Internship wrap up

The last few weeks have been crazy with school and the internship. One would think because the internship was online already nothing would change but it did and it was a lot to deal with. I was given a few small projects, and one big one.

The biggest project I worked on was the most time consuming and was continuous through the whole semester starting when Maria Adebola went on maternity leave. For this project, I had to attend a seminar on how to use Social Studio. Everyday I had to log on to Social Studio and review all comments on the VHA Twitter and Facebook pages, and by review I mean read them all, select a category to tag them in, and either assign them to be replied to or close them out. I had to go on several times a day Monday through Friday and I realized that it consumed a big chunk of time. I discussed with Robin and Debi to go on three times a day while school was in session. When everyone went on quarantine the comments nearly doubled with everything that was happening, so I had to go on more and more to get it all done. They were more than understanding if  I couldn’t be on at a certain time but I always got all the comments done by the end of the day and made sure the ones that needed to commented back were assigned as soon as possible. 

Overall this internship was a wonderful experience and I am so thankful I was given the opportunity to work with the VHA team. I am excited that they offered me a volunteer position with more access to their systems until I finish school. I am excited to hopefully continue my role with in the organization and hope that it leads to a full time employment opportunity once I am finished with school. 

Internship 7 & 8

These past two weeks have been a whole new type of stressful, with internship and without internship. I fell ill and was quarantined for a few days on top of everything that needed to be done, then everything was transferred to online work for school and the VA has been super active combatting the new pandemic.

So I still haven’t attended weekly meetings because I feel like learning psychology is more important and they completely understand and agree. But, the stress comes with checking the online comments for both Facebook and Twitter. With the new pandemic and my team working in healthcare, the comments are more active and plentiful than before.  I reached out to my advisor and cut my hours down to only check it three times a day, but there are still too many to handle. So, Robin, my boss, started going on assisting more and all I have to do is let her know when I can’t and she helps and understands.

I also had a nice conversation on life with Debi about everything that has been happening. She wanted to gauge my stress levels and make sure I wasn’t being over burdened with work during this time. Everyone is so nice and understanding, even though they themselves are stressed to the max and in meetings all day long.

I was assigned half of a project with Blake and Jenny as lead. I was to take 134 websites and use Site Improve to find all the broken links, create the report and send it to them. They are losing access to the tool to find the links so it was a rushed project with no time to waste. I was working with Issac, another intern, who had his own 134 websites to do. I was panicked because Blake said mine didn’t look like previous ones done by Issac. So I did them all and submitted and compared to Issac’s and looked for the issue. I followed directions perfectly and it looked weird in the report, but Issac’s report was cleaner. I found after messing around in the site, that if I didn’t check mark a box it would look like his, so either the instructions were wrong or one of us messed up. I was stressed out and wanted to know if I needed to redo them, because it took forever. After discussing with Blake, we realized that mine had slightly more information within it and that is better, so I was good.


So, in turn all my projects for the VA are completed and submitted and I can continue checking comments and wait for the next project to come!

Internship Spring 6 and 7

Ashleigh RoseThese past two weeks of my internship have been nothing less than busy. After I handed in my project to Robin, I was recruited to answer some questions for Blake and then scheduled a conference call with Robin and Blake. Robin is the team member leading my division of interns. The meeting went very well and they would like me to continue to volunteer after this semester, with more access to the systems. I would be excited if this leads into a possible job position for me in the VA after graduation, so I will continue to work hard.

On top of the meetings and questions, I am in full swing with reviewing the comments/mentions/shares etc for the main VA Facebook and Twitter pages. By reviewing, I mean reading each one to see if it warrants a response or more attention. I either leave for review and assign the comment out or close the comment down. I also tag each post in relation to what it is, tags includes items like PTSD, Suicide, Corona Virus, General comment, Complaint, etc. This project is time consuming so when I first did my schedule I didn’t realize how often I was on. I now check three times a day throughout the work day and keep everything as updated as possible. Maria who was in charge of this project is now on maternity leave, so now I report to Debi.


There still has been no word on the other project from Maria, so its on the back burner until further notice. I look forward to what’s to come.

Internship Spring Week 5

Ashleigh RoseThis last week for my internship has been super busy. I finished up a project for Robin ( who is the new David) and I officially started reviewing all comments for Facebook and Twitter for the VA. This project is not particularly hard but it is long and time consuming. I need to go to each comment/share/retweet/ mention on Facebook and Twitter and review it. By reviewing I mean tag what it is or relating to and determine if it needs a response back. If it doesn’t I can close out the comment with just the tag, if it does I need to assign a priority level and a person to comment back. I am still getting used to what warrants a response back and what tags to use, but its coming more naturally now that I have been doing it. I’m not required to do it over the weekend but when I logged in today it took over an hour to cover all related things just on Twitter. I casually hop on throughout the day, because Robin can see how often I am on and how many I’m doing per day. I’m not required an hour count but am required to keep up with the comments through the week.


Internship Spring

Ashleigh RoseThis past week has been super busy for me in the internship and with school; it seems like everything always happens at once. But with that being said, I am super excited about my new project with the VA. I was recently trained to use Social Studio which handles the VA Facebook and Twitter pages. On one of my older projects, I used this tool to gather data and create a pitch for postings, but now I actually get to engage and go through comments on both feeds. I will be going through and classifying them and distributing them to be taken care of if necessary.

I was also assigned a project due tomorrow morning to verify all the VAMCs are standard with their disclosure statements on their individual websites. This project takes time and patience as things load and locating where the info is. I have to answer five questions and match theirs with the standard and submit.

I have one project on the back burner and am still waiting for directions on what to do. They keep cancelling the meetings so I have been using that time to do the ongoing projects and catch up on them.

Spring week 3

Ashleigh RoseThis week of my internship I was working solo on compiling averages on half of last years weekly reports. I wasn’t able to attend the weekly meeting due to a test at the same time, but they cancelled it due to a chief of staff meeting which was mandatory for the other staff. So I didn’t miss much during my exam.

Robin, who took over for David, has yet to give me any new assignments, mostly because I’m working on projects for Maria. I plan to reach out to them on Monday to discuss projects I’m involved in.

Everyone has been super busy and I am trying my hardest to help out.

Spring Week 2 Internship

This week was very relaxed. I attended the weekly staff meeting and handed in the minutes on time. I  was requested to be at a meeting on Wednesday to discuss a new project on going through the Social media comments for the main VA Facebook page and Twitter accounts, but the meeting was cancelled last minute and needs to be rescheduled.

I am compiling data still for my main project that is going through last years weekly reports and completing averages for the data within them. I was told to hold off on the project until we schedule a phone meeting and I get the rest of the reports. The deadline is still unknown.

I also completed a social media post exercise to see if I could create posts for the page under their guidelines. I created four different posts on different topics and submitted on time. I haven’t heard anything back as of yet, but everyone on the team was required to submit and they were looking mostly for team members so they would look at mine last.


High hopes to get everything settled for the next projects.

Week 1 Spring- VA

Ashleigh RoseImmediately after I got back from the staff retreat in D.C, I was pushed right back into my daily routine of school. The VHA digital media team decided to cancel the staff meeting and they gave me time to reflect on what I liked about the trip and what could be changed.

But I still did some work that week: I submitted my PowerPoint on how to improve the internship program, I answered two staff members’ email requests, and attended an Equitas training seminar.

This last week, I attended the staff meeting and turned in the meeting minutes. We briefly discussed the trip and everyone’s time off, and who would cover for whom. I was selected to review the social media comments for Facebook and Twitter, which is super exciting.

I was also chosen to review and formulate a spreadsheet of weekly reports for all of 2019’s social media.  I will collect data and produce a report with averages and what worked and what didn’t. I will officially start that in the next few days.

Also I am super excited for a possible upcoming project which would be going to the Wilkes Barre VA Medical Center and taking photos and videos. I did a one hour training session on video editing on the retreat and Matthew thought that he could work this out.

Also in the future I will be attending a seminar on Social Studio, which is another social media data resource.

This internship has been nothing but an amazing experience, and I look forward to future projects.

Winter Break Internship

Ashleigh RoseOver the course of winter break I stayed busy, working hard on a few projects. I was also able to attend the staff retreat conference for a week in Washington DC.

On my first project, I had to view over 100 VAMC’s Facebook pages and collect data, checking on whether their posts were getting engagements, how often they were posting, and other data like that. On the second project I had to collect similar data and work with averages for the month of November. I had to compile my data in several spreadsheets and input them into a PowerPoint. After some analysis, I created recommendations on how to better engage through social media, and created a posting schedule for the VAMC’s posts for Facebook and Twitter. I was then able to present my findings and my pitch at a meeting in DC. My third project was to verify five communication points for all the VAMCs; I had to call over 140 locations and view their individual websites to do this project.

My trip to DC was a wonderful experience. I was able to sit in on many presentations and several meetings. I went in for the normal 8am-5pm shift and even had team excursions after work. I am so thankful for Blake, Monica, and Jeff’s hard work to get me there. I learned so many things and was invited to webinars, trainings, and another online internship!

I am finishing up my third project and will be attending the Health content meeting for the upcoming semester. I will also be creating a PowerPoint on how to better communicate with interns and how to expand the program.

I am very grateful for everything this week, and will never forget this experience.

Week 15 Internship

Ashleigh RoseThis week has been a long and stressful week, between my check up project with the VA and my school finals, but everything worked out in the end and I got everything completed and submitted on time.

This week’s staff meeting was moved so I was unable to attend but spent several days working on my Digital media checkup project.

I am still waiting to book the hotel; I need one more person to reach out to me when everything is official and set to go. I am super excited to go to the conference in January and I appreciate David’s constant work to help me be able to attend.

I also volunteered for another digital media project like the check up but slightly different. So, I look forward to doing that over Christmas break. It has several requirements that I meet so I can actually do it.