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Communications Students Intern Worldwide

By Adrienne Teague, University Relations Intern

Three UTC Communication students are experiencing unique internships in New York City, Washington D.C., and Birr, Ireland.

PhillipBad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group (BBWEB), founded by CEO Sean “P.Diddy” Combs, has offered one of its New York internships to UTC senior Phillip Jones.

BBWEB encompasses a broad range of businesses including recording, music publishing, artist management, television and film production, recording facility, marketing and advertising, apparel and restaurants.

Jones, from Memphis, TN, was encouraged to apply for the internship by his good friend DJ Wally Sparks, a syndicated DJ who broadcasts on five national radio stations, as well as Chattanooga’s Power 94.

A few weeks later, Bad Boy Records called Jones and told him he was selected as one of the few out of thousands who applied for the internship.

With his internship secure, Jones had to face another issue, housing in the Big Apple.

“Bad Boy is not a paid internship, and they don’t provide housing for their interns. And the cost of living in New York is much higher than in Tennessee. Where we pay around $400 a month to live at UTC Place, we’re talking about $1400 a month to live in an even smaller space in New York City,” said Jones.

And so, Jones relied on another of his contacts, the senior director of Vital Marketing Group. “He lives in New York, so I called him, and he told me that he would be on tour the whole summer with the AND 1 Basketball Group, and that I could stay in his apartment while he was away.”

PikeWhile Jones will be in charge of club promotions and advertising for Bad Boy Entertainment in NYC, a classmate of his, Jennifer Pike of Atlanta, GA, decided to take an international approach when searching for her internship. In fall 2005, Pike was studying abroad when she discovered the town of Birr while backpacking through Ireland. The town and its tourist attraction, Birr Castle, lie approximately two hours southwest of Dublin, Ireland.

Pike said that when she and a group of her classmates arrived in Birr, “The Earl and Countess of Rosse invited us for lunch at their castle,” upon hearing that a group of Americans were in the town.

PikeAfter their lunch with the Earl and Countess of Rosse, “Lord Rosse said he was looking for an American marketing and public relations intern, and I offered myself for the job.”

“I had one interview with Lord Rosse, and another with Lady Oxmantown (the manager of the castle), and I was on my way,” commented Pike.

She is in charge of marketing the Birr Castle as a tourist attraction, writing press releases and articles, updating the website, and serving as Lord Rosse’s public relations representative. With the excitement of practicing her skills and learning new tactics in approaching international public relations, Pike said, “I feel extremely honored to have such a unique opportunity.”

Joining Pike and Jones in summer internships is fellow senior Katie Broderick of Mobile, AL. Broderick will graduate in May 2007, and is currently interning at the American Forum in Washington, D.C.

The American Forum is a nonprofit media organization that works within over 20 states to encourage citizen debate on progressive issues.

“I edit opinion pieces, create media packets for articles by writing press releases and public service announcements, and call opinion editors across the country,” Broderick commented on her internship responsibilities. In addition to her busy demands, she has also had the opportunity to record a Public Service Announcement and aid in writing a grant proposal.

She discovered her internship through a brochure for The Washington Center by utilizing the Interim Vice Chancellor of Student Development and Director of the Office of Cooperative Education, National and International Student Exchanges, Hugh Prevost. Prevost helped Broderick set up her internship and fill out her application materials.

“I was accepted into The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars and they assigned me an advisor. I sent him my resume and writing samples, and he helped me find an internship,” said Broderick. Her writing samples were sent out to about 25 different media organizations, and she decided to take an internship at the American Forum.

Broderick said that Washington, D.C. is the “center of communication for the entire world,” and she is very excited to be where laws are made and news happens before her eyes.

As Broderick, Pike, and Jones are each fulfilling their requirements for the graduation in different parts of the world, they each know that their internships would not be possible without the help of the UTC Department of Communications and advisor over internships, Betsy Alderman.

“It’s a great department from the head, Dr. Kit Rushing, to the secretary, Kelly. Dr. Alderman pushed me to get this internship. She saw my potential and she wanted these opportunities for me,” said Jones.

“The communications curriculum is broad enough that it allows a student to be interested in writing for print media, but also to get a taste of everything from television and radio script writing to public relations and web design,” commented Broderick.

Pike said internships not only offer hands-on experience but, “It allows you to create a professional portfolio that you can use when career hunting in the future.”

Each intern was in agreement that the courses and faculty within the Communications department have aided and prepared them for their real-world experiences.

July 14, 2006

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