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Grad Students Put Skills to Work with New Internships

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Media, Film & Journalism Studies

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Every quarter, students from all majors within the Department of Media, Film & Journalism Studies set off into the world for internships. An internship is required for journalism and strategic communication majors, recommended for media studies and film studies & production majors, and a popular capstone option for our two graduate programs: the MA in media & public communication and the MA in international & intercultural communication. This quarter we feature two of our graduate students who were able to put the skills they have developed as graduate students to use at very different organizations.

Mia Edwards

Mia Edwards, IIC '20

As the saying goes, there is nothing more constant than change. I came to Newmont, the world's leading gold company, with a background in change management and strategic communications, knowing I would have numerous opportunities to apply my skill sets given the challenging environment.

In 2019, Newmont completed two historic mergers, the likes of which the gold mining industry had never seen. The merging employee base was noticeably impacted by the integration efforts, and investors began to question the company's future performance with the new acquisition. This ultimately led to a name change and a major brand refresh at the corporate, regional and site levels.

Working as the Corporate Communications Intern on this global brand refresh allowed me to interact with various internal and external stakeholders, strengthening my project management and relationship building skills. Being part of a communications team that strategically managed hundreds of moving parts in a 4-month period helped me become more agile when working on cross-functional projects including developing regional social media strategy, implementing new brand guidelines and creating a new Intranet for employees to access resources.

One of my goals in the IIC program was to be exposed to and work with different cultures around the world. This internship has given me the opportunity to learn not only how regions operate culturally, but also how large-scale change management strategies should be implemented. My experience at Newmont has helped me discover my passion for brand strategy. A brand is more than a logo. A brand defines your values as a corporation and conveys your message to the world.

Mackenzie Elrod

Mackenzie Elrod, MEPC '20

My name is Mackenzie Elrod and I am a second-year masters student in media and public communications with an emphasis in strategic communications in the Media, Film & Journalism Studies Department. I am currently interning for ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in its Field Development division here in Denver.

I started this internship in May 2019, and I have been able to assist in the Colorado Springs and Denver's St. Jude Walk/Run and the Denver St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway campaign. This internship has given me many opportunities to "learn by doing" and to put the skills I have developed in graduate school to use. I have been able to participate in all aspects of a statewide campaign, including TV, radio, print, corporate sponsors, committees and so much more.

The most challenging aspect of this internship has been time management. My role as an intern has evolved and I have taken on more responsibility and have set higher expectations for myself, which has forced me to be more thoughtful with how I allocate my time. 

I am so grateful for my time with ALSAC/St. Jude, and to the MFJS department for encouraging me to pursue an internship in this field.