Exploring media and design for Canada’s biggest music projects and film awards shows
Let me introduce myself:
Hi there! My name is Christen Wong. I’m a fourth-year student in the University of Guelph- Humber’s Media Studies program and I am completing my internship with the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television!
How did I end up getting my internship?
Not many companies or organizations were posting internship opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is understandable, considering the staff and resources needed to train and work with interns remotely.
However, I am super fortunate and grateful that GH Media Studies Field Placement Coordinator Jennifer Rich told the Academy to keep an eye out for my application–before I even heard of the opportunity! Jennifer helped me get my foot in the door and I appreciate her support so much. I was able to have two engaging and successful interviews to land me the internship I have today.
What led me to apply to the Academy?
I chose the Academy because I wanted to learn more about, as well as contribute to, the Canadian film industry. I also wanted to build new skills in communication, graphic design and social media!
What were my responsibilities as a communications intern?
My responsibilities consisted of: social media management and strategy, writing social copy, graphic design, research, as well as monitoring social and Google analytics. As a communications intern for the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, I have been involved in many projects for the communications department. I created social media content and an Instagram filter for the 2021 Canadian Screen Awards, wrote tons of social media copy, designed graphics for advertisements and the 2021 CSA nominee cards for social media, compiled assets for WordPress blog posts, wrote music commentary, wrote interview questions for a partnership spotlight, assisted with marketing strategy, reached out to talent representatives, helped update the Academy website with Where to Watch buttons and links and more.
My “day in the life.”
A “day in the life” of an Academy communications intern starts with checking my intern email to see any updates on work or important information for the day. Next, I sign onto Slack to connect with my supervisor and find out what projects need to be worked on! Then I attend the daily staff huddle to connect with the whole company – we talk about our weekends, achievements or positives and work problems or negatives. Depending on the day, I could have two to three more meetings with my communications department and social media team to discuss marketing and social media strategy, or what important project is coming up! Throughout the day, I browse and dive into Twitter to see what hot topics or news people are buzzing about.
It is a bit strange to be working in an all-online environment for my internship, but I quickly learned how fast-paced and connected people can be at the Academy. At our many meetings to connect with the Academy teams, I felt extremely welcomed and included – from my first interview to working hours overtime with my awesome team members.
I learned a lot about media and communications, as well as how to effectively communicate online. I was given the freedom to design graphics and use my creativity to support the brand image of the Academy. I loved all our daily meetings to check in with each other and the welcoming family environment. I was surprised how much work my small team had to tackle with each new day, but I enjoyed learning about the tasks! I was also impressed by how much they involved me as an intern in the official and busy business of the Academy.
My most satisfying accomplishment so far.
The most satisfying thing I’ve done so far is when I chose the cocktails each night for the 2021 Canadian Screen Awards! I used my knowledge of fun drinks to match the award categories to increase audience engagement and interaction. As it is an ongoing project, I communicated with the Partnerships Senior Manager about collaboration with our CSA sponsor, Toronto-based multinational entertainment company eOne. I created the branded designs of the CSA cocktail Instagram stories!
I will continue to communicate with the Partnerships Senior Manager about how we will collaborate with our CSA sponsor, Toronto-based multinational entertainment company eOne. I may continue my work with this project by designing the social media assets for the CSA cocktail recipes!
My advice for media students and film fans interested in following my footsteps:
If you are a young student who is passionate about the world of film and social media, the Academy is an amazing place to work. The Academy hosts many programs and projects for Canadian talent in both music and film. You could be involved in the MVP Project grants (Music Video Production Project), Prism Prize, the Cogeco Fund Audience Choice Awards and last but far from least, the annual Canadian Screen Awards!
The time I spent as a Communications Intern at the Academy for Canadian Cinema and Television enabled me to meet and work in with devoted and hard-working film enthusiasts, make great connections with the people on my team and grow into an amazing media professional.
This story was adapted from Christen Wong’s report to Jennifer Rich, the University of Guelph-Humber’s Media Studies Field Placement Coordinator, and is published with her permission.