Name: Monica Sofia Lebro
Hometown: Bogotá, Colombia
Degree: Communications: Broadcast media
Position: Communications intern at WPBT2 - South Florida PBS
How did you get your internship?
I was placed at my internship by the FIU Department of Journalism + Media and through a grant program sponsored by the Scripps Howard Foundation.
What projects do you work on?
At my internship, I’m tasked with coordinating social media content effectively as advised or directed. Continuing to build a loyal and engaged audience is key to the projects and goals at South Florida Public Broadcasting Service (SFPBS). So, distributing the station’s content in the most effective way possible is essential. Pitching ideas, brainstorming, and, most importantly, providing relatable storytelling are all part of it.
How has your internship experience changed since the pandemic?
This is the first internship I’ve ever participated in remotely. However, the fact that I am able to do this has opened my eyes to different possibilities and challenges that individuals and companies, perhaps, collectively didn’t think about previously. The fact that a TV station is up and running while everyone is at home is pretty impressive.
What has been the most challenging part of having to work during a pandemic?
I think I’ve struggled most with giving myself some breaks. Overall, I’m very good at time management, but during the pandemic, I’ve found myself overworking since my desk in my room is my new office. I might be reading a book in bed after the day’s done, but I get an email or I remember something and jump straight to my computer. Having little human contact has also been strange.
What has been the coolest thing that happened during your internship?
I’d have to say having to switch EVERYTHING to online has definitely been so cool to watch. Having to accommodate outreach events and having to adapt to this new reality has definitely impacted my internship experience.
How has your coursework while at FIU helped you during your internship?
A lot actually! I’m taking an online summer class and interestingly enough, the topics and certifications required for the class align a lot with certain things I’m working on. Many things that I’m learning in class, I’ve been trying to apply or at least recognize in my internship tasks.
What did you learn about yourself?
I have learned that I can be very efficient. It’s gotten busy at times, and I’ve realized the power that being organized and thorough with your work has, especially when tasks become overwhelming.
How have you expanded your professional network?
I have made great connections that add value to my professional network.
How has this internship helped you expand your skills and knowledge of the communications industry?I have been able to really understand how the digital market works. Digital knowledge is essential in the communications industry nowadays and, through this internship, I have been able to put my knowledge to the test and acquire more of it!
What was the most useful thing you learned from this internship and experience?
Using social media effectively and understanding your audience. Also, engaging in social listening to gain leads for each social media platform.
How did it help you prove yourself in the “real world”?
It showed me that you just have to go with your day-to-day flow and learn to accommodate whatever it brings, especially when something unexpected happens.
What advice do you have for those beginning the internship process?
Honestly, have patience, and don’t be so hard on yourself. I struggled to start on this process and it’s different for everyone. However, once it takes off, make sure you add value to the company that takes you in and, most importantly, add value to what you can offer as a professional and trust your abilities. Have an open mind, always listen and have vigilant eyes! It’s challenging but fun.
Interview by Zion Sealy