Sydney Taylor worked as the communications and social media intern for the City of Lansing last summer.
Taylor was in charge of city-wide social media accounts. Her focus was on the Public Service Department. This is the department she spent most her summer learning, writing and talking about.
Some of her main responsibilities included external communications, which consisted of writing press releases for the residents of Lansing about construction projects, posting on social media about lane closures and interpreting engineering language for the public. Not only was she involved in the external communications of the city but also internal. She would write to the employees about company policies and more.
A lot of her day consisted of constant communication with the Public Service Department, which was housed in a different office. Taylor had to talk with engineers heading the construction projects to interpret information into public friendly language. With these summaries and agendas, Taylor sent them out via mailings list and social media along with creating various graphics for construction projects.
During the summer, Taylor learned more skills than she expected. She had a chance to learn video skills and photography outside of the office. Many of her tasks including taking images/videos of the city to produce social media content. Taylor was also exposed to what communication is like when your work for the government, and she said it’s almost a different language. She also learned how to be quick on her feet while maintaining exceptional time management. Taylor was able to make the internship what she wanted.
“It was diverse,” said Taylor.”I was never held into doing one thing. I could ask to have a hand in other projects.”
Overall, Taylor’s summer internship was eye-opening. She got to see behind the scenes of local government.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” said Taylor. “Ask a lot of questions. You’re never annoying, they want to help.”
She has continued to intern with the city through the school year as she prepares for graduation in May. Her advice to students in the position of looking for internships or jobs was “Don’t be afraid to try out and apply to an internship or job that doesn't look to be perfect in your head, you’ll be surprised at how much you get out if it. More than you think.”