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Thursday, March 23, 2023

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Sarah MacBride-Karver Sarah MacBride-Karver

Summer Internship: Day in the Life of Sarah MacBride-Karver

Sarah MacBride-Karver is a communications intern at the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).
By Sarah MacBride-Karver

Hello, my name is Sarah MacBride-Karver and I am studying integrated marketing communications and comparative international studies at San Diego State University. Currently, I'm a communications intern at the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), which is the region's primary planning and transportation agency. As someone who cares deeply about using my business marketing degree for social good and how transportation is affecting and exacerbating our climate crisis, the position at SANDAG piqued my interest.

Every day at SANDAG brings something new, especially with the Regional Plan creation process. To those business students looking to impact social good, but who shy away from the public sector because of the perception of slow pace, I would say, think again!

Here's a snippet of the day in the life as a summer intern at SANDAG.

8:30 a.m. I leave for work from the SDSU area headed downtown via trolley. My commute is a great way to start my day as I have time to dedicate to whatever I wish. Right now, I'm working on reading 50 books this year, so I love getting to read each morning!

9:30 a.m. Arriving at work, the first thing I do is say good morning to my coworkers. I sit in a cubicle with three other interns, which is great for all the random questions I have. Next, I open my email, where I usually have 15-20 messages to read through and reply to. For the day's tasks, I open “Basecamp” which is a project management platform where employees can assign each other to-dos. Today, some of my tasks include: writing a YouTube video description, finding noteworthy content to retweet on Twitter, and getting started on updating and researching Google Ad Words strategies to optimize website traffic. Time to get to work!

10:45 a.m. After making progress on the day's tasks, I start drafting the next round of social media posts for the SANDAG iCommute program, which promotes the use of alternative transportation in the San Diego region. It's fun to research what's going on in San Diego that a commuter audience would want to hear about. One of my most valuable experiences so far has been learning how to create engaging content.

12:00 p.m. Webinar time! SANDAG is hosting a summer webinar series to inform the public on “5 Big Moves” that could improve the San Diego region's transportation network. For this project, I've been working with my team to encourage public excitement about the webinars via promotional videos. It's amazing to see the webinar come to life and I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing our efforts paid off. We had more than 200 viewers tune in — wow!

1:00 p.m. I sit in on a communications department meeting where the team gets everyone up to speed on projects and talks about general strategies for key initiatives. This is my first department meeting, and I learn about how messaging should be crafted for the SANDAG target audiences. At SANDAG, there are a lot of employees, projects, and moving parts so I always feel like a sponge absorbing new information.

2:30 p.m. I join a meeting kicking off the event planning process which will recognize outstanding employers in the San Diego region who provide incentives for alternative commuting. I hear about the ins and outs of venue selection for the target attendee audience. One team member voices that we should consider how connected to transit a venue is. Since I don't have much event planning experience, it's interesting to get a glimpse into that world.

4:30 p.m. Time to head home and reflect on the day!

Being an intern at such a large agency has been a great experience so far. As I take on more responsibilities, I look forward to using what I've learned in my marketing courses, especially in Professor Sunaina Chugani-Marquez's Consumer Behavior course. Thank you for reading!

This article originally appeared on the Fowler College of Business website.