Exploring Social Media at Seventeen – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Exploring Social Media at Seventeen

Over winter break, Hannah Mills ’16 and Abbey Rogowski ’15 explored the social media industry through their highly-coveted internship positions with Seventeen magazine.

The William Smith students were selected from a competitive field of candidates in the running for the publication’s national internship program, which sought self-motivated college students. For them, the experience with the national magazine is a thrilling way to lay groundwork for a future career. They say they are energized to receive such a placement at a forward-looking, multi-faceted publication that is dedicated to the empowerment of its clientele.

“This was put out to many other students nationally, and we have two interns just from William Smith,” says Jackie Doyle, associate director of employer development at the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education. “It should give them marketable skills, as well as to have a recognizable name on their resumes. The students will get firsthand experience in this environment, which will make them more marketable. They can apply the skills they gain to any other internship or career.”

Seventeen, whose reader base is typically female teenagers, seeks to promote self-confidence among young women while also providing entertaining and relevant material. It is this approach that Mills says attracted her to the internship.

“I grew up reading Seventeen and as a result I learned how to become a part of society through discourse specifically tailored towards the empowerment of adolescent females,” she says. “Interning for a magazine that I grew up reading and believing in is important to me because I want to be a part of a publication that, year after year, has the ability to bond a target audience through empowerment and serve as an outlet for young women.”

Both Mills and Rogowski were tasked with a media project that spanned their winter break from classes. Each intern was asked to present an “in-depth comparison of various magazines’ social media outlets in order to configure how Seventeen magazine can improve in terms of their presence within social media,” according to Rogowski.

The project itself introduced those in the internship to media strategies across the industry, so that each person had the opportunity to become familiar with other companies. Additionally, the presentation included in the task provided Rogowski and Mills with the means to hone their skills with tools such as Microsoft Outlook, PowerPoint and Excel.

“I have been given creative freedom within my arrangement of the project, which has allowed me to improve upon my artistic sense as well,” Rogowski says.

“This is a fun project because I get to pick and choose what I like and do not like, so my end presentation is very personalized,” Mills adds. “Since interning at Seventeen I have been able to improve my Excel skills, organizational skills, as well as my time management skills.”

In addition to creating the presentations, both interns were able to observe the inner workings of the magazine by sitting in on sales pitches, contributing to preparation materials used by sales associates and joining meetings of the publication’s sales/advertising department.

“This experience is most definitely one of value due to the hands on work that I have been given,” Rogowski says. “The aspect of being able to physically and mentally be a part of these sales pitches and phone calls is something that will only deepen my previous understanding of the world of advertising that I have learned about in media classes at HWS.”

With Central Park in the background, Hannah Mills ’16 (left) and Abbey Rogowski ’15 pose for a photo at Seventeen magazine headquarters in New York City during their social media internships this winter.