By Molly Loughman
Amid a global pandemic, School of Communication students took on a range of communication summer internships — formative experiences spent working with major league sports teams, government agencies, nonprofits, production companies, and more.
See how some SOC students put their Emerson education into practice this summer:
Nate Carreiro ’20
WEEI Red Sox Radio
This summer, Nate Carreiro earned his last four Emerson credits at Fenway Park, conducting his second broadcast radio internship for the Boston Red Sox, during a season that is anything but typical.
“So much of Fenway is different this year,” says Carreiro, a resident of Somerset, Massachusetts, and lifelong Red Sox fan. “When you walk around the concourses where all the concessions are, there are batting cages, big tents, weight rooms, and places for players to pitch. Everybody is spread out around the park.” Everyone, that is, except for more than 33,000 daily fans who cannot attend the 2020 season in person.
Through his Emerson connections, the Journalism major interned as a WEEI Red Sox Radio statistician for the 2019 season, researching information for the Red Sox radio broadcaster team. Before and after each game, he worked as a clubhouse correspondent, which included retrieving sound for players’ on-camera interviews to be played at the “flagship station.” If the Sox won, Carreiro would prepare for the “Player of the Game” interview.
Carreiro was invited back this summer by WEEI’s broadcaster Joe Castiglione, a Red Sox Hall of Famer who’s been on the call for 36 years. Carreiro drives to Fenway almost daily to work both home and away games at Fenway. Most days, he arrives two hours before first pitch.
“It gives me enough time to get all my research together and prepare. Last year, I would get there four hours before the game. This year [because of no public stadium access], there aren’t as many pre- or post-game duties. It’s all in-game stuff,” he says.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, when the Red Sox travel, the broadcast team stays home, reporting games from the live television broadcast. “It is tough, because you only see what the camera is pointing at,” says Carreiro. “But I think the broadcasters handle it well. It’s amazing working with them every day. But the social networking aspect is different since visiting teams and media are kept outside the ballpark.”
When it comes to his statistical skill sets, Carreiro says he’s quick at researching things like “the fastest Red Sox to hit a homerun in their career,” or “the last time a Red Sox player hit three homeruns in a game.” This year, he conducted more analytical research on data such as players’ batting average, how hard they hit the ball, at what angle, whether they’re chasing more pitches, and if they’re hitting fast balls more this year than last.
“I’ve watched so many Red Sox games throughout my life. This year, I’m picking up on players’ tendencies, seeing players looking better than they have in their careers, while some look way off. A lot of the Red Sox’s best hitters are really slumping this year,” says Carreiro.
Carreiro’s internship ends when the Red Sox season ends in either September or October. He will graduate in August Next, Carreiro hopes to land a job in a baseball research department or front office.
Carreiro’s advice to students: “Make sure you’re prepared. The game of baseball may seem slow, but it’s also going by fast when you’re researching on your computer the whole time. Prior to every series, I’ll do a lot of at-home research before so I can provide timely info. Also, prepare your thoughts and questions before you go in. And yes, it’s scary to ask questions to guys you’ve been watching your whole life, but you’re there and I think you gotta take that opportunity. Set yourself up for success.”
Jixuan Lin ’20
Jixuan Lin’s interest in public relations event planning has led her to help build international economic and trade communication at the annual China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) in her home city of Nanning City, Guangxi. The expo is held each year in that autonomous region of southern China to promote the advancements in goods, technology, investment, services, and cities in the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area.
“We have chances to connect with people from Southeast Asian countries,” says Lin, a Communication Studies major. “I can see how professional practitioners prepare for international events and exhibitions and start learning some necessary public relations and event planning skills.”
Since May, the Communication Studies has commuted to her internship as an exhibition organizer at Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Center. Her duties involve collecting materials from all exhibitors and determining if they are qualified to participate in the expo. Lin also writes daily meeting reports and other reports, such as for the development of a sideline agricultural exhibition next year.
Like all events worldwide, the novel coronavirus hindered plans for the 17th annual CAEXPO, which was delayed this year to September 18-21, along with its sideline exhibitions. Participating exhibitors are much fewer than last year, explains Lin, whose division also assesses whether exhibitors’ health status is fit for coming to China. “Because of the pandemic in Southeastern Asian countries, we have many difficulties in advocating for our exhibitors and connecting with them,” she adds.
Despite such challenges, Lin and her expo team are finding ways to attract exhibitors, supported by strategies for COVID-19 disease prevention. “There are lots of uncertainties this year, and I gained a different exhibition preparation experience,” Lin says of CAEXPO, which is co-sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce of China and its counterparts in the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, as well as the ASEAN Secretariat.
Bracing Lin for her internship was her Emerson experience in public relations and planning events. She was formerly editor-in-chief at the Chinese Students Association, and is now co-president. She helped the group orchestrate its first Chinese New Year Showcase. “By fully participating in the preparation work, I figured out my passion for continuing to do this in the future and my advantages in communicating with people and thinking logically. I gained a sense of achievement every time I successfully organize an event,” she says.
This year, Lin will be a graduate student as part of Emerson’s 4+1 Public Relations program. Looking ahead, she is strongly considering a career in event planning, specifically for Internet companies.
Lin’s advice to other students: “Try as many internships as you can… More internships help us define what is suitable for us and figure out what we want. Internships are the chance to make mistakes (I do make some mistakes at this internship) as well…Trying to follow a project from the beginning to the end is the best way to understand how your department works and how a project is carried out.”
Rhea Jacobs, MA ’20
Strategic Marketing Communication
Massachusetts General Hospital Springboard Studio
Rhea Jacobs is helping Massachusetts General Hospital make healthcare more user-friendly for its patients and providers as a marketing and communications consultant intern for the hospital’s Springboard Studio, a design-thinking and acceleration team within MGH.
“I chose the internship because the MGH Springboard Studio recently rebranded, and the idea of working on developing new communications materials for the organization seemed like a great opportunity to expand my skill set,” said Jacobs, who found the opportunity through her Emerson student account on Handshake.
Born and raised in Mumbai, Jacobs came to Emerson a year ago to pursue a master’s degree in Strategic Marketing Communication. Before graduating in August, she spent two months at MGH Springboard Studio. Working remotely due to COVID-19, Jacobs’s duties involved managing the studio’s social media channels, creating content to build awareness of the brand and engage both internal and external audiences, while also collaborating with the team to design the new official website. She also contributed research interviews and social media videos to a campaign that will highlight the organization’s work in the healthcare innovation space
“The only disadvantage is that I haven’t had the chance to interact with the MGH Springboard Studio team in person yet. However, the team does a great job of staying connected via Zoom meetings and phone calls. Regular check-ins with everyone have ensured that working remotely doesn’t feel like working in isolation,” she said.
Jacobs said one advantage she had going into this role was her Emerson education, which underscored the value of research and content writing skills. “But most importantly, it has taught me how to understand my target audience better by honing me into a more empathetic listener. This has helped me identify and develop better content to engage the MGH Springboard Studio’s target audience,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs aims for a career in brand communication with either an agency or an in-house marketing team.
Jacobs’s advice to other students: “Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, because it could be an opportunity to learn something new.”