Last December I accepted an internship with ComEd, which is the utility power company in the Chicago area, and I had REALLY been looking forward to it throughout the entire spring semester. When the pandemic started, and we all got sent home, I was really worried about if my internship would even happen, let alone what it would look like.
In May, I got word that I would be able to do my internship virtually, which I was very thankful for. I moved down to my apartment in Peoria, since ya know…being at home with the parents really can only last so long, and I got to work!
My job at ComEd over the summer was interning with their social media team. I learned a lot about how to run social media for a large corporate company, as well as a little about the power industry (who knew a Public Relations major would know anything about electrical engineering!).
The hardest adjustment for me was getting used to doing the internship fully virtual. It was pretty strange at first being in meetings with people I never met, and it took me forever how to learn to use a Windows computer and Microsoft Teams, but once I got those quirks figured out, it became a blast!
It was a really interesting summer because we had so many different experiences thrown at the social media team that we needed to navigate. First off, obviously we were dealing with both COVID communication, as well as making statements in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement, two experiences that were very new waters to navigate. Secondly, in July, ComEd was on the news for an investigation they got caught up in. Check that out here. Regardless, it was not a joyful time for the company, and because of that – we had to go quiet on all of our social media accounts for about a week. Any plans for posts we had made had to be suspended, and we just watched the world destroy us on Twitter.
The last wild experience during my internship this summer came during my last week when around 15 (yes…15) tornadoes RIPPED through the ComEd service territory at once, leaving over 800,000 customers without power. It was the second-worst storm in ComEd’s history, and that meant total chaos. We had over 70 people monitoring our social media channels 24/7 because customers were not happy being out of power for almost a week. We had thousands and thousands of private messages come across our Facebook and Twitter in a matter of weeks.
When things weren’t as crazy, I had the awesome opportunity to learn how to use some common social media platforms such as Hootsuite and Talkwalker as well as create my own content that went up on ComEd’s social media channels.
I LOVE making fun cute content for Instagram stories, so the social media team put me in charge of our Instagram account for the summer. I was able to make a few cute content series, including a language series where people could learn different languages, a Trivia Tuesday series, among a few others! If you are curious about some of the content I made, feel free to follow ComEd (@ComEd) – they are still using some stuff I made for them.
Anyway, I am REALLY excited to talk to you about how I got my internship, and how Bradley led me towards the skills I needed to have in order to be successful in my internship however, I am going to save that for next time.
For right now, I just want to leave you with a summary of what I learned this summer. Wild things are happening out in the world, and being in the workforce, you get to experience things you would have never thought at full force. Internships are a great way to get you toes wet and get that hands-on experience.