Written by Payton Davis, Career Center Digital Marketing Intern and Public Relations Major.
Madison has had three very different internships in the past two years, although they all complement each other.
“This did not come easy at all. It took a lot of time. You have to be consistent. You have to send follow-up emails. I applied to probably 30 places and didn’t hear back from any of them,” Madison said.
The struggle was finding an internship that counted for the required course credit she needed to graduate with her journalism degree. Her first internship with 435 Magazine came about after she was rejected by the internship she primarily wanted. In summer 2018, Madison moved back to her home of Kansas City, Missouri, to intern with the magazine. Although it was her second choice at the time, the work she created for 435 Magazine remains the work she is most proud of today.
“When we did our ‘Best in Kansas City’ issue, that was totally my jam because I know Kansas City; I grew up in Kansas City. I think I had 35 pieces in that. I carry around an issue in my backpack all the time. Like I have one right now,” she said.
Madison admits that it was not easy work. She worked constantly that summer, making phone calls and emailing people to set up appointments and interviews.
“I worked on the weekend. You’re not supposed to work on the weekend, but I did because there was so much stuff to do and things to piece together in pretty much just three weeks,” she said.
A change in pace…and audience
After her crazy summer ended, Madison got an internship at a marketing agency in the fall. She wrote blog content and did website work for her clients at the agency. She stayed with this agency even throughout her third internship with Missouri State in the fall of 2019. Madison worked as a social media intern for University Communications. In this position she ran the official Missouri State Instagram.
“It was really exciting to be the face of Missouri State and try to connect with the students. The students just want someone who can relate to them and talk to them,” she said.
The search for something more
The different experiences Madison has had not only with her internships, but with her own personal blog she began in 2017, have made her a marketable candidate who received the first full-time job she applied for before even having graduated. She was promised a full-time position at the marketing agency where she interned, but she wanted something more social media oriented.
“I was going on LinkedIn almost every day to see what was out there. I wasn’t completely committed to leaving [the marketing agency], I was just like, if I find something better, I find something better,” she said.
Then one day, a post came up from the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau. They were looking for a content coordinator to manage their social media accounts.
“I filled out the application. It was super simple. I had to submit my resume, a cover letter, and a sample piece. I don’t even think I sent in the sample piece. I’m kicking my past self for not doing that, because you should. Anything you can submit, just submit it. Anybody reading this, submit all your work examples,” she said.
Just hours after applying, she was invited to interview with the team.
“My biggest interview tip is to read the room. See what the vibe is with everybody else. If everyone’s happy and smiling, I feel like it’s safe to be happy and smiley back. And if they’re cracking a few jokes, crack a few jokes back. But be yourself at the same time. If I can’t be myself here and I feel uncomfortable, then this isn’t the job for me, you know?” she said.
Madison received a second interview and ended up getting the job a day later. She is now a content coordinator for the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Now that Madison has graduated, she cannot help but look back and wish she had done some things differently.
“I feel like I took things a little too seriously. I think it’s important to do things to prepare for the future and college and everything, but at the same time, you don’t have to spend every waking minute just worrying about a job. Most importantly, just have fun. It’s okay if you don’t have an internship your freshman year of college,” she said. Get additional advice in her blog article “10 Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make As a College Freshman.”
Madison received a lot of radio silence as well as rejection before arriving to where she is now. She was resilient even when graduation was approaching and she had yet to earn her required internship credit. At the end of the day, she ended up in a place she never would have imagined.
“I got rejected from 417 Magazine, and I was heartbroken because I wanted to work there so bad and I just loved everything they did. And you know what? It just wasn’t the place for me. Just don’t get hung up on the rejection. Keep moving forward. You will get a job, you will graduate, you will do good things, go Bears!” she said.