Research In Action
Research In Action
This past summer, I had the opportunity to intern at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) as a Digital Communications Intern on the Outreach and Advocacy Team. I wasn’t sure about what I would be getting myself into when I accepted the internship offer: As an English Major with a Writing Concentration at Gettysburg College, I didn’t have any experience with research or public health, and I never saw myself working for an organization like CHOP. However, being someone who really enjoys learning and trying new things, I decided to take a chance and accept the position.
This summer has been a truly hands-on, fascinating, and educational experience. It certainly wasn’t the traditional undergradute internship. Before arriving at CIRP, my idea of an internship was spending time filing papers, getting coffee, and running countless errands.Thankfully, it wasn’t like that at all. During my time at CIRP, I was learning and growing and contributing to something a whole lot bigger than myself.
In my role here, I was given the opportunity to assist the Outreach and Advocacy Team with several tasks that contribute to the Center's overall digital communications strategy. I worked a lot with CIRP’s social media, helping to craft and schedule posts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. As someone who loves to write, getting to wordsmith posts and try to fit something like the abstract of a newly-published research paper in Twitter’s 280-character limit was a challenge that I thoroughly enjoyed.
I also compiled digital communications analytics reports for all of CIRP's websites, YouTubeChannels, and social media platforms to help develop strategies for increased traffic and engagement. That was one of the most fascinating things I did in my role here. I loved getting to see what type of blog posts, social media posts, media mentions, or other referrals make an impact and lead people to CIRP’s website and other resources.
Shooting Video for Social Media
I also also helped bring a fresh eye to CIRP’s digital communications content. This summer, the Outreach and Advocacy team started a project of creating small video clips to share on social media in the future. I planned, shot, and edited two videos featuring two of CIRP’s scientists. That process was extremely informative for me because I’d never created a video in my life, so it taught me something completely new. Creating those videos also gave me a new skill, so I can now say that I know how to shoot and edit videos for social media.
One of the many things I am grateful about is how accessible and welcoming the Outreach team was during my time at CIRP. They were always there to guide and support me and to answer any and all of my questions. They were always open to suggestions and were truly invested in me feeling challenged and motivated. They did everything they could to ensure that my time at CIRP was valuable, and they taught me that mentorship is all about support. When I was unsure or uncertain about anything, they were there to guide me in the right direction.
I knew before this internship that I wanted to do something “creative” when I graduate from college in June of next year. I’m still not quite sure specifically where that may lead; however, I hope to pursue a career in advertising that will involve copywriting. My time at CIRP ignited my passion for writing, and learning how to write for social media taught me that it’s something I actually really enjoy. I didn’t expect my three months at CIRP to help solidify what I want to do with my career as much as it did. I have Suzanne Hill, Christine Norris, and Lindsey Mitros to thank for helping me get there, and I look forward to using this experience when I start my career.