This summer has been the perfect mix of work and play. I started an internship in May, and then got to leave the country for a month to study abroad in the multicultural playground, Berlin, Germany. When I (unfortunately) returned back to the states in July, I resumed my internship as a writer for the IU Newsroom.
Transitioning back to the daily “work grind” was difficult at first — dreams of Berlin festivals and Wiener schnitzel tormented and clouded up my mind. Luckily, my writing skills weren’t too rusty because I had spent a lot of time writing while in Germany. I swapped my comfy coffee house chair, accompanied with a latte and chocolate croissant, for my convertible desk at my internship (more on this later) and a cup of Keurig coffee.
My daily duties consist of writing stories Indiana University’s digital publications, Inside IU (50,000+ subscribers) and Inside IUB (20,000+ subscribers). These publications are sent to university faculty and staff, so we write stories that would interest them. The stories I have written range from faculty spotlights who have won awards to plant maintenance to profiling a woman who makes candy striped flats.
One of my favorite aspects of my internship is the office. First off, the location is perfect. We are located in the Von Lee, or what you might recognize as the building Noodle & Co. is nestled in. When I step out onto our balcony and look to my left, I see the Sample Gates. When I look to my right, I have the best view of Kirkwood Avenue, which naturally makes me start thinking about which one of those amazing restaurants I’ll take my lunch break at.
I also love the design of the office. It’s like a cream and crimson clad incubator for creativity. The walls are coated with a dry erase board finish, so you can write down ideas or thoughts virtually anywhere. My unit sits in a pod of four desks, so we can communicate with each other about stories easily and listen to Notorious B.I.G. and rap collectively. We also have these convertible desks that are motorized, so you can choose to work sitting or standing. It’s great in the afternoons when you get that “2:30 p.m.” feeling and need to work standing to keep your mind energized.
Although this is not a public relations-specific internship, I have acquired enough writing samples to fill a two inch binder. I have also gained more expertise in AP style, although I’m still struggling and very bitter about this whole no Oxford comma rule. I can see that my writing has gotten stronger, and my ability to turn out a story in record speed is a new skill of mine as well. I know that these skills are a great way to prepare me for the fast-paced world of PR and I’m excited to continue to refine these skills during my remaining time here.
Maggie Stephens is currently a junior at Indiana University, majoring in Journalism, specializing in Public Relations and Advertising, and a minor in Marketing and History. She currently serves as Vice-President for IU PRSSA, as well as serving on our IU Cinema Committee.