This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the Career Services Summer Funding grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending the summer. You can read the entire series here.
This entry is by Aleah Welsh, COL ’16
I’m running up 8th avenue. There’s a cool breeze but I’m hot and my legs are starting to cramp as my body rejects this sudden burst of physical activity it’s not accustomed to. It’s 4:53pm on a Friday and I’m going to be late to my interview with the Upright Citizens Brigade. I race into the lobby and slip on my “formal shoes” – suede booties with a small heel. I take the elevator to the twelfth floor trying to press the creases out of my shirt and letting the air conditioning cool my face and dry my sweat, the Declaration of Independence hidden safely in the lining of my briefcase. It’s 5:01. My breathing is still a little heavy as I meet my interviewer and look around at the other jeans-and-sneaker clad people in the office. I’m over dressed. I look down at the resume in my hand and realize it’s written entirely in comic sans. Dammit. I can’t believe I’ve screwed this up.
That day, as I walked aimlessly away from 520 8th avenue eating the street hot dog I had promised myself earlier, I convinced myself that this would be a funny memory if I got the job and not a painful tale of a horribly botched opportunity. You can imagine my surprise and excitement when, a month later, I got the news that I would, in fact, be spending my summer in New York City as a social media intern for one of the top comedy theaters in the world.
I’m one of four social media interns working with UCB this summer. My duties have ranged from drafting tweets to promote the various shows, to creating a photo scavenger hunt around Manhattan to promote the Del Close Marathon, an annual 56-hour-long improv festival. My boss handles all of the analytics for UCB’s social media presence, however, I have the freedom to craft posts for the company’s Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook. When I’m not organizing press mentions on an excel sheet or drafting tweets (I draft a lot of tweets), I’m familiarizing myself with UCB’s content and tone so my posts will remain consistent with the UCB voice. It has forced me to consider, from a branding perspective, the challenge of crafting a singular tone in the digital world that comes from multiple people.
The most exciting time of my internship was definitely working the Del Close Marathon. The festival brings together top improvisers from around the world including many famous comedians. During the marathon it was my job to keep UCB’s twitter account up to date on the size of the crowd at each of the seven venues so people could more easily decide which shows to attend. Walking from venue to venue all day gave me the chance to meet and talk to many different audience members, performers and creators. When I wasn’t working the festival I was able to attend some of the many shows and after parties. I got to know my fellow interns and really got a sense of what it feels like to be a part of this larger UCB community. I can confidently say that that weekend was one of the best experiences of the summer. The sense of excitement and community from participating in a celebration of something I love so much, something that everyone around me cares so much about, was joyfully overwhelming.
The end of the summer is near as is my time at UCB, but lately it feels like I eat, sleep and breathe comedy. I’m constantly engaged during my time in the UCB office but it doesn’t end there. As an intern I’m granted free admission to most UCB shows which I frequently go to with friends, other interns or sometimes alone. Some of the most memorable moments have been seeing performances by Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, Chris Gethard, Paul Adsit, Zack Woods and Amy Poehler (twice). Furthermore, being in this creative and supportive environment has inspired me to work on some of my own material; I’ve even tried my hand at stand up a few times.
This summer I’ve experienced what it means to like your job— not just your coworkers or the office environment— but what it’s like to be truly invested in the mission of the company and everything it stands for. Regardless of where I end up after graduation this is something I hope to find again, in any career.