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Street Team Intern: Weeks 5-6

I am now over a month into my internship with the Indiana State Museum, and every day that I am here I find new ways to appreciate the museum and further confidence in having chose public relations as part of my career path.

Though I have come across some challenges, particularly trying to rack my brain to generate social media content, I look forward to most of the tasks I’m given. I’ve probably now roamed the museums exhibitions ten times all the way through, either as a nice stroll on my lunch break or searching for some new angle to take a nice photo. It’s truly a unique experience to have the privilege to do so.

People continuously ask me how it’s going, and they never seem satisfied with my solid “good” reply. Everyone wants details, but at the end of a 9-5 day it’s honestly hard for me to go back and pick out details quickly. I always need a moment to decompress, because a lot goes on, but not all of it is as interesting to others as it is to me.

As for the social media content I mentioned before, several posts I have drafted have now been published online on all three main platforms for the museum: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I’m very pleased with the work I’ve been able to do and the feedback I’ve been given so far.

This weekend I will be attending my first actual Street Team event by going with my coworkers to the Fishers Freedom Festival. Though I know absolutely nothing about what the festival entails or what is to be expected of a museum running a booth there, I’m doing my best to look forward to it and be confident rather than nervous. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Update: Though spending the majority of my Saturday sitting at a table in Fishers, IN was never at the top of the list for cool weekend plans, it went considerably well. It was interesting to observe the people of Fishers at an annual event for the community, and the food I had on break (a gyro) was delicious. The weather was pleasantly cool and breezy, which posed a problem for some vendors with large signs that wanted to blow over, but we had no such issues. It had been a while since I’d really had to use my sales pitch voice, and I think I did well! I am glad, however, that I will not be spending another Saturday away from home.

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Street Team Intern: Weeks 2-4

As promised, here is an update on the work I’ve been doing with the Indiana State Museum:

In the past few weeks, I have updated the media contact lists for all eleven state historic sites in an effort to ensure that all press releases are sent to relevant media outlets, reporters and news directors. This means I have spent time sweeping the internet for information on radio stations, television stations and newspapers. While it’s mentally draining to sit and stare at a Word document full of names for hours at a time, it’s a necessary evil that I’m happy to do.

Having updated the lists, this past week I accomplished two different tasks which were a bit more fun and creative: writing a media pitch and drafting every museum tweet for the upcoming MuseumWeek. Not only would some of my words be sent to every media contact for the state historic sites (it’s a lot of people, trust me) but also potentially be seen by the museum’s 19,800 Twitter followers (@indianamuseum). To a PR geek like me, that’s a big deal!

See the media pitch content here. Updates on the tweets will come once they are officially posted later in June.

As always, I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to work somewhere that’s letting me hone my skills and also teaching me what a positive work environment can look like and do for its employees. I will do my best to continue to keep my blog updated, but be forewarned that this summer is flying by fast and it’s hard for me to keep track of it!

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Street Team Intern: Week One

The nerves are gone!

Having completed my first ‘week’ as an intern for the Indiana State Museum, I thought I would do a little bit of a recap for me to look back on at the end of the summer.

My first two days at the museum included the most welcoming environment I think I’ve ever experienced when starting a new position. My supervisor led me around to meet everyone in the office and though I am not anyone they care about, they all stopped their work for a moment to welcome me and shake my hand (I really need to work on my handshake). From the people to the office itself, I couldn’t help but feel like this is exactly the type of place where I should be starting my career and I am so incredibly fortunate to be doing so.

I spent most of the day doing data entry, updating the state historic site’s media contacts. While my fingers did start to cramp from typing and the afternoon lull of an office shift did hit me pretty hard, I finished out the day excited to see what Tuesday held for me.

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Content generated from my midday walk. Follow us @indianamuseum!

The next day, I felt more at home in the space and less jittery, where as on the first day I kept feeling like I could make a mistake and they could fire me at any moment. I spent some time talking to my second supervisor, who oversees the social media accounts for both the museum and all 11 state historic sites (no wonder they needed help!) I toured the museum twice, taking photos once when it was full of children and other visitors, and once when it was empty.

The freedom to roam the empty museum created a unique concoction of feelings in me, as the eeriness of a quiet museum was almost haunting but the privilege of being there made me feel, in a way, powerful. People don’t question you if you’ve got a branded ID badge!

The main takeaways from my first week are that I’m so excited to see what other career-enhancing opportunities this position brings to me, and also that working 9-5 (cue the Dolly Parton track) is going to be a pretty big adjustment for me. I’m going to do my best to keep this blog updated with my museum adventures, so stay tuned!

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“Do you still like living in Indy?” 

My girlfriend, Chelsea, & I at one of the four First Friday events we attended tonight downtown.
When I made the move from Small Town, Indiana to Indianapolis in the summer of 2015, I had a lot of adjustments to make, but I was excited to see what changes living in a city would bring for me. I’ll admit, I have not been the most adventurous resident, but two years later I know pretty well how to navigate Indy and have spent quite a lot of time exploring its various communities. 

Though I was eager to life in a more urban setting, it’s something that many people where I am from do not understand. A type of question I commonly get to this day is – “do you still like living there?” or “how do you like living in Indy?” 

These queries almost always come from people who care about my well-being and are genuinely just checking in. While I do find it strange and a little bit funny that they’ve continued to ask this time and again, I appreciate the concern. Certain people, however, have been known to ask this question with a hopeful glint in their eye and a sheepish tone which implies they want me to answer negatively. 

Nope, I hate it there. Worst decision I ever made, you were right when you warned me about it! 

I’ll admit, all too often, I give into this. I’ve caught myself brushing off the question or searching my brain for something cynical to say, in order to not disappoint someone I care about (Marissa, you’ve gotta stop doing that). The reality of it is though, that I love living in Indianapolis. 

Sure, it has its flaws (and crimes), but I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be here, living. There are cool events to go to, amazing restaurants to try, and wonderful people to meet.

 I’ve been here two years and I know I am just getting started on taking advantage of everything this city has to offer. I’m definitely going to be here at least two more years, and I’m so excited to see what else this city has that I haven’t been brave enough to discover yet! 

So, the answer to your question, no matter how much I might hesitate when you ask me (I am going to work on not giving into that pressure) is YES. I love this city, and I could never ever go back to living in Middle of Nowhere, Indiana. 

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Personal Update: Summer 2017

Typing up a quick check-in as the the spring semester of my sophomore year comes to an end:

I am so excited for this summer, not only to get a chance to relax and do fun things (like road-tripping to Tennessee for one) but also because of the professional opportunities I have ahead of me. I will be continuing my work as a content strategist for the IUPUI Division of Undergraduate Education, a position which has so far really helped me gained confidence in my writing abilities. Additionally, I will be interning for the nonprofit organization Indiana Futsal and for the Indiana State Museum! 

Having only been at IUPUI for two years, I’m ahead of most others pursuing a journalism/PR degree thanks to taking dual credit classes in high school. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to do that. 

I’m excited for these upcoming positions not only because they’re going to look fantastic on a resume but because the supervisors for each of them value and support me as a young professional. Though I haven’t began the position with the museum yet, it’s already clear to me that my boss is a kind and flexible person who is understanding and values those who work for her. Additionally, I’ve already been working with the director of Indiana Futsal and he has made it clear that he values my insight. I say these things not to brag (okay, yeah, a little bit to brag but I deserve it) but to point out the value of working for people you like. Between my job and my internships, I’m excited to complete the work that’s expected out of me – which is definitely not something that every professional can say. 

I’m so incredibly thankful and I plan on doing my best to keep this blog updated so stay tuned to see what these opportunities have in store for me! 

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Hosting my first community service event

A short post on the importance of loving and positive spaces

I hosted my first community service event this morning and only half of the people who originally signed up actually attended – but I’m not disappointed.

When the day began and people started to back out via text message, I was concerned that my first event wouldn’t go well. I had put a lot of pressure on myself to make this the best event possible, and in the process I managed to forget one of the most integral rules of event planning – you can plan every single detail, but there’s no way to guarantee it will go like you thought it would. Just so you know, that’s okay.

As soon as my volunteers began to show, a large part of my concern dissolved. I had a group of students that were happy to be where they were, and though some were timid, we all had an easy time making conversation.

A positive attitude can make or break an experience.

The event took place at a no-kill cat sanctuary in Indianapolis called Cats Haven (I high encourage you to give them a visit). This meant that we spent our time in a facility that houses over 120  felines, most of which are elderly or special needs.

It takes an especially big heart to dedicate one’s life to caring for such animals, and that much was immediately apparent in the women who operate Cats Haven.

We were welcomed by people who were eager to share their space with us (and by kitties who were eager to be petted). I couldn’t have asked for a more positive atmosphere. At that point any concern I had left melted away. The women at Cats Haven have an immense amount of love for the cats, and they hosted us IUPUI students just as warmly.

Overall, the positive energy in the house was just as tangible as the cat hair, which is what made the event special, not the number of attendees.