Social Media Internships: More Than Just Tweeting

“Go, Nats!”

By Dean’s Intern Alex Mazzarisi at National Geographic

When I first started my social media internship at National Geographic Channel, I was a bit intimidated not just by the company name, but also by the life-sized spinosaurus that greeted me. The dinosaur welcomes visitors and employees alike at the entrance of the National Geographic Society to promote the new spinosaurus exhibit and even cheer on the Washington Nationals.

Thankfully, the trepidation that any intern feels on the first day of a new job rapidly dissolved when I was introduced to my wonderful supervisors Jon, Sarina and Becca. They welcomed me onto their small, but extremely efficient social media team. Immediately, they let me sit in on conference calls and meetings, knowing that I wouldn’t understand everything right away but knew that being exposed early would allow me to get a jumpstart on the shows that’d I’d be working on now and months into the future.

Working at National Geographic is kind of like stepping into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory—but with animals and nature being the central focus, instead of candy. Everywhere you turn, people are creating out-of-the box ideas on posters, videos and other mediums to promote the channel’s shows and inspire people to let nature play a more prominent role in their lives.

Alex at National Geographic

This was no exception for me and I was assigned to projects like creating the “biggest wins” of a survival show, making spotify playlists to promote a show about living off the land and creating “Wildlife Wednesday” and “Fact Foto Friday” graphics, which are posted on National Geographic’s various Facebook pages. Working under three different supervisors makes each day and the projects that come along with it different. This is a job that allows me to have a lot of fun while also helping me sharpen my skills in Photoshop, Final Cut Pro and social media analytics.

There is so much more than what meets the eye to social media—its more than just tweeting and liking Facebook posts. Social media is quickly becoming the new lifeblood of advertising and National Geographic Channel is paying close attention to what is said about their shows and how often people say it. A show is considered to have succeeded not by just the number of people who have watched it, but also how much it has been tweeted about and shared on Facebook. I often find myself scrolling down Facebook and reading the comments about the memes I’ve created or searching the hashtags of our Twitter posts. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work in such a groundbreaking industry at the largest non-profit in the world that works in accordance with its motto “inspiring people to care about the planet.”