My Internship with NCSD
This summer I interned with the National Coalition of STD Directors in Washington D.C.
As NCSD’s Communications Intern I:
Managed/scheduled their social media
Began the implementation of a communications network for state/territory health departments focusing on sexual health communication
Wrote content for their blog and website
Created landing pages within a Wordpress theme
Designed items for their display booth
Participated in planning phone calls for STD Engage 2018
Monitored social media using google analytics
Optimized their SEO using keywords
Participated in their policy academy
Became familiarized with MailChimp
It was a packed summer with a commute from Franconia-Springfield, the furthest metro station on the blue line into Northern Virginia, to a few blocks from the white house every morning. Honestly, this was my only complaint about the internship: finding housing in D.C. is expensive and intern housing fills up fast, so a few members of my family graciously allowed me to live with them and commute to NCSD. The commute was over an hour of public transport both ways. After speaking to my friends, I learned that this commute wasn’t as bad as some of them who interned in Boston and New York City.
Communications: What I Learned
One thing I learned during my internship was the importance of scheduling. Prior to working for NCSD, I had not used a scheduling program for social media. Retrospectively this seems obvious because I cannot imagine managing multiple platforms on a daily basis without it.
I also learned a lot about teamwork and working with a small staff. Every person at NCSD helped each other with respect to others’ deadlines and needs. I also learned the importance of working autonomously. In other words, when I saw something that I could fix, I would fix it.
The Policy Academy
NCSD is an organization that strives to represent state and territory health departments in their membership. They envision a nation without STDs. As a part of this goal they host the Policy Academy which teaches how to speak to congressmen about STD rates, care, and sometimes needed resources.
I got to participate in the last day of training for the Policy Academy and go with the member from Guam to meet with the offices of Guam and Hawaii. It was very exciting to see the policy that was practiced being pitched to our representatives.
To Sum Up
My internship at NCSD was a great experience, and I am glad I did it. I learned a lot about coordinated social media, writing for different audiences, and speaking to our representatives.
I will be attending the CDC’s STD Conference at the end of August to help with social media and live streaming the plenaries.