Abigail Naumann, Senior (May 2010)
Minor: Multimedia & Design
Internship: New Media Commandant with Caffeine Communications
Abigail Naumann is a passionate communications crusader intrigued by the many aspects of the media industry. She is especially interested in social media, web 2.0, and the way all the elements of communication come together to play an integral role in society. Despite her journalistice upbringing, she has an invigorating passion for public relations and social media.
Describe your internship experience. Where are you interning?
My official title is New Media Commandant. My job is to help initiate and manage a social media presence and conversation, while incorporating other multimedia efforts. Caffeine Communications is a powerhouse public relations boutique with offices in Chicago and Milwaukee. We are known for unleashing a refreshing simple attitude that’s all about world-class creativity and fearless story telling that elevates the collective consciousness of a client’s brand by making it a current event unto itself.
What interested you in this internship?
Knowing how rough the economy has been, I wanted to make sure I had a strong resume with a lot of diverse experience. There’s an episode on Full House, where Michelle finally graduates from a crib to a bed (view a clip). Uncle Jesse is tucking her in and he explains to her that she’s got to test it out and rustle around under the covers for awhile to find her “sweet spot.” I think that’s what college is like. I utilized my time at UW-Whitewater to try new things and test myself in order to find my own sweet spot. I tested my on-camera skills as a weather broadcaster for Cable 19. I climbed my way up to the top of the ladder and became editor-in-chief of the Royal Purple. I served as the Publicity Co-Chair for the Homecoming Steering Committee. And I was president of the Society of Professional Journalists. Each of these roles helped me determine my strengths and narrowed down what it is that I love to do. Over the summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to work as a creative services intern for Visit Milwaukee. It was a wonderful experience, but I still hadn’t nailed what it was that I was passionate about. I read up on Caffeine Communications and its founder, Bryan LeMonds, and I knew that I had to become a part of their magic. We connected on Twitter and after meeting with the team, they invited me to join!
What are you doing in your internship?
As an intern at Caffeine, I’ve been able to dip my toes in a diverse sample of projects. I work with several accounts, including Harley-Davidson’s Youth and Noise accounts, Milwaukee Harley-Davidson and Il Mito (a lovely restaurant in Wauwatosa which I can’t say enough about). For example, I recently helped organize an event for Milwaukee Harley-Davidson called The Adult Derby. For the event, I created a website – www.adultderby.com – and a viral video that took off so well, they were featured on Fox and Friends, a national morning show in New York. That’s the type of work I do for all of our clients.
What strategies did you use to find your internship?
There are so many tools online to help find internships. I love Big Shoes Network. I found my internship by researching the company and contacting them on Twitter. (Crazy, eh? But it worked!)
What have you learned during your internship experience?
I think it’s important to love what you do and do what you love. I genuinely look forward to going to work every day (yes, even despite the hour commute each way). I love to share inspiring stories – so I assumed I’d be a great fit for print journalism. I forgot to consider the other avenues of story telling. Turns out, public relations and I are like two peas in a pod. I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t tested myself in different situations.
What advice would you give to students exploring internships or beginning their searches for one?
Shamelessly self-promote yourself. At the beginning of my college experience, I was uncomfortable talking about my strengths or accomplishments. But it was something I learned to overcome. If you can’t sell yourself to an employer, how on earth will you be able to sell/promote their brand, product, or idea? It’s important to have confidence. If you’re not confident with yourself, fake it until you are.
Other thoughts or advice?
Make Google and the internet your best friends. When you apply for jobs, the first thing employers do is Google you. There are so many tools online to improve your web presence. Employers want to see what your capable of. Make a Google Profile, LinkedIn profile, blog, website, Twitter account, slideshow of clips, YouTube account, etc. (And guess what? It’s all free.) Do whatever you can to display your abilities online. Employers will be impressed – I guarantee it.
Have an interesting internship story to tell? Would you like to be considered for a future Intern Spotlight feature? Please email a brief synopsis of your experience to me, Laura Jacobs, at MorrowL@uww.edu.