Friday, February 12, 2016

Student Run Internship Organization

Kaplan Radio

KapRadio is completely intern run and has been since founders Professor Marty McDermott and Kevin Cojanu started the station on May 19, 2012.  The radio station is internet based and broadcasted. KapRadio provides more than just music, they also do work with non-profit entities by creating radio commercials, conducting research and promoting non-profit causes though social media.

There are several different departments within KapRadio that help to keep the station running smoothly. The manager is in charge and oversees all activities as well as coordinates projects. The scheduler creates new playlists and puts them into rotation on the radio. The editor is in charge of making sure any content put out by KapRadio is valid and free of error. Our social media director keeps all accounts updated with what’s going on at KapRadio and connects with listeners in a fun way. The consultant is the liaison and point of contact for all special projects as well as other departments.

During my time at KapRadio I held two different positions. The first was as the KapRadio Social Media Director. In this position I recreated social media sites for the station on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn. All previous log-in information had been lost which resulted in the brand new accounts having to be created. This also led me to create training material for interns about how to make posts as well as how to pass on ownership of the sites. I also made frequent posts on these sites to support non-profit entities like Toys for Tots and Team Tassey. I also held the position of senior scheduler. In this position I created playlist and put them into rotation on the radio and maintained the stations schedule. I also worked with other departments to create radio commercials for non-profits and put them into rotation. Occasionally I would help with special projects when they were assigned.  

During our weekly KapRadio AHOD meetings, we had training sessions to learn how to use the programs necessary to convert music from YouTube into mp3s. We used Audacity, Studio365 and Live365. We received supervision in the form of accountability when projects were completed. We were required to keep our manager updated on what was going on with projects we were working on. We would send emails to inform our manager of when projects were completed as well as to give updates when projects took a longer than expected.

This experience has been a whirlwind of highs and lows. The onboarding process was frustrating because it felt so disorganized and I received no contact for several days. Once someone reached out to me I quickly jumped into my position and enjoyed being a part of the KapRadio team. I loved being able to use my creative side to create playlists as well as creating training material for the social media sites. Although there were many great parts of this internship, I did feel frustration with feeling like I was only doing busy work. I hope for future interns that KapRadio can do more collaboration with other departments in order to do more intellectually challenging work.

This internship as well as the experiential learning course was different from any of my other classes at Kaplan University thus far. All of my education came into play to help me through this internship because of what I had learned. The class that stood out to me the most as helpful was team dynamics. I was able to start the internship with knowledge about how communication in teams work. I also have greatly improved my writing capabilities during my time at Kaplan and this helped me to clearly writing training material for the social media sites. I also utilized resources at Kaplan such as previous textbooks and the Kaplan Library that helped me to be a better intern.

The biggest organizational problem was with the onboarding process. There was a major lack of organization to get interns into their department. The confusion led to frustration that made me feel like the organization was not professional and something I would want to be a part of. There was a string of non-descriptive emails that were supposed to be the training and onboarding packet that was not sufficient for getting students up to speed. There was no direct name given to me to contact to ask questions to and I had to go to my academic dean for help because no one would give me a contact name. It took a whole day of searching to finally be reached by someone to answer my questions and it was a problem that seemed to frustrate many other students as well.

With the biggest issue being confusion the most beneficial recommendation would to give each new intern a name and telephone number of someone from their department that they can ask questions to. There should also be prerecorded welcome videos that train employees on how to use all the different technologies required for their internship. A detailed handbook should be created for each department that outlines the roles and expectations for the position each intern can hold. There should also be a descriptive week 1 to do list for each department so that new interns can be up to speed on everything they could possibly need to know about their department.

There would be many benefits to the entire KapConsulting company if they choose to follow my recommendations. Interns would start out with a strong understanding of what the internship is about. More informed interns mean that they can begin productive work much sooner. There would be an increased rate of productivity because interns would not fumble around the first few weeks while they try to figure out what is going on. KapConsulting could even take on more complex projects because interns would have a higher level of understanding. There would be increased organization for the onboarding process and points of reference any time an intern had a questions about the internship.
 

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