With just a few weeks left until graduation, SUNY Potsdam senior Anneliese Bishop is hard at work developing real-world skills as a social media intern at Brasher Falls Central School. Bishop is the school’s first social media intern, a position that she has embraced with passion and dedication. During the internship, she launched the school’s first Instagram page and has been regularly updating their Facebook and Twitter accounts with fresh content that highlights activities at the high school, middle school and elementary school in Brasher Falls.
She recently covered a group of sixth graders performing a musical rendition of “The Three Little Pigs” for their Facebook page. “This internship is great because I’m actually getting hands-on experience. I’m actually doing the work,” Bishop said. She has been keeping parents informed about their children’s activities at the school. “I think that’s my job to show them what’s going on…I think it’s really important for the community to see what’s happening in the schools,” Bishop said.
On another recent assignment, she provided social media coverage of students’ efforts to collect bottle caps for Caps of Love, an organization that takes bottle caps, melts them down and uses the money to purchase wheel chairs for individuals 21 and under.
Bob Stewart, superintendent for Brasher Falls Central School, said that Bishop has been doing a fantastic job for the school. “With her assistance, we are able to distribute more information to our community than ever before. She is creating a successful framework for this position and the future partnership between Brasher Falls Central and SUNY Potsdam,” he said.
She learned about the internship opportunity by meeting with Toby White in SUNY Potsdam’s new Center for Applied Learning. White asked her a number of questions to determine what internship opportunities would be best suited for her needs and arranged the new social media internship at Brasher Falls Central School. As a student ambassador for SUNY Potsdam’s Admissions office, Bishop gives prospective students tours of campus and talks about SUNY Potsdam’s Center for Applied Learning. “Whenever I give tours I always talk about how we’re the only SUNY school with a Center for Applied Learning and the people who work there are so great. They’re so supportive,” she said.
Her advice to students is to take advantage of everything Potsdam has to offer. “If you think you want to do an internship, if you think you might be good at it, then go talk to someone about it, because it can open so many doors and so many opportunities. It makes college that much better,” Bishop said.
She has taken several classes at SUNY Potsdam that have helped pave the way for her current internship, including Public Affairs and Writing for Mass Communications classes with Dr. Susan Novak. Bishop said Novak is “an excellent professor. She’s had the experience, she’s done the work and now she’s teaching others…she gives excellent feedback, she’s so friendly, very personable. She’s really built up my confidence.” The Writing for Mass Communication course was very challenging for Bishop and has been one of her most influential classes.
Her Visual Communications class with Dr. Trevor Blank also helped her prepare for the internship and future job opportunities. She said Blank is an excellent professor, smart and funny. “We took some really hard topics and theories and he broke it down and made it fun and made it relatable. I loved that class, I thought it was really interesting…With social media work, a lot of the time it needs to be visual, or people are not going to notice it,” she said.
As her last semester at SUNY Potsdam comes to an end, she has been vigilant about applying for jobs, actively filling out one job application every day. She is hoping to do public relations work at a university or non-profit agency. Her dream job is at a non-profit agency where she could work with individuals with disabilities. “I work at a summer camp where it’s exclusively for individuals with disabilities. I love it! It’s extremely fulfilling. If you love your job, you don’t work a day in your life,” Bishop said. She’s not looking for a high paying job, she just wants to be happy and highlight the great work of a unique non-profit organization as she enters the workforce.
About the Center for Applied Learning
SUNY Potsdam’s Center for Applied Learning opened in 2016, bringing together the offices of experiential education, international education and student research in a one stop shop at the heart of campus. From the summer of 2015 through the Spring of 2016 there were 510 local student internships that created a
total estimated financial impact of $500,000 on the local community through unpaid internships for credit. Students seeking applied learning experiences have visited the Center, learned about their options, and received one-on-one advising as they plan for academic internships, service learning classes, student research projects, study abroad opportunities and entrepreneurial endeavors. To learn more about the Center, please visit: https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/appliedlearning.