My name is Camille Toomey, and I am a rising senior and first-year 4 + 1 student in the School of Communication. I am obtaining my BA in Communication Studies with a themed inquiry in American Society and Culture and my MS in Strategic and Health Communication. This past summer, I had the opportunity to be a social media intern at a newer company called Social Media Watch. Social Media Watch is a social media agency that specializes in creating content and community engagement through digital platforms for the purposes of promoting, advertising, and spreading awareness. I was tasked with creating social media posts for American Family Insurance agents that promoted various policies, discounts, and insurance options. I nor my fellow interns are American Family Insurance agents, so we gathered our post inspiration from their website and reviews. The posts were created using Canva and information found on the American Family Insurance website. At the beginning of each week, I was assigned two lines of insurance, like auto and life insurance. The two lines of insurance would each require four unique posts that highlighted the discounts or policies for each respective line. Each week, I also made three engagement posts. An engagement post is designed to encourage the viewer to interact with it. For example, I created an engagement post that was centered around the first day of summer, and the caption suggested people comment their favorite thing about the season. The engagement posts were designed to promote community interaction and to draw people into learning more about American Family Insurance and their unique options. Furthermore, I responded to reviews that clients had written about their insurance agent or their experience with American Family Insurance.
I found this internship through Dr. Andrea Weber. One morning in June of 2021, we were having a meeting over Zoom. We were discussing the struggles behind finding an internship during Covid-19. I had applied for what felt like hundreds of internships, but there was no luck. She then told me about this internship which is hosted by a former School of Communication student. The internship was designed by the former student to help other Communication Studies students build their portfolios and resumes, especially because social media is such a prominent part of modern communication habbits. I can confidently say that I have built a proper portfolio displaying my hard work.
When I first came to Chapman University in the fall of 2018, my major was yet to be determined. I purposefully came in as undeclared because I knew more of what I didn’t want to do than what I did. The following semester, I took my first communication class. It was Public Speaking in a Diverse Society. The communication classes I have taken in my college career so far are all incredibly versatile and helped greatly with this internship. One class that had a lot of influence on my work and the internship was Mass Communication Theory. Mass Communication Theory had an impact because the purpose of the social media approach is to designed reach the masses, and that was what the internship was all about. The class taught me strategies, theories, and other things that shaped my perception of the consumer when creating the social media content and what might be the most effective way to draw in potential American Family Insurance clients. Also, it taught me what the most effective ways of mass communication are and subsequently how I could apply them in the real world, like with a social media position later on. Another class that was influential was Theories of Persuasion. This class taught me how to persuade people in an efficient, respectful, and impactful manner that ultimately influenced how I wrote the corresponding captions to the posts. One overarching theme in the classes that had influence was that the study of communication was never only through one channel. In all the School of Communication classes I have taken so far, we have studied the various channels in which we communicate, like in face-to-face or over a social media platform.
My biggest takeaway from working as a intern with Social Media Watch was that social media is one of the most effective communication channels. I’ve always believed this, but this was the first experience where I have learned to use it in a professional manner, rather than simply for social means. It is truly astounding how productive it is. The School of Communication has taught me about the prominence of social media in the modern world, but to see it working in action and participating in the efforts was an experience that has shaped my perception of communication and will ultimately affect the career path that I may choose in the future.