How my Professional Writing & Rhetoric Internship prepared me for my Career in Social Media

By: Michaela Bramwell

About Me
My name is Michaela Bramwell and I am currently a junior attending Elon University, majoring in strategic communications and minoring in professional writing and rhetoric. After I graduate, my goal is to get a job managing the social media of a business, musician/band, or professional sports team. Over this past summer, I have gained experience running the social media for businesses and organizations such as the YMCA and a small business called the Barter Business Exchange.

Elon English Department Social Media Intern
I began this internship in August of 2019. My position as the social media intern for the Elon English Department expands my knowledge of the power of rhetoric and visual rhetoric, my creative graphic design skills, and my interviewing skills. This internship allows me to conduct research that provides evidence to support my rhetorical decisions in my posts. I have also learned new ways to increase engagement, such as: responding to post comments and replies, tagging users in posts, and hashtags.

Elon Office of Admissions at Elon University
I am interviewing to be the social media student worker at the Office of Admissions at Elon University. This job entails many of the things that I currently do for the English Department such as:
• interviewing faculty and staff across campus for posting content
• conducting research
• creating new social media campaign ideas to increase engagement

Identifying an Audience
One major thing that my internship has taught me is the importance of knowing your audience as a communicator. If you don’t know your audience, then you can’t create content that appeals to them. As a former Elon applicant, I was my own audience, which allows me to make educated decisions on what we post and how we communicate.

Social Media Tone

My internship has also taught me the importance of tone on social media. For the Elon English account, I have changed the overall tone to be much more relaxed and relatable, which coincides with our primary target audience, which are Elon students. I created a new “brand personality” for our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts using new hashtags, gifs, emojis, story highlights, and memes.

These types of features are used by our target audience of students. Since the Office of Admissions at Elon’s target audience is prospective students and parents of those students, the tone needs to be professional, but approachable. The social media accounts of the office of admissions are a “first look” into Elon and who we are as a university. We want people to feel welcomed, comfortable, and incorporate the familial vibe that Elon is known for, but also stay professional. These tones would be best communicated through platform feature highlights such as Instagram story highlights, videos, and Instagram TV. These features allow for a speaking individual to be seen and heard on social media and allows for the audience to truly put a face and personality to Elon.

Creating New Ideas

My internship has also allowed me to create new ideas for posts, such as the “Wacky English Wednesday” post, which has become our most popular weekly post. Every week I post a quote about an author that is strange or peculiar. I have learned that popular authors get more likes, so I have adapted the way that I post our Wacky English Wednesday.

I have also conducted research and seen what other school English Departments have done with their social media. For Elon Admissions, I would look at other private universities social media accounts and see what has been working for them. I would also do research into the things that Elon has/is continuing to work on improving, such as diversity and give social media proof of those efforts.

Use of Popular Online Trends

Lastly, my internship has taught me to use popular trends and incorporate a brand into those trends. For example, my Wacky English Wednesday fact involved popular author J.K. Rowling who wrote the Harry Potter books. In that specific post, I included a link to a quiz that determined which Hogwarts house you would be, as well as a question poll that asked, “Which House are you?” These received multiple replies on all the platforms.

New Ideas for Office of Admissions Social Media
My new idea for the Elon Admissions account is interviewing different staff, faculty, and students who have various positions, on why they believe students should apply to Elon. This would convey the “family” aspect of Elon by saying no matter what you do here at Elon, you are a part of our family. I would make sure to get a diverse group of people to interview to also prove Elon’s commitment to diversity. Another idea I have would be to do a “Student Takeover” on Instagram, where different students post on the Instagram story about a day in the life of an Elon student.

Overall, I feel very prepared to interview for this job because of my experience with the Elon English Department Social Media. I feel that I can create new ideas that will help grow the following of Elon Admissions.


*This post was written a week prior to my interview and I recently found out that I got the job and accepted the position. *

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