An Interview with Mackenzie Sax: Her Experience as an FSU History Social Media Intern

Thu, 07/20/23
An Interview with Mackenzie Sax: Her Experience as an FSU History Social Media Intern

An Interview with Mackenzie Sax: Her Experience as an FSU History Social Media Intern

Mackenzie Sax is a current graduate student at the Florida State University School of Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in History and Anthropology. Mackenzie participated in the FSU History Social Media Internship from Fall 2021 to Fall 2022.

What were your primary responsibilities during your time as a social media intern?

My primary responsibility was doing research and creating posts based on that research. As an intern, you’re not in charge of when to post or any of the logistics. Your main jobs are coming up with ideas and creating content.

What skills did you develop or strengthen during your internship?

I honestly had no idea how to use social media before coming into this internship. I learned a lot about how to pick out things I think people will like and how to target specific audiences. I also learned how to do research and turn it into a consumable product. While students are used to writing research papers in an academic setting, this internship taught me how to take research and condense it into something that more people will be able to read and understand.

What was your biggest challenge during the internship and how did you overcome it?

It was really hard to try and figure out how much content I should create each week. I eventually learned that you have to figure out what works for you. That taught me a lot about working at your own pace because you won’t always get specific deadlines in your life. Sometimes you just have to communicate along the way and do what feels right for your schedule.

How did your role as a social media intern support the goals of the History Department?

I believe that having a social media presence makes the department look more approachable. While our posts are based on history, a lot of the posts I made were on the history of media or different movies throughout history. It was more about fun historical things. We did make a lot of serious content as well but for the most part, it was fun and light content. It makes the subject seem more fun and appealing to potential majors.

Can you tell me about a project you worked on that you are particularly proud of?

I really liked the Halloween posts I worked on every year. I did a history of horror series that I’m really proud of. But more than anything, I thought they were very interesting. I put a lot of work into them, and I think I touched on a lot of things people didn’t know about horror and Black films.

How did your internship experience help shape your career goals or aspirations?

I would say this internship entirely shifted what I wanted to do. After graduating, I was looking at graduate programs in the spring and saw that FSU offered three communications programs. I applied with the only selling point for myself being this internship experience. I am so grateful that my History advisor handed me this internship, it completely changed the trajectory of my life. And I’m really happy with what I’m doing now.

Can you describe your working relationship with your supervisor?

I love Claudia Liebeskind. She set my standards so high for what a supervisor should be like. She will check up on you and look out for you. She knows that our schoolwork always comes first, and she made the internship feel more like fun than work. She was really successful at meeting us at our skill level and not expecting you to go above and beyond what you are capable of producing.

What was your favorite part of the internship and why?

For me, it was being able to get together with other interns. Especially since we were all history nerds.

What advice would you give someone considering a social media internship in the History Department?

If you’re a History major - definitely do it. It shows you how to repackage information in a way that you don’t typically have to do in the classroom. This is important for a lot of careers in history, as a lot of them have to do with public outreach. It’s a very important skill to learn that they don’t really teach you in undergrad.