Press Releases & Even More Puppies at Animal Planet

By Dean’s Intern Hannah Sedgwick at Animal Planet

My internship with the communications team at Animal Planet has absolutely exceeded my expectations. And yes, the puppies might have something to do with it.

Hanging out at Animal Planet's puppy cam pool party with two of my new best friends.

Hanging out at Animal Planet’s puppy cam pool party with two of my new best friends.

I spend the bulk of my time typing away at press releases, media lists, pitches and episode descriptions for upcoming Animal Planet shows. It’s been such an incredible experience to see what happens behind the scenes at one of the coolest networks around. I’ve had  real, substantial experiences that with undoubtedly be a huge help when I start my MA in Strategic Communication on August 31st. Like I said in my previous post, I don’t really have a background in PR but it’s a career path I would love to pursue in the future. Having these on-the-job experiences in advance of starting my formal schooling on the subject will be invaluable.

One of the best parts about interning at Discovery Communications is the internship program as a whole. I’ve had six internships during my time at AU, and this program is the most comprehensive, professional and community building program I’ve ever had the privilege of joining.

Sure, most days you are with your team, on your department’s floor doing specific projects for your managers, but at least once a week there is an opportunity to collaborate with the other 85 interns in Silver Spring and more across the US. So far, we’ve had some of the most powerful people at Discovery give us almost two hours of their precious time to speak to the intern program, including David Zaslav, the President & CEO of Discovery Communications, who was nice enough to share his experiences with us, but also to send us each a giant plush shark!

My desk at Animal Planet. Complete with giant plush shark from the CEO, a poster celebrating Discovery's 30th birthday and a shark fin hat.

My desk at Animal Planet. Complete with giant plush shark from the CEO, a poster celebrating Discovery’s 30th birthday and a shark fin hat.

Next week, the interns will hear from Rich Ross, President of Discovery Channel, and Majorie Kaplan, the current Group President of Animal Planet, TLC and Velocity who will become President of Content at Discovery Networks International this fall (fun fact: she’s was also responsible of the creation of Discovery Kids in all of it’s glory). It’s been such a pleasure hearing about how every one of them went from a job or internship post-graduation to their current positions.

The Animal Planet interns had a special treat this week when we got to make a trip to Animal Planet’s Puppy Cam at the Washington Animal Rescue League. The team that manages APL!VE has cameras around the country that feature puppies, kittens, sloths, sharks, penguins and yes, a Bigfoot cam. They are always looking for a way to have fun activities on the cams for the viewers. Naturally, the intern team devised a plan for a puppy pool party, complete with a puppy lifeguard, rubber duck pool, beach balls and a some sand toys. I think the interns may have had even more fun than the five beagle-hound mixes that are currently the stars of the puppy cam.

I’m so happy I’ve had the opportunity to intern with Discovery and Animal Planet. This has been an unforgettable experience. I’ve learned so much in the past three months and have had a ton of fun along the way.