Hi. My name’s Rodni, but the folks at MyNEWPhilly call me, “Suite.” I’ll explain why in a second. First, I’ll tell you a little bit about the company with which I’m currently interning and what I do there.

MyNEWPhilly is an Emmy-nominated news outlet that develops video content to be distributed through social media. We “highlight the people, places, and projects that make Philadelphia a great place to live, work, and play.” My position is social media manager and I primarily run the Instagram account. I’ve also written posts for LinkedIn, Facebook, the newsletter, and the YouTube page. Aside from that, I took any odd jobs around the studio, worked as a production assistant on video shoots, and did some photography. The nickname, “Suite,” comes from the social media management platform called “Hootsuite,” which ironically enough, we never actually used. Another social media intern who left a few months in had been saddled with the name “Hoot.”

I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned from this experience is the importance of understanding a company’s culture. Learning the ins and outs and do’s and don’ts early on is vital to getting acclimated to a new working environment. MyNEWPhilly is very family oriented, which was strange to encounter at first. Adjusting to addressing superiors by their first names was the first step to building the rather enjoyable employer-employee relationship that has developed over the semester. I’ve met all sorts of interesting people and made unlikely connections, which I’m sure have helped me to grow both as a person and as a creative in the advertising field.

This internship has helped me to break out of my shell a little and discover skills that I didn’t know I possessed. In such an open and artistic environment, I’m encouraged to give my input and opinions, even when they’re contrary to that of the majority. I’m treated like an asset there. Everything that I have to say is valued, and even the small tasks I complete never go unnoticed. In handling the Instagram page, I realized that I’m actually pretty good at social media management, despite only having handled my own social media accounts prior. I was brought on just to write captions, but learned that by using my other creative talents, I could boost engagement and make the page more marketable.

I wish I had taken the initiative to come up with more strategies outside of what the company had already been doing. I contributed a few, but often stuck to the norm to be on the safe side. Since I’ll continue working there after this semester, I’ll be able to share more of my ideas, which is a comforting thought. My boss, Kyree Terrell, always says you should strive to “be the reason something gets done,” and I hope to be the reason that MyNEWPhilly reaches new heights in marketing and production.

Overall, the experience was much different than I thought it would be. It was less structured, which left room for creative freedom. It was more fun than work, which made me more productive. It was way more socially driven than I had anticipated, which forced me out of my comfort zone.

I expected to gain experience, a bullet point on my resume, and credits for this course. What I didn’t expect to gain was another family. I’m happy to end this semester on a good note, and even happier to begin next year with tons of new projects at MyNEWPhilly, “where something’s always new, and everything’s always Philly”!