Sheila Kiley: OUA Social Media Marketing

The Social Media Marketing Internship position that I hold has everything to do with digital marketing, social media strategy and creative content. I want to dig more into what I am responsible for throughout this internship. My first duty is updating the touchscreen that we have at the Monastery. I am responsible for making sure a new schedule is posted every week of our upcoming activities within OUA, as well as informing the viewers of various happenings that are going on in Arezzo. Second, I am in charge of the Social Media Contest that allows students to show off their amazing travels, experiences and friendships. At the beginning of every week, I choose the winner from the previous week, as well as announcing the contest theme. Students enter the contest by tagging OUA’s Instagram account into their pictures or using the hashtag #OUASMC17 (OUA Social Media Contest). The winner of each week gets a fun, new prize; some examples include American snacks that I get from Florence or a free OUA t-shirt. Additionally, I help run OUA’s social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Every week, I choose a student to do a Snapchat Takeover where they takeover OUA’s Snapchat account for a day. I often post to OUA’s various social media outlets about the student activities that happen here, delicious food that we experience, as well as reposting some of the students’ pictures. Lastly, I am in charge of OUA’s website. I choose someone every week to write a short blog post about life in Italy or some activity that they loved. This way, people are able to read detailed versions of how amazing Arezzo is.

Although I get to work at the Monastery – with OUA students and faculty – there are many cultural aspects that have opened my eyes to the way social media works. I have the opportunity to express to students back in Norman about the amazing opportunity that awaits them in Arezzo. Social media is constantly growing and becoming one of the most widely used ways of advertising and marketing for a product or brand. By using each media outlet, people are able to see what life is like in Italy, as well as get a taste for the culture that we embrace here. It also allows OUA to be recognized by locals and become more integrated into the Arezzo community.

Coming to Arezzo, I had no idea that I would be interning. I did not have an internship coming here, but when I knew the OUA Social Media Marketing Internship position was open, I jumped on the opportunity. One of the cool things about this internship is that I have the opportunity to work with Eneida, a University of Siena student, who sometimes helps me with various projects. It is so fun to work with an Italian student! I do not know much Italian, but most of everyone that I talk to absolutely loves practicing their English by talking to Americans. Since they are always learning the proper way to speak English in their classes, they like to engage in conversations that include different slangs and idioms. I have noticed that they always ask questions of how to say something, and it is really fun to be able to teach people the way we think and speak.

Personally, I believe this internship was made for me. I have said before that social media is such a big interest of mine, because I love being able to use my creativity in different ways – whether it’s creating advertisements or flyers, writing blog posts or captions, or producing content for Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I am a Public Relations major, so this internship was right down my alley. Digital marketing and strategy is a growing business in today’s world where technologically is rapidly advancing. It is really fun for me to have a lot of control over OUA’s marketing strategies, as well as working with other people to create the best account content.

One of my favorite parts about this internship is being able to work directly with OUA faculty. It is very apparent that they believe in my work ethic; they seek my advice for various concerns, they treat me like a professional and they support my work throughout challenging tasks. This is definitely not one of those internships where you run to get coffee for someone or stuff folders. This is a very hands-on experience that fully submerges you into the digital marketing field. While this internship is great experience for someone who is studying PR or Advertising, it is also great for someone who is just interested in working with social media or creative content. There is a wide range of things to be done, and I feel that this internship is good professional experience. It challenges you to use your time wisely, bring out your creativity and work on a team with professionals to enhance your brand.

One of the best parts about working with OUA is just that: working with OUA. It is convenient, flexible and comfortable. I am sure working as a social media intern at another company or brand would be just as beneficial for me as OUA’s internship is, but working with the very program that brought me to Italy automatically holds a special place with me. Before accepting this internship position, there was also another PR position open at a local museum. To be honest, I did not give much consideration to that one. The OUA Social Media Internship was something that fit my professional path like a puzzle piece, and I had no doubt in my mind that this was the internship that I wanted.

Social media marketing can be a stressful job at times. I am a very laid-back person that likes to go with the flow, but when it comes to the workplace, I like to have a schedule. If I could change one thing about this internship, it would be having a schedule. I like to know what I will be working on each day, or even each week, because it gives me time to prepare and come up with multiple ideas that could be used. With a short amount of time, it is difficult to be confident that the content I create is my best quality content. Having a schedule would allow me to brainstorm ideas and have more time to create the absolute best digital content for OUA. However, being allotted limited time allows me to practice my time management skills, as well as thinking and acting on my toes.

This internship has been incredibly beneficial for me. It is great experience in managing many types of media outlets at the same time and working with a team of professionals who also want the best branding. It is no question that this internship will strengthen my abilities. I am excited to see what the rest of the semester has in store!

-Sheila Kiley

The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Oklahoma, OU in Arezzo or any other affiliated entity.

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