Not just another internship

Summer, sun and social media

Sitting at an empty desk with an enormous computer screen in my face felt like the first day of college—I was eager, I was nervous – but most of all – I was grateful.

My first assignment as a summer intern at Subject Matter was to help craft social media content for the U.S. Soccer Foundation. The Foundation is an incredible organization that uses sports-based youth development to improve the lives of kids and families in underserved communities. I was pretty excited that they would be getting the social media treatment from yours truly.

Over the course of three months, I learned how to create compelling Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts, and how to execute social media advertising campaigns. Learning to write in the voice of a professional organization (and doing so in 140 characters) was enjoyably challenging. It seems that at Subject Matter, they like to have their interns hit the ground running. Despite my nerves, and the inevitable early mistakes, my team told me not to worry: the goal was that I learn and grow from my experiences.

During my time at Subject Matter, I got to watch the numbers on the Foundation’s social media accounts expand before my eyes. Instagram posts that were once getting 20 likes were now boasting upwards of 800. One video even got over 5,000 views on Instagram. One of the most exciting moments was when I helped get the Foundation’s Facebook Page Blue Verified (I swear, it’s a big deal!). It was literally the best day I had at the office. What made that victory sweeter was that I loved working with a client – and cause – that I believed in. Our client was genuine and truly dedicated to their mission, which made me dedicated too.

I brought a fresh perspective to my work. My teammates believed in my ideas and empowered me to polish them, to do better and to have confidence in that work. Social media was more than just clicks, likes and shares – it was a way to explore my new found passion for digital marketing.

Social media marketing and content development goes well beyond a well-filtered post or a perfectly curated selfie. My work taught me how to promote advertising on social media for organizations big and small, and how to craft and develop weekly editorial calendars to fit our clients’ strategic goals. The work I did with the content team changed my entire view of the digital media industry and because of it, I now look at every social media post I come across in a new light.

Subject Matter isn’t just another summer internship—it’s a realized opportunity. Subject Matter encouraged me to explore my interests and grow my skills. They made me feel like one of their own. My supervisors and colleagues were incredibly supportive, both inside and outside of work. They gave me a summer I’ll never forget.

Elaina is currently a junior at the University of Mary Washington where she studies Music and Communications. Upon graduating, she hopes to work in the music business managing communications strategy for artists and musicians around the world.