From the classroom to the world: A look into how one student is taking her learning experience from the books to the real world

Samantha Salazar, sophomore English-communication arts major, is the social media intern for the department of English and Communication Studies. As the social media intern, Salazar is responsible for many different things. Not only does she post on behalf of the department, but has recently taken on more responsibility that has to do with designing graphics, creating promotional materials, and updating documents.

“I have a lot of responsibility outside posting on the social media for the department,” she said. “Whether it be designing graphics for online or creating promotional materials for the department, whatever is asked of me it is my responsibility to complete.”

During this period, Salazar encountered a small amount of issues. However, there was one that was consistently present throughout her time interning.

“Time management,” she said. “I don’t have a lot of experience juggling several large projects at one time and I found myself overwhelmed with the amount of work that needed to be done.”

In order to remedy the situation, Salazar was able to formulate a checklist/to-do list that separated each project into accessible and doable items.

Salazar has been interning with the department for about a month and a half now and she has grown exponentially in her designing skills as well as her communicating skills through posts on social media. This is especially true for this reporting period because of the diverse projects she has been tasked with.

“Recently, I have been given a wide-range of tasks to complete and that has definitely helped in developing my skills as a designer because of all the first-hand experiences I am accumulating,” she said.

As a sophomore, Salazar is currently enrolled in several advance courses and is learning a lot about what a career in communications might entail. She is applying many of the skills she acquires in the classroom for her internship and vice versa. More specifically, Salazar is currently enrolled in a graphic design course and is learning about its intricacies while applying it through her internship.

“I am learning a lot about graphic design and its rules, its specifications, and how to properly execute it and at the same time I am able to use it for work,” she said. “It’s a learning cycle and it’s helped me develop as a graphic designer exponentially more than if I was just taking the course alone.”

Although Salazar has grown so much thus far, she still has much to learn. Specifically, Salazar is currently working on making a promotional presentation for the English and communications department. In order to successfully complete this task she must work closely with Dr. Langston and Dr. Hill to acquire the appropriate information and pictures.

“I have never done a promotional presentation so I plan on working closely with Dr. Langston and Dr. Hill,” she said.

In the end, the social media internship has given Salazar a chance to branch out and utilize the skills she’s gotten in the classroom and use it in a real-world setting.

“It’s been a whirlwind experience, one that I’ve learned a lot from,” she said. “I can’t wait to see what’s to come.”

Social Media Internship: A Reflection

What was learned?

As the social media intern for the Department of English and Communication Studies, the beginning weeks of have consisted mostly of planning and designing. In order to properly prepare for future posting I have been creating a posting schedule which has been extremely helpful. I have also spent my time designing different kinds of posts on Photoshop. In addition to planning and articulating posts, I have also assisted in designing different items for organizations like Sigma Tau Delta. This beginning stage of my internship has allowed me to learn a lot, especially about the intricacies of posting on behalf of the department. I have learned about St. Mary’s policy on social media, I have learned how and when to post, but most importantly I have learned much about the department. I quickly realized that it is my job to know about all the events that are happening in the department and either advertise about them or go and showcase them on our social media. I am still learning how to balance all the responsibilities I have as the social media internship, but I feel as if my organization and planning skills have improved tremendously.

What is to be learned?

Samantha Salazar, social media intern for the Department of English and Communication Studies, has learned a lot in her first experience as an intern in charge of several social media outlets. She is currently enrolled in a graphic design course and using her design skills to create graphics for her weekly posts and on the same hand is practicing the skills she is learning in class. Social media is an important skill to master as an aspiring professional and the experience she is getting is crucial for her development towards that. In addition, Salazar is also gaining practice for her position for The Rattler. The Rattler is beginning to move towards building their social media presence and the first-hand experience Salazar is gaining in planning posts and utilizing themed weekly posts will be extremely beneficial for the newspaper. Salazar has gained a lot knowledge in a very short span of time, but is still hoping to learn about different types of posts possible for the social media platforms. In order to learn more about that, Salazar will have to consult her direct supervisor, Dr. Langston and Dr. Hill. She will first have to brainstorm some original ideas for posts that showcase the department in visual and creative ways and then pitch those ideas to her supervisors.

The semester that sparked an evolution

Media Production I has been a tremendously beneficial class for my overall skills as an aspiring journalist. This class introduced me to the vast spectrum that is multimedia and how it can be utilized to convey stories in a visual or audial way.

Technologically, I am substantially better-versed in the programs needed to make quality videos and audio. In this class, I was introduced to Final Cut Pro and Garage Band and was able to be refreshed on Photoshop. Knowing the software is the first step in the creation of quality multimedia pieces and will be quite beneficial for employers who are looking for candidates already familiar with the software. In addition, this class was my introduction into using lavalier microphones for audio. It took some practice, but I have become familiar with its usage.

Before this class, my communication skills in terms of storytelling were limited to written. After a semester of Media Production I my capabilities have grown into being able to convey a story visually. Learning about the five shot rule helped me lay the foundation for producing a quality video package and the utilization of Final Cut Pro gave me the tools to do it. This class helped me strengthen my visual communication by giving me the guidance and tools to produce quality videos.

Although I practice my interpersonal communication on a daily basis through The Rattler, this class has helped me further evolve my skills by giving me the guidance necessary. Interviewing for the newspaper and interviewing for an audio package are completely different and this class gave proper advice to execute it properly. For example, where it’s best to record, not to talk during the interviewee’s answer, and how to get their answer with a part of the question in it. This semester of Media Production I has been invaluable to my communication skills and has helped me as a storyteller overall.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Kimberly Salazar, sophomore psychology major, bakes Mexican Wedding Cookies. The dessert represents her love of baking which stems from her mother and grandmother.

• ½ lb. butter or margarine, softened
• ½ cup powdered sugar
• 2 cups sifted cake flour
• 1 cup chopped pecans
• 1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter; add sugar and mix well. Add flour, nuts and vanilla. Roll into small balls and bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 325° for 20 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar after they have cooled.