As the Public Relations Intern at The Medical Center, Navicent Health, I met a variety of people and used written and visual platforms to capture their stories. Most days I walked around the hospital in a bright red lab coat with a camera hanging around my neck and a notepad in my pocket.
Two aspects of this internship made it a fertile ground of growth for any individual seeking to gain experience in the field of mass communication:
- The Who: My supervisor, Megan Allen, was the best, and while I’m sure many interns claim that title for their bosses, I can prove mine actually was the best. On my very first day, she took me along for interviews and meetings–patiently explaining things and answering my questions. Throughout the first week, she helped me discern how to use my skill set within the department in a way that I could both enjoy and learn from. Megan helped me grow as a mass communication professional instead of just treating me like an intern. By giving me the freedom to work on my own projects while critiquing and praising my work, she made my internship a valuable part of my post college journey and gave me a model to aspire to.
- The What: I have a passion for storytelling. My primary job at Navicent Health was to find and capture the stories of our staff, patients and volunteers. During my internship I created a network of contacts of staff who worked in the medical areas of the hospital. Those contacts helped me locate individuals interested in sharing their stories and experiences with our department. The journalism training I received while studying at Georgia College prepared me for this. After finding the contact info for an individual I wanted to speak with, I scheduled a time to interview him or her. Then, I either filmed the interview for a video or wrote an article to accompany a photograph of the person. I enjoyed this job for two reasons. When interviewing a staff or volunteer, I was able to encourage them and reinforce that what they do matters. When interviewing a patient, I was given the honor of sharing in his or her pain and joy. I noticed that there was generally a combination of sadness and happiness when patients shared about their health journey, but they also were eager to thank the personnel who cared for them.
Mass communication, when done right, can be a force that brings people together. I got excited every time one of my videos was published on our social media. Interning at Navicent Health gave me a variety of experiences and a new network of contacts. I feel like the work I did helped the public understand that hospitals weren’t always scary places. Navicent Health is a place where compassion and care meet, and I enjoyed helping share that message.
I loved what I did at Navicent Health. I saw my internship as a way to encourage and care for people in a unique way. I found out about this internship opportunity through emails sent out by Dr. Land, and then contacted the Georgia College Career Center to process my internship paperwork. I recommend that all students visit the Career Center for help with their internship and career related needs.