Taking an excursion into the world of travel and tourism marketing

Head and shoulders of Jake R with scenic water behind him

Intern: Jake R

Position: Social Media Specialist at Westcoast Connection

Westcoast Connection is a travel agency that offers programs that provide travel, learning, or volunteering opportunities for teens in over 20 countries and locations.

Tell us about a typical day in your internship?

"A typical day at my internship would include community management (such as responding to direct messages, saving content that had been sent in the night before, etc.) followed by a morning meeting to start the day. I would hop on a call with my supervisor to discuss our plan for the day. Westcoast Connection was running about 80 trips that summer, so my role was to save content that was sent in from the trips via DM and pick the best content to showcase for our Instagram story and post for that day. After our morning meeting, I would continue to check DMs and work on editing some content, until our afternoon meeting where we would discuss what would be posted."

What skills did you learn and develop in your internship?

"I learned many valuable skills, such as video editing, community management, and organization through using Google Sheets and Google Drive, etc. The biggest skill I gained was the ability to sort through content with a good eye and select content that fit Westcoast's vision and values.

The biggest skill that I applied in my placement was critical thinking and the ability to take steps toward avoiding controversy. It is important when doing social content to consider different audiences and only post content that would be highly successful (for example, if one participant was not smiling but the rest were, it might be a good idea to choose a different photo in consideration of how the non-smiling participant might feel if posted)."

What was a highlight of your internship experience?

"A highlight from my internship experience was learning from my supervisors. They were always willing to share their knowledge from the media world, and allowed me to collaborate on many different projects alongside them. This was a great way to work with a small team and learn from some of the best in the world of travel-related social media."

What did you find challenging about your internship experience?

"The most challenging thing about my internship was the remote work 9-5 alongside the learning curve. Due to the remote nature, I learned new innovative ways to connect with my team and easily discuss projects virtually." 

Note: this internship took place during the COVID-19 pandemic and was a remote position as a result.

How did you internship shape your thoughts on your career/life after FIMS?

"My internship reinforced my love for the media world and allowed me to learn more about the industry. This experience solidified the line of work I want to pursue and provided tons of learning that expanded my skillset and allowed me to work more efficiently."

What advice do you have for a FIMS student who is considering an internship?

"DO IT! Not only does it give you a credit towards graduation, it also provides valuable learning and great experience for your resume! You are able to connect with the amazing career services team at FIMS and create a plan for the next steps in your career!"