Gap Year Opportunities: General

Christ House
     Approximate Deadline: April 7
Jewish Organizing Fellowship
     Approximate Deadlines: Early Round-January 24. Regular Round-March 5, 2
LanguageCorps
     Approximate Deadline: 4 to 6 months before desired start date.
Lutheran Volunteer Corps
     Approximate Deadline: Round 1: January 15 & Round 2: April 1
Massachusetts Promise Fellowship
     Approximate Deadline: Rolling
Peace Corps
     Approximate Deadline: 6-12 months before beginning of service
Philly Fellows
     Approximate Deadline: January 31
Pittsburgh PULSE: Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience
     Approximate Deadline: June 1

Gap Year Opportunities: Education

Carnegie Foundation Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship
     Approximate Deadline: TBA
Citizen Schools
     Approximate Deadline: Rolling
City Year
     Approximate Deadlines: October 27, January 26, March 9, April 13, May 11, June 1.
FAO Schwarz Family Foundation Fellowship
     Approximate Deadline: Varies
SAGA Innovations
     Approximate Deadline: Rolling
     Keywords: tutoring, at-risk youth
Yale-NUS College
     Approximate Deadline: January 3
     Keywords: higher education, student affairs

Social Media PR as a Profession

By Jonathan Hogan

For many (especially the social media inclined), working as a social media specialist—that is, someone who designs content for and represents the company on social media platforms—can seem like a dream job. Yet, just like any professional position, there is a lot more to working as a social media specialist than meets the eye…

Posting

As already mentioned, social media specialists primarily create content and interact with companies’ customers/fans; however, most content posted by a social media specialists has been reviewed by multiple supervisors and has been patiently waiting in an automated calendar for months before it is released. Considering that social media specialists often create posts that are viewed by thousands of potential customers, such caution is to be expected. Yet, there is another reason for such a regimented timeframe: most posts are designed with a specific strategy and objective in mind and subsequently analyzed with the help of data analytics software. Just as any marketing department’s content, social media content receives considerable time and attention before and after the release of the content to ensure that the individual or team is working as efficiently as possible to meet broader company objectives.

Customer Services and Engaging with Fans

Contrasting with the lack of spontaneity in a social media specialists’ content creation process is the second most important element of a social media specialists’ job: responding to customers online. Most social media specialists pride themselves on their ability to make real, human connections with individuals engaging with their company. To accomplish this successfully, social media specialists are called to respond to queries or complaints with authenticity and promptness. Many social media specialists find this to be the most exciting part of their job; however, they also add that it comes with the stress of representing an entire brand in a public and unregulated fashion. For many, it takes months to work spontaneously without frequent emails to supervisors to ensure that responses are appropriate for the brand’s image.

Daily Schedule

Outside of creating and scheduling content for release and responding to customers, social media specialists engage with a wide variety of activities throughout their workdays. Brian Peters, a social media specialist at Buffer neatly presented his schedule on Buffer’s website:

MorningAfternoonEvening
7-7:30am: Breakfast & coffee12-12:30pm: Lunch5:30-6:45pm: Gym
7:30-8:30am: Email & voicemail12:30-1pm: Emails and voicemails6:45-8pm: Dinner with my wife
8:30-9am: Check-in on all social media platforms1-1:30pm: Respond and engage with community8-9pm: Learn (programming, video making, etc.)
9-9:30am: Measure social results and add to spreadsheets1:30-2:00pm: Curate content9-10pm: Relax and watch TV
9:30-10am: Respond and engage with community2-2:30pm: Read and learn10-10:30pm: Read
10-10:30am: Schedule new content to Buffer2:30-2:45: Break10:30pm: Sleep and repeat!
10:30-10:45am: Break & more coffee (much needed!)2:45-3pm: Schedule content to Buffer 
10:45-11am: Read and learn3-4:30pm: Content creation (video, graphics) 
11am-12pm: Content creation (podcast, writing)4:30-5pm: Emails and voicemails 
 5-5:30pm: Check Buffer queue 

As is evident in Brian Peter’s schedule, working as a social media specialist is a demanding job, which often requires constant availability and the agility to address urgent issues, trending content, and algorithmic changes to social media platforms at the drop of a hat. Because of this intensity, many social media specialists have mentioned having difficulty separating work from down-time, and social media from work.

For those dedicated individuals with a penchant for social media, design, community engagement, and strategizing, social media PR may be a field for you. But be aware, the field is rigorous and often demands much more than a typical 8 eight-hour workday.  

Jonathan is a Second Year German and Government major. He works as a Career Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Works Cited

Booz, Nicole. “What It Is Really Like to Work in Social Media.” GenTwenty, 4 Oct. 2015, gentwenty.com/what-it-is-really-like-to-work-in-social-media/.

Doyle, Alison. “Best Social Media Career Options to Consider.” The Balance Careers, 17 Sept. 2020, www.thebalancecareers.com/social-media-job-titles-2061507.

Kearl, Mary. Noodle, 17 Oct. 2019, www.noodle.com/articles/the-pros-and-cons-of-becoming-a-social-media-manager.

Morgan, Brittney. “7 Social Media Pros On What They Love (and Hate) About Their Jobs.” Business News Daily, 9 Sept. 2015, www.businessnewsdaily.com/8359-social-media-career-pros-cons.html.

Peters, Brian. “A Day in the Life of a Social Media Manager: How to Maximize Your Time on Social Media in 2017.” Buffer Library, Buffer Library, 30 June 2020, buffer.com/library/social-media-manager-checklist/.

Samuels, Rachael. “9 Skills Every Social Media Manager Must Have.” Sprout Social, 7 May 2020, sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-skills/.

NGO Spotlight: The Brookings Institution

If you are a member of the #GLI Career Community and are pursuing a degree in Government, you are most likely familiar with the name Brookings Institution. With this prominent and highly respected institution’s summer internship application now open, a more detailed understanding of the institute and the internship is warranted.   If you are interested in learning more about the Brookings Institute because you plan on applying for the internship, or because you simply want to know more about arguably the most influential think tank in the U.S. (and perhaps the world), read on!

The Brookings Institution, founded in 1916 as the “first private organization devoted to analyzing public policy issues at the national level,” analyzes policy issues and suggests policy solutions for an incredibly broad range of topics. A quick glance at the Brookings Institution’s website reveals that the institution covers issues ranging from state and local governance to national education policy to global poverty. The Brookings Institution has over 300 scholars dedicated to developing deeper understandings of their respective issues. Furthermore, given the Brookings Institution’s center-left political stance, scholarly positions are often held by top-ranking members of the Democratic executive branch during terms in which Republicans hold the executive branch. Given the institution’s close ties with government and its unrivaled reputation as a respectable center-left think-tank, research conducted at Brookings is often considered by federal lawmakers in the bill-writing process. Perhaps most excitingly—at least from the perspective of undergrads—is that the Brookings Institution offers internships year-round. At the moment, the summer internship application period is currently open.

If you would like to apply to the Brookings’ summer internship program simply click here.  Internships are specified by foci, ranging from events and communications internships to research internships on a  myriad of issues. To apply, you will need a resume, a cover letter, and your academic transcript. If you are accepted, you will also need two letters of recommendation.  Should you need help with your interviewing skills, your resume, or your cover letter you can schedule an appointment with me or my colleagues at the Career Center at any time by clicking here. The application window for the summer internships closes on February 28th.

Jonathan Hogan

Jonathan is a Second Year German and Government major. He works as a Career Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Think Tanks

What are Think Tanks?
A Think Tank, as defined by Merriam Webster’s Dictionary is “an institute, corporation, or group organized to study a particular subject (such as a policy issue or a scientific problem) and provide information, ideas, and advice.” Put simply, Think Tanks generate knowledge to inform public policy decisions and sway public opinion.


What does an average workday look like for a Think Tank employee?
Hugo Brady, a Senior Fellow at the Center for European Reform perhaps best summarizes what one can expect out of the workday as a “think tanker,” generally speaking. He states that “A think tanker has to be able to think like an academic, act like a diplomat, and write like a journalist.” Brady’s description likely does not capture the experience of every researcher in the industry; however, it seems that the common image of a lonely scientist spending hours poring over data sets in an overly ornate building poorly encapsulates the nature of think tank work. Variety, rather than monotony, seems to be the norm.


How does one work at a Think Tank?
The first step to working at a Think Tank is finding one that suites your ideological preferences as the ideologies of Think Tanks can be wide ranging. Once you have identified a Think Tank for which you could envision yourself working, the next step is to browse the Think Tank’s website for employment opportunities. Information about openings and internship opportunities should be readily available. For senior positions at most Think Tanks, PhDs are standard; however, Research Assistant positions are often open to individuals with undergraduate degrees and most Think Tanks have internship positions for undergraduate students. To browse through a list of 3,316 prominent Think Tanks around the globe we recommend this website.


-Jonathan Hogan ’23, Career Peer Educator