I’ve been working in the Office of Strategic Communications for a few weeks now, and I’m starting to get settled into my schedule. It’s been tough getting back into the habit of waking up early, but luckily I live only ten minutes from the place where the hospital shuttle comes to take me to the office.
What have I been doing? Well, my first two weeks are a blur of going on shoots. There’s a lot of lingo to get used to on this job (shoots, swing spaces, pitching, etc.) and I’m slowly getting the hang of it. A shoot is when a reporter, producer, videographer, and/or assistant comes to the hospital to interview a doctors and/or patient. I’ve gotten to see quite a few shoots of different kinds: an interview with a doctor, b-roll footage of a new mom and her baby, press gathering to film a former patient running a marathon. There are so many different types of stories that comes out of the hospital and so many different types of outlets covering these stories from many different angles. It’s especially interesting for me to see how the media operates—who carries the cameras, how the reporters are trained to just keep talking in order to get interesting sound bites and b-roll footage. These are the kinds of things that make me think seeing a job get done (i.e., seeing a reporter do an interview for TV) is the only way to know what happens behind the scenes. My coworkers and bosses have been great about letting me tag along for all sorts of shoots, which is probably unusual (and which I’m very grateful for).
It’s not all shadowing, though—I’ve also taken on a lot of projects, including organizing consent forms, updating media contact lists, and writing up applications for award nominees. Getting involved in many different aspects of the office has been really beneficial, because it’s exposed me to just how many different levels of organization and operation are required to make sure everything goes smoothly. I also answer the phone sometimes (the main line to the office) and I’ve gotten to talk to reporters who are on a deadline and need to speak to someone for a story. That’s pretty exciting, and I’ve gotten good at making sure I get all their information so I can pass them along to someone who can help.
Challenges? Besides getting up early, it’s definitely challenging to work in an office. There’s a lot of hierarchical relationships that I’m still figuring out. It helps that everyone is used to having an intern (and is also just very friendly), and I think I’ll continue to get a better sense of the office culture the longer I’ve worked there.
The summer is flying by—I can’t believe I’ve been at the job for almost a month! In the next couple weeks, I’m looking forward to getting started writing up the answers to a Q&A project I’m working on and completing some of the organizational tasks I’ve been plugging away at.