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What They Did This Summer: SOC Internships 2021

Posing with a newspaper, Jocelyn Yang '22 spent this summer producing bylines for The Financial Times.
Jocelyn Yang ’22 spent this summer producing bylines for The Financial Times. [Courtesy Photo]

By Molly Loughman

Still chasing their dreams in a COVID-ruled world, Emerson School of Communication students scattered across the country this summer at remote and on-location internships. Here are just three of the dozens of stories that played out this year.

Jocelyn Yang ’22

Journalism 

Financial Times 

Growing up in Beijing, Jocelyn Yang read The Financial Times to follow current affairs and learn English writing. This summer, she earned a byline under its banner.

“As an aspiring business reporter, I applied because I also wanted to learn about covering finance and the economy in a real-world professional newsroom environment. And FT was the one,” says the Journalism major and Business Studies minor. 

The Financial Times  is a global news organization covering business and economic current affairs, and one of several under the FT Group’s outlets. Yang interned all summer at NYC-based Financial Advisor IQ, covering the wealth management and financial advising industry. In the mornings, Yang debriefed her story budget with her editorial team. Somedays, her editor assigned her to cover a virtual conference, while others she worked on the stories she pitched.

“I filed the stories in the early afternoon and my editor edited them at the end of the day. Everything was ready to go for the next issue the next morning,” she says.

The role required certain skills, and Yang credits her data visualization and video storytelling abilities to Emerson’s Lina Giraldo, along with business reporting skills from Diane Mermigas. Both Informed her how to navigate complex information like financial earning reports and create visuals. But learning to write about an unfamiliar industry demanded extra effort. 

“I needed to read and study lots of terminologies on my own and understand industry trends and policy changes before actually talking to experts and asking questions,” says Yang. “Rewards also always happened when I did my homework, found something unusual, and tried to figure out that twist when talking to people for stories.” 

In addition to new skills, Yang left the internship with newfound mentorship and connections. “I really appreciate the fact that my team, especially my manager, has been really supportive and helpful when I sought suggestions,” says Yang. “I’m fortunate that I (virtually) met many people and learned so much from their sharing.”

INTERNSHIP ADVICE: “Plan early and apply early. Many summer journalism internship application seasons open in the fall, so definitely keep an eye on them. Secondly, craft your cover letter. It’s a good opportunity to tell a story of yourself, why you’re here, and what you want to bring to this company. Be confident showing yourself out there, in the cover letter and in the interview.”

Jocelyn Yang ’22

Jack Lewis ’22

Communication Studies

Best Buddies

Best Buddies International is a global network of non-profit organizations, all dedicated to serving and empowering individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). As such, it relies on solid communications between and within those many organizations. 

Best Buddies intern Jack Lewis ’22
Best Buddies intern Jack Lewis ’22

That’s where Jack Lewis came in, as an intern for the Massachusetts and Rhode Island chapter, creating social and visual media tools to enhance internal communications.

“I’ve learned how internal communication works within an organization and how to communicate effectively to [Best Buddies] constituents via email and social media,” says Lewis. “BBMARI has many constituents across multiple generations and demographics, so I learned how important it is to craft specific messages to resonate with different and wider audiences.”

In his role, the Communication Studies junior developed the nonprofit’s new social media brand guide, along with social media and email communication calendars. He organized a photo database, participated in the Best Buddies Leadership Conference, and crafted an email template for BBMARI to use for its Friendship Walk at the end of October.

“The biggest reward for me was hearing the staff and my supervisor telling me how much of an impact I’ve had on their communications. It’s rewarding to see how my work is contributing to the day-to-day work at BBMARI and how it will be used after I’m gone,” says Lewis, adding he applied his Emerson education to his internship.

“I’ve used my interpersonal communication skills, I’ve used my technological skills, I’ve used my social media knowledge, and much more. My education at Emerson made me feel prepared and confident as I entered the internship and throughout.”

Lewis will remain connected with his Best Buddies supervisor to volunteer at BBMARI this fall. 

INTERNSHIP ADVICE: “Don’t be afraid to ask questions! An internship is a learning experience! You’re there to learn and take away valuable skills from professionals. I learned so much by asking questions and there really is no such thing as a ‘stupid question.’”

Jack Lewis ’22

Sonali Anand ’21

Political Communication

Andrea Campbell for Boston Mayor

In the run-up to Boston’s September 14 primary election, Los Angeles native Sonali Anand ’21 has been campaigning for candidate Andrea Campbell, and her mission to end cycles of inequity and injustice, citywide and beyond. 

Andrew Campbell Campaign Fellow, Sonali Anand ’21., poses with a voter's brochure.
Andrew Campbell Campaign Fellow, Sonali Anand ’21.

“I have a passion for electoral politics. In a time in which we are only just beginning to hold our public servants accountable, it is even more imperative that we elect genuine candidates who reject the ideas of elitism and privilege and prioritize their constituency above all else,” says Anand, a Political Communication major concentrating in electoral politics and minoring in Nonprofit Communication Management. “Andrea was born and raised in Boston and grew up a member of the population in which she is running to serve. In my mind, there was no better candidate to support and work for.”

As her candidate’s Campaign Fellow since November 2020, Anand’s work ranges from composing briefings and press clips to actively connecting with constituents. “No day is ever the same. Essentially, I go where I am needed. Campaign schedules are very unpredictable,” says Anand, who’s no secret to political surprises as vice president of the college’s renowned Emerson Polling Society. However, instead of analyzing election data, her internship enabled her to explore election management and strategy.

If there is a typical day, for Anand it begins with an email from the deputy campaign manager, outlining the day’s duties and deadlines in the areas of finance, political and field work. Weekends are spent knocking on doors and hosting phone banks for volunteers. Boston-based campaign staff are called in for in-person press conferences and rallies. “Team Andrea has taught me a lot about grassroots organizing, and has given me an induction to local Boston politics. Working with passionate individuals towards a common goal is inspiring and has shown me that true political change happens at the local level,” Anand says. ”I am thankful for their kindness and camaraderie, there is never a bad day in the office.” 

Anand minimizes her bad days by not getting bogged down by negativity in the media. 

“Don’t let the press fool you into anguishing over narratives you know are not the whole truth. Keep your eye on the prize and your mind on the moment. That is the most rewarding thing I learned these past few months,” she says. Honest conversations can lead to a common collective, she explains.

Looking ahead, Anand plans to  continue her advocacy work with organizations on campus and as a School of Communication Dean’s Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion. “This [internship] experience has not changed my career trajectory, but rather solidified it as well as my purpose working towards creating a more compassionate and inclusive political sphere,” she says.

CAREER ADVICE: “Don’t be afraid to ask your professors for help! They will always be your greatest resources, especially at Emerson. They will become your closest mentors.”

Sonali Anand ’21

To share your summer 2021 internship or career experience as a graduate or undergraduate student in the School of Communication, email molly_loughman@emerson.edu .

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