Tyler Sweeney Nobox Creative Internship Thinking without a box Every convention that I have ever attended, whether that’s a National Broadcasting Society or a Broadcasting Education Association one, always has a panel – it never fails. This panel stresses the eager ears in the room the importance of interning. What it means for a student who wants to make it into the industry to come into a professional job with experience in hand. I’ll be honest; because I’ve heard this message over and over I would sit in those rooms scribbling on paper. In fact I made a list of things that conventions never fail to convey - #1 was to intern. I would think to myself “Man, interning really sounds like fun but I’m still too young for it.” Or “Sitting in an office and actually working can’t be all that fun.” I was naïve. I was wrong. My internship experience at Nobox Creative was nothing what I thought it would be. In fact when I saw the posting for a social media intern, I thought hey this could be something I could enjoy – staying online all day in an office couldn’t be that bad could it? I tried looking up the company before I went in to interview and couldn’t find a single thing. I was going in blind. I was nervous as I walked into the office building and plopped myself down before Kim May, the president and owner of Nobox. Kim opened up my resume on her computer and went over it with me and told me a bit about herself. She worked in Colorado selling cell phones in a store and then moved back to Amarillo to take over a business that her friend had left to her – Nobox Creative. Nobox was new (the friend that left Kim with the clients never officially had an office or anything) – hence why I couldn’t find anything about them online. Kim explained that the internship would be me interacting with fans of their clients Facebook pages, running Twitter accounts, and other odd jobs. Wait…I’m getting this internship!? Yes, before I knew it Kim was
Tyler Sweeney Nobox Creative Internship going over the list of her clients, which included Wonderland Amusement Park, Pete’s Greenhouse, and The Discovery Center (quite an eclectic group for Amarillo, TX). More importantly from this initial meeting is that Kim stopped the interview and made time to talk to one of her children who had sauntered into her office (both Kim and her husband work at Nobox). I knew from then that having a boss that was compassionate, understanding, and loving of the world of media was going to be a perfect fit for myself. I was in. One thing that they do not stress at those conventions is what it exactly means to intern. In class, we all make projects and draw out plans for companies that may or may not use our ideas to implement. We never see the finished product. We don’t have a say in how it looks. We aren’t there. However, with an internship I was finding myself actively engaged in media and seeing its results firsthand. Working with social media has always fascinated me – the power that comes with an online presence and they power it has to engage the consumer and allow them to be the brand is a unique power. Here I was thinking that internships were a thing where students worked for no pay, making copies, getting coffee, and being at the whim of their superiors. I was wrong – again. At Nobox I was encouraged to be on my phone. Encouraged to be online and on Facebook! I was having fun and working at the same time. The fun started with my first project to create the theme and inning game ideas at an Amarillo Sox Baseball game night, which would be hosted by McDonald’s – one of our clients. My brain started turning like clockwork and came the idea of wearing yellow, both a McDonald’s and Amarillo Sox color. Guests of the park would wear yellow and for every person wearing yellow McDonald’s would donate 10 cents to Kids Inc. I also launched the idea that every 40th person wearing yellow would receive a red dot, if they found another person with a
Tyler Sweeney Nobox Creative Internship red dot on in the baseball park then they would come together to redeem for McDonald’s coupons. The best event of the night that I helped create was an inning game where contestants would squirt watered down mustard from a water gun at McDonald’s buns hanging from a pipe – whoever covered the bun the most won a coupon. It was awe inspiring to see my work firsthand. To see the projects and ideas I had created come into fruition on one night. Nobox and I launched a campaign using social media to get attendees into the par; the Amarillo Sox reported that that night was the highest attended night in May that that arena had seen in its history! Another big event that I helped with was Wonderland Amusement Park’s 60 th Birthday Celebration. Kim had the idea to create a 60 square foot cake for the event. That is a lot of cake! My job the day of the event was to hide Gnarley, the park’s mascot (a gnome), around the park as a part to launch another idea that I had come up with. After the birthday party Gnarley would be hidden around Amarillo, TX and would provide clues to his location online using Wonderland’s Facebook page. The first person that found Gnarley would receive a ride pass to use and enter the park for free anytime during the summer. This idea would not only garner attention for Wonderland, but would also work at getting local business’ attention by having Gnarley hide at businesses around town. The day of the 60 th Birthday Celebration, I placed Gnarley all around and for those guests that found all the Gnarley’s they would receive a free hotdog that day. Another successful event by the Nobox team and me was under my belt. The mayor of Amarillo, TX named July 4th Wonderland Amusement Park Day in Amarillo. As I scribbled in my notepad during those conventions I would never one day envision myself interning and having some value attached to the work I had done. Not only was my
Tyler Sweeney Nobox Creative Internship experience with Nobox fun, but I also learned a lot. I learned how to build customized landing pages and tabs on Facebookâ€™s fan pages. I learned how to host large scale events using social media. I learned contest rules and regulations according to Facebook and other social media sites. More importantly I learned what it means to work in an industry that I love and value so much.