By Dylan Schaeffer
NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. – Three senior communications majors at Penn State New Kensington gave presentations on their senior internship projects on campus last Thursday.
Andrew Randas, Scott Carnahan, and Brandi Staton described their experiences to instructors and students by explaining their duties and what they had gained throughout the internship.
Randas was the first to speak. Starting last June, Randas worked with the website Review Busters. This site is dedicated to offering reviews for videogames, movies, music, books, and food and drink. Although the site is based out of Pittsburgh, Randas worked from home writing articles.
This opportunity snagged Randas’ attention quickly. “I love videogames and journalism, so it seemed obvious,” he said on Thursday. “I think I did contribute work that was professional. I hope later that I can use it as a reference,” he added.
The second speaker at the presentation was Scott Carnahan. Carnahan contributed to the advertising and marketing aspect of the locally-owned business Superior Sports Cards. According to Carnahan, this is a very small business that specializes in hobby supplies, collectibles, “fad toys” such as Beanie Babies, sports cards, sports memorabilia, and card games.
“Prior to my internship here, most of the advertising had been done through small print ads, the green pages, yellow pages, and word of mouth,” Carnahan said on Thursday. Carnahan spread the word of the business by creating a Facebook page for them.
“It’s a really simple thing to do for a business,” he said. “It creates a really immediate impact.”
Along with advertising, Carnahan also drummed up support for the store by hosting a major regional event at the store. According to Carnahan, Facebook helped to bring people together for a tournament of “Magic: The Gathering” that he planned and hosted. This event brought in people from surrounding states and allowed the business to sell some of the items that they had trouble selling to locals, according to Carnahan.
“You really broaden your horizons when you hold an event like this,” Carnahan said.
However, if given the same opportunity again, Carnahan said that he would decline due to the financial instability and lack of direction that this internship provided.
After Scott Carnahan finished speaking, Brandi Staton gave her presentation. Staton was a Public Relations intern at the Institute for Research , Education, and Training in Addictions, or IRETA for short. As the name suggests, IRETA is an organization that helps those struggling with addictions or substance abuse to get out of their habits through educating them and offering support, all the while investigating the science behind it and offering training to those who wish to help.
Staton helped manage the website for the organization, as well as handle many different public relations events and materials. When the Pittsburgh City Council announced that it would sponsor IRETA, Staton created a public proclamation. Along with this, she also created a newsletter, a brochure, and a press release that was sent out to all local newspapers.
Staton also helped plan a public event with IRETA at PNC Park to celebrate those seeking help with their addictions through their organization. Staton talked to the PR council at PNC Park in order to make some changes for that day.
“Instead of serving alcohol in their section, the stadium brought non-alcoholic beverages around,” Staton said, “Instead of chewing tobacco, the players chewed Bubblicious bubble gum.” Her hard work paid off, not only for the internship but also for those involved in the addiction treatment.
“Many of them come over to you and just say ‘thank you,” she said. “I’m not really a sentimental person, but it really got to me.”
All three students will be doing follow-up presentations on their senior research projects next week in the auditorium, along with four more senior Communications majors. All students and faculty are welcome to attend.