5 Years of Instagram, 5 Years of Social Media Interns: Where Are They Now?

Five years ago Marist began its social media journey. The Marist Instagram page launched and has now grown to over 15,000 followers! Over the span of these five years, we have had some awesome Marist students act as Social Media Interns. Their job included overseeing the Marist Instagram account and brainstorming different post ideas. They worked on everything from posting your favorite sunset pictures to promoting when applications were due. For the five year anniversary, we decided to check up on our past Social Media Interns and see what they’ve been up too!

Kelsey Donohue:

Year: 2013
Hometown: Wantagh, NY
Major: Communications, Public Relations

What was your involvement in Marist social media?
It really all began with launching Marist on Instagram in 2012 with now Director of Digital Marketing, Brian Apfel. Marist’s beautiful campus and tight-knit community gave the perfect recipe for fun, engaging content that allowed followers to get a peek into life at Marist. We never had a shortage of iconic Marist sunset shots over the Hudson or pictures from basketball games. College acceptance season was always my favorite. We got to congratulate students, repost their pictures with a big red “Yes!” folder, and welcome them into the Marist family.

How did your involvement in Marist social media help you in the future?
Working on Marist’s social media channels helped me understand how to create a voice and a brand online. This was helpful for myself to define my own brand, but also taught me how to craft others. My work with Marist led me to my first internship in the Office of Digital Strategy at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. There I learned how to leverage social media to tell the story and impact behind wonky policy. This kicked off my career and ultimately led to my role at the White House overseeing digital strategy – everything from Twitter to Snapchat – for First Lady Michelle Obama.

What are you doing now?
Today I am back to my first passion – education. I manage communications and digital strategy at a company called Handshake in San Francisco. Handshake is helping students from all backgrounds connect to meaningful careers after college. Bright, young talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not and Handshake is working to bridge that gap.

Jeff Holmes:

Year: 2014
Hometown: Ivoryton, CT
Major: Journalism

 What was your involvement in Marist social media?                                                 During my time at Marist I was heavily involved with all aspects of social media for the school. As Brian Apfel’s student assistant I was able to really dive in and get hands on experience in both running the different accounts and the strategy that goes into them. I worked on scheduling different posts for the Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as helping run the Instagram handle and picking the now famous, photo of the week.

 Specifically, during my time working with the social media accounts for Marist I was able to start working with the various student organizations, clubs and other Marist student groups to help make a more holistic picture of what life is like at Marist for prospective students through social media.

How did your involvement in Marist social media help you in the future?
Working with the Marist social media accounts not only gave me the confidence to give my clients advice today on how to run their own accounts, but also taught me a lot about the strategies and tactics that goes into it. Running these different accounts also gave some great insight in how to dispense different stories through different mediums. As someone who works in communications and gets paid to tell the stories my clients create, it’s important to continuously find the most effective ways to do this. As has become more and more clear over the last couple of years, social media is not only one of those ways, but a necessary one. Four or five years ago social media was still catching on in the different ways brands or organizations use them so it was great experience for me to take into my job today.

 And while sometimes I hate to admit it, social media has become an essential part of my everyday life, including a necessary skill to have at my job. Working in communications and public affairs I use Twitter on a regular basis to not only keep up with the news but communicate with different reporters and get a sense of how the media is covering certain stories.

What are you doing now?
Currently I’m working in New York City for a communications and public affairs firm
called SKDKnickerbocker. Our clients range from Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, philanthropic organizations, labor unions, political committees and candidates. I’ve been living in Hoboken, NJ with two other Marist graduates for a little over 2 years and absolutely love it! Prior to working at SKDKnickerbocker I spent some time at two other communications firms in New York City after spending some time working on a couple of political campaigns after graduating in 2014.

Pippa Hatch: 

Year: 2014
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Major: Double Major in Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising
What was your involvement in Marist social media?
I ran the Marist Instagram for the 2013-2014 school year.
How did your involvement in Marist social media help you in the future?
My experience working in Marist social media helped me in my first position as an Assistant Designer where I also ran the companies Instagram and worked to create marketing campaigns and promotional pieces. I continued using my experience into my second position at the ready to wear brand Tanya Taylor where I assisted in launching their e-commerce site and partnered with the marketing team on photoshoots and promotional for the company.
What are you doing now?
I currently work as an Associate Product Development Manager at Ralph Lauren working with design, production, and merchandising teams on the Women’s Polo Collection. I live in Brooklyn, NY and have been living in the city since graduation.

Colleen Kollar:

Year: 2016
Hometown: Northbrook, Il
Major: Dual major of business marketing and fashion merchandising.
What was your involvement in Marist social media?
Inern for Brian Apfel. Started social media reports. Launched the snapchat at NYFW (pictured). Started #HiddenGems. Part of the team that launched Pennant Pics!
How did your involvement in Marist social media help you in the future?
It definitely helped me land internships but also helped me in branding which is important both personally and professionally. Being able to understand and project adhesive brand image is very important in the work force and in your career path.
What are you doing now?
I am the Executive Assistant to the Publisher at O, The Oprah Magazine.

Dan Luise:

Year: 2017
Hometown: Wilmington, MA
Major: Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing; Minor in Psychology
What was your involvement in Marist social media?
For almost 2 years, I was the Social Media Intern and worked as the assistant to the Director of Social Media. I continued to work passionately on growing Marist’s social media presence that my friends and fellow red foxes had worked so hard with in years prior. From growing a fairly brand new snapchat account and posting endless Marist sunsets on Instagram to being Editor-In-Chief of the FoxTales Blog and leading a team of dedicated social fellows, my involvement with social media ranged heavily. Every day was a different experience filled with unique initiatives and opportunities that I accepted with enthusiasm and passion.
How did your involvement in Marist social media help you in the future?
Working with Marist social media helped prepare me for the future in multiple ways. Whether it be a higher education institution or a business, it taught me how to represent and help grow a brand on social media. I gained invaluable experience in the world of social media, that I may not have been able to get without this experience. I was able to improve both my writing and communication skills while realizing some of the things I am truly passionate about when it comes to marketing. One of the things I learned from my involvement I will never forget, is that while this was a job to be taken seriously and with pride, it was also meant to be fun and something I enjoyed doing on a daily basis–I know I most certainly did.
What are you doing now?
Since graduation this past spring, I have returned back home and am working full-time for a marketing software solutions company just north of Boston. My role here is as the Business Development Executive. What that means is, I am the number one sales person, while also leading marketing and sales initiatives for both our clients and internal team. I am working directly with the CEO on a daily basis gaining valuable experience and continue to grow as a young professional.

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