My Internship at Busted Halo

By Jillian Rice, FCLC 2022

Busted Halo website logo

After a spreadsheet full of nearly 30 internship applications, most of which I got no response from, I was feeling dejected about finding a position in my dream field of editing. I’d been an editor on our school newspaper for three years, but apparently that line on my resume about my strong eye for detail wasn’t enough for publishing houses or other similar publications to think I was right for the job.

Then came an email from Busted Halo, the media company owned by the Paulist Fathers at St. Paul’s next door. Would I like a Zoom interview? I sat down at my desk under my loft bed in between studying for my Greek final which I had later that day, and long story short, I got the job. I began working remotely for them in June 2021, and I’ve continued (still remote) through the fall semester. My life plan is to be an editor — somewhere, somehow — and as a Catholic Studies concentrator, this was pretty perfect.

We interns do a variety of things for the company, from posting on the website to answering Instagram DMs, and I even spent a lot of time adding captions to YouTube videos. I went into it expecting to learn more about editing in the real world (and I have; no question about it), but I’ve picked up so many more skills along the way. 

Since we’re a small team, I’m never simply editing, though the editors do play to interns’ strengths (and they don’t give me graphic illustration work to do all the time!). I’ve written more tweets than I thought one human could write (but I am now very familiar with TweetDeck) and even been a guest on a radio show!

As Esme said on one of her posts, coming into a place and creating graphics for them isn’t just making pretty pictures. They have a brand (or in our case, a set of colors on Canva), and anything you make has to be visually appealing and not too busy. As someone with very little graphic design knowledge besides what I’ve picked up by osmosis on the newspaper, even seeing that a graphic I made is getting posted on Instagram is still a thrill. 

Working at my internship is just like being at Fordham, since two of my three bosses graduated from Rose Hill, and both my fellow interns over the summer were Fordham students, too. It seems that a lot of media publications in New York like hiring Fordham students, which bodes well for us newspaper kids as we graduate! 

At Busted Halo, when the news came out that Fr. McShane was retiring, we had a little gossip session as to whom we thought the next president might be. A few weeks later, we were sharing Fordham parody videos that different comedy groups created while we were each at Fordham. It’s conversations like these that make me a bit less terrified to graduate and leave the world of schooling.

This internship has given me very marketable skills like social media writing and engagement, and working with experienced professionals has helped me understand and hone my (already plentiful!) love for grammar even more. I’ve also learned that trying to juggle an internship, many hours a week at the campus newspaper, five classes, and time to relax or sleep isn’t easy — my advice to anyone reading this: please be honest with yourself about how much you can handle in a semester, and remember to give yourself time to enjoy Fordham and New York (our campus, after all) on top of your other duties. 

A Summer Spent Uncovering More

By Ritamarie Pepe, FCLC 2022

Uncovering More website logo

Professional social media is challenging — despite what your boomer parents may think. It’s more than just pretty pictures and emojis. It takes high caliber organization, research, creativity, project management, and much more. With my previous communications experience, especially in planning, leading, and designing social media initiatives, I have been privy to the hard work that goes into creating successful social media content. However, the knowledge of the difficulty of social media creation and curation could not prepare me for the time and energy I would (willingly and excitedly) pour into my social media internship with Uncover More.

Uncover More is a guide offering hyper-local and tailored experiences on what to eat, do, see, and shop in NYC at your fingertips through social media accounts, a newsletter, and the UncoverMore app! The founder and CEO is Arianna Sartzetakis, a proud Brooklynite who balances her full time job in finance with this passion project. 

My first lesson with Arianna and Uncover More was the importance of networking. Arianna is the sister of one of my best friends — therefore, I had heard a lot about Arianna and Uncover More. I had been following Uncover More for years before I had the opportunity to connect with Arianna during a Q&A panel I organized for my online publication, grain of salt mag. Although my role was to moderate the conversation between Arianna and our other guests, I couldn’t help but grow more and more personally fascinated with Uncover More’s origin story and the work Arianna puts into the brand behind the scenes. I wanted to know even more. So, after the Q&A event, I reached out to Arianna to set up a coffee chat in our neighborhood to hear more about the Uncover More story, the in’s and out’s of working in social media, and ultimately, after falling even more in love with Uncover More, to pitch myself as a potential intern. Months later, I look back on that moment and pride myself on having the courage to ask for the opportunity to work with Uncover More and gain invaluable experience — you never know what may happen by simply chatting with people and asking questions!

One of my first assignments for Uncover More immediately thrust me into the world of content creation. Arianna asked me to attend the Flower Festival in the Meatpacking district to gather TikTok and Instagram content — which sounds simpler than it was. Not only did I have to worry about creating engaging and aesthetically pleasing content, I had to do so while dealing with large and bustling crowds who kept interrupting my picture perfect shot. My simple task of taking video and photography content turned into a deeper dive on camera angles, camera functions, and most importantly, taking the shot. By “taking the shot,” I generally mean putting myself out there; in this scenario, I am referring to moving past my insecurity about how “weird” I looked to outsiders while trying to grab the best content, and even getting over having to be a bit pushy in the crowd in order to secure what I needed. Social media content creation is certainly not for the faint of heart, and you must be willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone! Even though this experience definitely challenged me, there was nothing better than seeing my video and photography featured on the Uncover More social media channels.

Besides content creation, I focused a lot on caption copywriting. As with content creation, there is more to caption writing than meets the eye. Uncover More has a specific caption writing style, and captions are very well researched in an effort to “do the research for you so that you can spend more time uncovering!” This research can include information like special deals, age restrictions, extra costs, fun facts, and more. Consequently, a lot of time is spent researching each recommendation. Furthermore, this information must be transformed into consumable, concise, and engaging information “bites” written in Uncover More’s friendly and whimsical, yet informative, tone. It definitely took a lot of practice in the beginning, but this experience has been incredibly valuable in improving my writing skills for different styles and across different social media platforms. 

My internship with Uncover More has provided me with the opportunities and experiences I was looking for in order to improve my communication skills. With most of my communication experience in newsletter writing and brainstorming and planning social media content and initiatives, I felt like I was missing the “hands on” work that I needed in order to understand every step of the content creation and curation process. Working with Uncover More allowed me to get down to the “nitty gritty” of professional social media, which will only make me a better professional and leader in the communication industry.

Besides the professional growth, I appreciate Uncover More for the personal growth it has inspired within me. I’m a workaholic, and sometimes find it difficult to step away from my work in order to enjoy what are supposed to be the best years of my life. But when your “job” encourages you to explore the city you were born and raised in and love so deeply and motivates you to keep “uncovering” more in your everyday life, it does not feel like work — it feels like a celebration of life.