Interning for Ball State English

Ever since my freshman year of college, I have been involved in the #bsuenglish community, both online and in person. I followed the Ball State English department through every mode possible such as: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even their weekly email since I loved (and still do love) the content they share.

During my freshman year, I didn’t know there was a class for students interested in marketing and communications to create content for the department. I learned about this class during sophomore year when one of my friends was a part of this immersive / experiential learning class. I would’ve considered doing this class / internship sooner, but there wasn’t enough room in my schedule/four-year plan for an extra class. Or so I thought. 

At the beginning of my junior year, I found out that I had the room in my schedule/four-year plan to take the class. I would even be able to earn credit towards my creative writing minor. This would lighten my course load for the Spring 2018 semester from an expected fifteen credits to only twelve.

In this class, I would be able to help spread the word about the latest happenings within the department, including: events, speakers, the newest faculty members, alumni success stories, the "Tweets of the Week" on our Storify, the monthly "Good News" of the department, and the latest #bsuenglish blogs on www.bsuenglish.com. To spread these messages, I would use: Wordpress, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Storify. 

I found myself ecstatic to tell the story of my department while developing skills in marketing, design, and communications and strengthening my pre-existing skills in writing and research.

While this opportunity was called an immersive learning or experiential class, it was more or less an internship. I worked on three teams throughout the course of the semester: the blog team, the research team, and the social media team.

While I was on the blog team, I copy-edited and formatted Wordpress articles for readability. While I was on the research team, I found information that was helpful to the other teams, created slides featuring alumni for our digital displays with Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator, and researched topics for the “What To Write About” page on #bsuenglish’s blog.

While I was on the social media team, I was trusted with the role of social media project manager. This role was exciting to me. I would organize the content and also delegate how the content needed to be promoted. It was my responsibility to make sure content was being posted and to make sure that our engagement was the best that it could be. I was primarily in charge of managing @bsuenglish on Twitter, while my team members managed Facebook and Twitter.

This experience truly was invaluable. Being able to communicate in person, over the phone, through email, through social media platforms, through blogs/websites, and through digital design is something that will help me in any career that I choose. I believe this to be especially true when I think about my responsibilities as a secondary English teacher. I must be able to communicate with students, parents, administration in my school, co-workers, and the community through all of the ways and means listed above. I will have to teach students how to be responsible citizens online and offline, representing themselves fairly and being respectful towards others. 

UPDATE: A few months later, during Spring 2018, Audrey would decide to switch her major from English Education to Creative Writing. She still believes that interning for Ball State English was a valuable experience. 

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Audrey Bowers