don’t let anyone stop you from getting that perfect shot, the best angle for a video, and don’t be afraid to communicate with players. You may be nervous in approaching them, but I promise they are just as nervous approaching you as you are approaching them. Oftentimes we make the fear of rejection or having a negative interaction way worse in our heads than it actually is. Confidence will carry you however far you let it take you.

 

Grady InternViews: Alex Anteau

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and your responsibilities.

I’m basically a full-time reporter. Because I’m an intern I don’t do a lot of breaking news or anything, but I write and report stories for the Athens Banner-Herald website.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far?graphic which describes Alex Anteau. hometown is izhevsk, Russia. major is health and medical journalism (master's of arts), Alex's title is a reporting intern at the Athens Banner-Herald. The location of the internship is in Athens, GA although it is a hybrid role.

As a health reporter, I spend a lot of time talking to the people who are most involved and affected by the subject I’m writing about. This involves a combination of trauma-informed reporting and taking the time to establish trust with the person you’re interviewing. The most important lesson I’ve learned as I’ve stepped into my first full-time reporting role is that I need to schedule more time for these meetings. It is a huge privilege to have a stranger share a vulnerable and often difficult experience with you. It means a lot to me when I click with someone and have a conversation that goes longer than expected. However, it’s also super important to be mindful of time and respect the schedule of whoever you’re meeting with next.

What about this position has surprised you?

How much freedom I have in my reporting. It’s honestly been really amazing – I’ve had the opportunity to take a lot of initiative in this role. Most of the stories I cover are ones I’ve personally pitched and I’m really grateful for the trust my editors have given me in pursuing the leads I think are important.

What is a challenge or a benefit of working remotely?

The flexibility! My schedule heavily depends on my sources’ availability. Often folks are talking to me after work or on their days off, which means that my hours fall outside the traditional 9-5 office work day. I do love coming into the office for meetings and to talk to my coworkers, but it’s nice to not need to worry about carving out time on-site and to instead focus on getting to know the community and writing. I think the challenge is to not over-do it. In my experience office culture has a lot of built-in down time which you don’t necessarily have at home and I’m still learning to pace myself and not overbook my schedule.

What advice would you give to other students looking to pursue similar opportunities?

Be a self-starter. Get familiar with the beat you’re working in and practice writing and reporting in your downtime (if you haven’t been able to land a paid internship opportunity yet, I highly recommend becoming a Red & Black contributor and applying to staff roles). The more you do journalism, the more experience and clips you’ll have when it comes to apply, and, more importantly, the more you’ll get to know the subjects you are writing about and have insight and story ideas that others might not.

What has been your favorite part about the internship so far?
selfie of student Alex Anteau, working from home.
Alex works from a home office, as the internship is primarily remote. (Photo:submitted)

My coworkers and the projects I’ve been working on. In my first two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to start working on a wide variety of stories, from enterprise to breaking news, covering everything from local elections to neighborhood cats. My editors have given me incredible feedback that’s had a huge impact on how I report, and the other journalists at the Athens Banner-Herald have been gracious and kind and really open to collaborating on stories with me.

Grady InternViews: Drew Hubbard

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.A graphic saying Hubbard is a journalism major working as a Digital and Social Media Intern for Nashville Soccer Club out of Nashville, TN

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.

I am a digital and social media intern at Nashville Soccer Club this summer. In the internship, I help assist the digital marketing team to help brainstorm social media ideas and execute them on different platforms. I mainly focus on the club’s Facebook account and working on TikTok ideas but also engage with fans on Instagram when they tag the team in Instagram posts or stories. 

The internship is in-person based out of the club’s office in Nashville, but I work remotely as well. Some of the club’s interns will report to the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays while myself and other interns report Mondays and Wednesdays while the entire office is remote on Fridays. For all home games, the interns are at the club’s current stadium, Nissan Stadium, while we work from home when the team plays away. 

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

The biggest challenge has been trying to find a unique voice for the team on social media. Because there are so many sports teams in the country, it is important that our club is different and creative to bring fans into our social channels and get engagement across all different platforms. The challenge is finding inspiration from other teams in different leagues, but also having our own voice and content that sets us apart.

Hubbard typing on his laptop from a box overlooking the soccer stadium
Drew focuses on the soccer team’s digital and social media. (Photo: submitted)
What is the most memorable experience you have had during your internship?

The most memorable experience I have had was working at the Mexico-Panama international friendly at Nissan Stadium. Both teams played in Nashville to prepare for their competitive tournaments later in the summer. I was lucky enough to experience an international match and how different it is than a regular Major League Soccer match. There were a lot of Mexican and Panamanian media members I got to work with and learn from while also experiencing an incredible atmosphere for the match. 

What is your advice for other students looking to take on a similar role?

I would say network as much as possible and always be looking to learn new skills or improve the skills you already have. Social media is an evolving field with new things happening all the time. So, being able to learn new platforms and learning how to handle the digital side of things like a website is really important and will set you apart from a lot of other candidates. 

What lessons will you take back with you to Athens in the fall?
Hubbard holding a soccer ball and wearing a Soccer Club scarf in the stadium
Drew has the opportunity to work in person this summer in Nashville. (Photo: submitted)

Going back to Athens, I’ll know better how to work with other people on projects and combine my ideas with their ideas to do our best possible work together. Grady classes are a lot of collaborative work, and I’ll be able to work and communicate with others better because of this experience.

Grady InternViews: Nhilynn Nguyen

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities. Graphic explains Nguyen is an advertising major working as a Social Strategy Intern for dentsu X remotely from Athens, GA

Every morning I wake up at 8:30 a.m. and get ready for my morning meeting with the rest of the team. This recurring meeting is to go over all clients, priorities and updates. Every day varies, but most of it is managing social media, collecting and analyzing data and providing insights to clients. Facebook Ad Manager has definitely become my best friend! After work, I have team project meetings and labs for my fellowship to attend. During these labs, we’re able to hear from companies and agencies directly on how they’re working to improve diversity and inclusion internally and learn more about those efforts.

My internship is fully remote! It’s been more challenging to network and get to know the rest of my team, but everyone has been really kind and has reached out to connect with me! 

Explain your opportunity with MAIP. 

The Multicultural Advertising Internship Program is a selective program for multicultural students in Advertising. Once MAIP fellows are selected they begin cultivating tangible, transferable skill-sets through Spring Training, a 12-week virtual series; connecting with their MAIP mentors and collaborating with cross-national teams on a project brief. Throughout the summer, fellows participate in agency-sponsored professional development workshops and seminars, which provide a deeper dive into the various advertising and media disciplines. 

As a MAIP Fellow, we are also selected by one of the partnering companies and agencies for an internship! So I am currently interning for dentsu X as a Social Strategy Intern under the Paid Social team. This internship is remote, so I have been working from Athens!

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced so far would definitely be imposter syndrome. As a newcomer and minority, it’s easy to feel underqualified and undeserving of the opportunities you receive but throughout this summer I’ve learned how to gain more confidence and feel more secure about my abilities. I’m thankful to the 4a’s foundation and the rest of my MAIP fellows for providing a space and community where I can be candid and honest about these feelings! 

What has been the biggest growth you’ve experienced so far?

My biggest growth over the summer has been gaining more confidence in my skillset and abilities. I’ve learned so much about paid social and I’ve learned how to do things more confidently!  Walking into this internship I felt very underprepared and anxious but as the weeks went on and I learned more about paid social, I’m able to complete tasks without hesitation! 

What is your advice for other students looking to take on a similar role?

The best advice I’ve heard so far is “the other side of adversity is an opportunity,” from the Chief Equity Officer for dentsu Americas, Christina Pyle. This has resonated with me after battling a year of Zoom university and the aftermath of quarantine. It can be really difficult to stay motivated when life keeps challenging you, but in the long run, opportunities will find you!

Grady InternViews: Sara Camuso

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.A graphic saying Camuso is a public relations major working as a Corporate Communications Intern at Georgia Ports Authority from Garden City, GA

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.

I work in the Corporate Communications office for Georgia Ports Authority so every day can look a little different from the next! I have been able to sit in on meetings to discuss event planning, take and edit photos out on the terminals, and I am currently writing two stories that will be featured in their annual employee magazine, “Great People in Action.” What I am most proud of is that I created a tagline for merchandise that will be distributed to employees soon!

It is in-person every day. It is a little challenging waking up early, but it is nice to have interaction face-to-face with people every day!  

How is your internship affecting the ideas you have about your future?
Camuso in a hard hat and yellow construction vest standing on the ship
Camuso says she will look back and remember the cool experiences from her internship, such as when she went up in a ship-to-shore crane. (Photo: submitted)

Being in a real communications environment has helped me see a bigger picture of what I would like to do one day. It is nice to see what I have learned in classes play a role in this work setting.

What is the most valuable lesson or skill you have learned during your internship?

How to interact in a corporate setting, along with how the ports work in general. They are the powerhouses of moving commerce in Georgia and it is fascinating to see it happen in person here every day, and it also helps you appreciate how all your everyday basic goods move to the shelves you buy them on!  

How do you feel that Grady has prepared you for tackling the job? 

I have done a lot of writing here and if it wasn’t for JOUR3190 with Lori Johnston that I took last semester, I would have been very behind! I am more than thankful for that class and her now being in this internship.  

What has been the most memorable experience you have had during your internship so far?
Camuso in black pants and a black blouse standing with a ship in the background
Camuso says she was able to tour a ship at work and narrate a Facebook Live from inside. (Photo: submitted)

The largest vessel to come to the Port of Savannah, the CMA CGM Marco Polo, docked in Savannah my second week here. We held a huge event with press and many other state and local-elected officials to commemorate it. I was able to tour the ship as well as narrate a Facebook Live from inside!

Grady InternViews: Matthew Brown

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.

I work as a communications intern for Nike Inc. The team I report to is Nike’s North America Comms Employee experience. Regularly, the internship is done in Beaverton, OR, but because of COVID-19, I’m Zooming in from my apartment in Athens, GA.

To start my day, I’ll chime in on NikeUnited’s Black Employee network morning kickoff. It’s called “Wake Up with BEN.” The meeting features notable Black employees from Nike and it’ll spotlight one of Nike’s major cities: NYC, LA, Beaverton, Portland, St. Louis, Boston, Memphis or Atlanta. The panel will discuss current events and the meeting is open to all employees at Nike, not just its Black counterparts.

Following that, I’ll have a touch base with my Nike manager discussing my tasks for the day. I had three main things on my agenda as an intern: personal project, intern combine (group project) and connection meetings. So, my manager would help advise me as to who would be best to network for my connection meetings. Oftentimes, these were employees who have been at Nike for years with tons of job experience and advice. Other times they were people in areas whose work I’d be interested in: sports media and sports marketing.

Following meetings with my manager, I’d attend my Nike NA (North America) Employee Comms meeting to discuss updates, planning and new features for Nike’s “North America: Now” newsletter. We collaborated with other teams to effectively compose a newsletter with stories and corporate updates so it can be a “one-stop-shop” for our employees.

After that, I would meet with other interns from different industry cohorts of Nike to work on our project, called our Nike intern combine. Everything at the company was competitive, so the group project competition was nothing short of that either. The five of us plus our Nike Supervisor helped create a business proposal that would envision a partnership between Nike and UberEats to save Nike Athletes and members time in the kitchen, giving them more time for sport or rest and recovery. The prompt was to help Nike address ways to help increase Nike membership accounts while connecting and partnering with another company.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

My biggest challenge was trying to balance football, summer classes and my internship. I learned the value of organization and rest and recovery to better my performance. No matter how hard you work or how organized you are, if you do not prioritize some time for your body and mind to rest, you will not operate at peak performance. And I am happy to say that I learned the lesson from Nike and my team. They were always willing to share advice and drop gems as to how to be successful when balancing life and work.

What has been the biggest growth you’ve experienced so far?

I’ve learned how to operate and function in the corporate world. I learned that regardless of your age or job position, it’s best to communicate with your co-workers and your superiors as another peer. Despite the southern etiquette, there is no need to say “yes sir” and “no ma’am” in the workplace. You will gain more respect without it.

I’ve also learned what I want to do and what I do not want to do. I’ve grown fond of working with a team that issues individual tasks that contribute to a bigger project at the end. It’s just something about that “teamwork-feeling” that made me happy to work with Nike. Projects are more fun when you work with an energized and passionate team. That’s something I want to be a part of. 

Lastly, my confidence in myself has grown. I’ve left good impressions on people who have seen interns come and go, but I know they will remember my name and how I presented myself. I constantly looked for ways as to how I could help the team address a “hole,” seeking an opportunity to help the project grow or have a greater reach.

What is the most memorable experience you have had during your internship?

Brown said his most memorable experience is from a group project presentation involving Nike & UberEats. (Graphic: submitted)

My most memorable experience was writing a video pitch for my NA Comms team. The pitch’s purpose was to help lead the appropriate production agency to create a video that will help energize and spotlight the Nike employee experience of employees in our major North American locations. After I presented it to my core team, it was time to pitch it to creative agencies who would then consult their teams and come back to us with a game plan as to how to fulfill the vision of our idea. So in a way, I was kind of a director of what this “hype video” was to be for our Nike cohort, which consists of over a hundred thousand employees. I was able to critique and give feedback to these creative agencies, sharing what I did and did not like in terms of the team’s vision for the video. It was a cool experience.

What lessons will you take back with you to Athens in the fall?

 I’ll remember to take leaps and provide thought-out solutions and ideas that could contribute to a group’s project or mission. And when I succeed, I’ll remember to let that good feeling fuel my confidence to keep going.

Also, I remember to be intentional and to be present. Being an intern, you can be afraid to provide your opinion because you sometimes feel like a “fly on the wall.” But there is always something to contribute, no matter how big or small your role is. Leave your mark.