My RIPE Communications Internship Experience – Emily Campos
The RIPE Science Communications Internship was an enhancing experience that developed my interpersonal, graphic, and campaign development skills. Coming into the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a first-generation advertising student, navigating a new environment was a tremendous bump to jump over, get used to, and build around. Yet, as a first-generation student, I also have limitless visions and passion to challenge and learn from every experience. I had one previous internship before earning the RIPE internship, and RIPE teaches, forms, and ignites a hard worker. The RIPE environment is extremely encouraging, especially the communications team, who fostered a welcoming and consistent foundation in the organization.
One thing about the internship experience is that you learn A LOT, not only about what RIPE stands for and is hoping to accomplish daily, but about yourself and the capabilities, connections, and wisdom out in the world. As a curious second-semester freshman, earning the internship allowed me to engage in the research and editorial skills I learned in my journalism classes during my first semester. My Role in the RIPE project was small but mighty. The scientists were devoting their knowledge and time to strive for success, while I was able to use my knowledge and interest to execute communications visions for their organization and produce graphics! As a science communications intern, I was able to write 25+ feature stories/Profiles on RIPE experts and scientists.
The project I was most proud of from my time at RIPE was my International Women’s Day social media campaign. Pursuing an Advertising career in brand creativity, strategy, and sales I knew this was an opportunity that would be encouraging and insightful to learn from. I was able to interview seven bright, impactful, and lovely RIPE experts and scientists who shared their definition and outlook on the day’s theme of equity, their career story, achievements, and where their career is heading. I then wrote feature stories based on their responses alongside graphics I designed. Graphics were one thing I was glad I got to freely practice in a variety of ways and scenarios. Another memorable project was writing a news release on Katarzyna Glowacka, lead author of “Is chloroplast size optimal for photosynthetic efficiency?” published in New Phytologist. My news release was posted by seven different news-sharing sites!
The RIPE Project for me profoundly played a role in my confidence in advancing my career, progressing my skills, and being a foundation for my achievements. The internship exceeded my expectations, I am extremely proud and pleased with the role I played in the project and who I had the honor of working with! I hope the success I was able to achieve becomes a catalyst for each future RIPE Science Communications Intern.
Emily’s internship/mentorship experience was funded by an inaugural grant from the IGB DEI Task Force. The program is now in its second year with funding from the RIPE Project.