Intern interviews intern: an insight into HOOP’s comms team

Recently we’ve had a brand new pair of hands on deck in the HOOP communications team. In fact, the new addition to the team is… me (Maggie from New Zealand – hi!). Being the new comms intern, I decided to pick the brain of the older and wiser intern to get some further insight to what this role entails.

Some aspects of the job were clear after my first day – it’s lively, it’s busy and it’s varied. Other aspects became apparent once the inductions were over and the work began (first and foremost being that this is a challenging internship role). There’s substantive work to do and there’s plenty of it to go around. My first week included social media posts, press releases and liaising with journalists, and planning for a fundraiser party. To find out what I can expect in the coming months, I talked to the aforementioned old and wise Elise about her experience…

Elise, I’m sorry for calling you old. You’ve been working as a communications intern at HOOP since August. How does it feel to know I’m now here to steal your duties?

Haha, in all honesty it’s great with an extra pair of hands on deck, things here at HOOP can get pretty crazy, there’s always so many exciting things happening!

What were you doing before you joined HOOP?

I studied Politics and International Relations at the University of Bath for two years, so I’m here as part of my placement year.

You’ve been hard at work behind the scenes of the wonderful videos promoting our HulaHOOPing challenge. What’s involved in making a successful promo video?

Thanks! Well, I’m not an expert, but I think illustrating a simple message with footage can be really effective, and not relying solely on words. I’ve been lucky enough to use really good music (by Kanaku y El Tigre), which makes my job a whole lot easier. To be able to make these videos I’ve also been fully reliant on the help of our wonderful volunteers!

On top of shooting and editing videos, what have been some of your other responsibilities in this role?

As well as being in charge of the fundraising and comms side of the HulaHOOPing challenge, I have been in charge of HOOP’s social media, going up to the school in Flora Tristán to take photos, editing our website, managing and writing blogs, designing posters and other material both for print and online, and I am now starting on grants applications. There’s a huge variety in the job, which I really like.

What were your areas of interest coming into this role? Have you been able to incorporate them into your work at HOOP?

My main areas of interest are definitely photography and filmmaking, and I have absolutely been able to incorporate it into working at HOOP. In addition to learning loads of new things, the internship has definitely been tailored to let me do what I’m interested in.

What have you enjoyed most about working in communications?

My favourite thing is that there isn’t a typical day at work. Working with comms in such a small organisation especially means that I get to do loads of different things and learn so much as I go along. I also love being able to use social media to communicate the awesome work of HOOP!

What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?

Going from academic-style writing to a more fun upbeat tone of writing for the blog as well as social media is something I struggle with, uni life has definitely scarred me! But with the support I get from Comms Director Tom I’ve also been able to develop my writing a lot, which is great.

Lastly, any advice for the newbie?

As you should always be, go into the role with an open mind and say yes to doing new things! You have the most awesome job at HOOP, remember to enjoy it!

So, who’s going to fill our shoes once our internships end? Find out how you can apply to be a communications intern with HOOP here.

Words and images by Maggie Shui and Elise Fjordbakk

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