Would you believe when I started my internship, I had never used Twitter before? Four months and thousands of tweets later, social media is one of my main responsibilities with Indiana INTERNnet. Learning by doing is a wonderful thing.
At the Millennial Impact conference in Indianapolis (#MCON13) on July 18th, I sat at breakfast with none other than Jenna Golden, a leader in Twitter’s Washington, D.C. office, along with Jessica Mason (YouTube) and Danielle Deabler (NPR). I would have never imagined I would dive into social media so deep, so fast.
Throughout the entire conference, speaker after speaker emphasized the importance of allowing Millennials input and control on projects specific to social involvement and movement. This definitely resonates with my experience at Indiana INTERNnet.
Don’t worry. I took away some valuable tips from this conference other than choosing the right table at breakfast:
Find your calling | What brings you joy, what you are best at, and what does the world need. Find a place that nurtures your life goals.
The future is human | Authenticity, simplicity, and urgency are the main components in a message. Make your cause clear so that anyone anywhere can get involved.
Conscious Citizens | In general, Millennials are characterized as being conscious citizens that care about sustainability, passion, and acknowledging imperfection.
Millennials typically want to volunteer their skills | to collaborate on projects and to be exposed to credible sources of authority.
Companies need to invest in storytelling| Millennials care what their peers say, look for impact and respond to emotions.
Millennials don’t want to products sold to them | They want to sell it: create a campaign, fill the space with great written and visual content and put a millennial in charge of the project.
Build relationships | Figure out what makes you different, listen intently, and follow up intensely.
Not only was I made aware of how to engage fellow Millennials in social causes, but also of the importance of open-mindedness of both the employer and the employee. Getting the chance to engage with the social media community offline on a national level added an entirely new dimension to my internship.
This chance to network and learn was made possible by three main factors: my initiative in finding out about the opportunity, winning a generous ticket giveaway courtesy of Nathan Hand (Non-Profit Professional and Advancement Director at The Oaks Academy), and my supervisor’s willingness and openness to my attendance.
Evidently, internships can open more doors than expected. What matters are the door knobs we allow ourselves to turn, and the people we choose to walk with us on this journey.
Although this morning I won’t get to share a table with the social media giants, I still get to make an impact from my desk. After all, this is the digital age, and we are the millennial generation. So, instead of a toast, I offer a click; a click to further internships. Mine took me all the way to breakfast with Twitter, YouTube and NPR.
Where will your internship take you?