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Guest Blogger Abbey Christophel - Interning With AETN

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As a Hendrix College student, I feel qualified to say: a liberal arts degree can be discouraging. The idea is exciting when you’re a high school senior looking for something different than your restrictive high school education, but the downside of the freedom, diversity and scope of a liberal arts education is that it’s easy to feel unfocused — “preparing you for anything” becomes a shade of “preparing you for nothing specific.” That’s what the Odyssey Program at Hendrix mitigates by encouraging students to undertake projects, trips and internships in addition to their academics. And, so, with that philosophy in mind, I found myself sending my resume three miles down the road (or whatever the equivalent in e-miles is) to the Arkansas Educational Telecommunications Network. And, soon after that, I found myself as an intern in the marketing department. 

Here is an abridged list of what I learned this summer: 

1.) AETN is not only a television station! They do so much for the citizens of Arkansas, especially those in Conway. As an intern, I assisted in sending out massive amounts of educational materials to daycares and school across the state, edited a grant proposal for a local non-profit that helps youth in central Arkansas and compiled resources for AETN’s room at the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock. These examples just scratch the surface of what I got to do with AETN, and what AETN does for Arkansas.  

2.) Working with children is exhausting, humbling and incredibly rewarding. For a week in June, I had the honor of assisting with AETN’s 2014 Youth Production Camp. Helping a team of talented kids create their own short documentary was not easy, but it was incredibly worthwhile. With patience and understanding, kids are capable of infinitudes. I hope the group I had the pleasure of getting to know learned as much as I did. 

3.) AP style, kind of! My brain is stuck in MLA mode after three years of writing papers for classes in the humanities, but I had to work in AP style — the one usually used in the media — for the several press releases I drafted. While my impulse is to cling to the Oxford comma for dear life, I’m glad I got the chance to adapt my writing style. Luckily for me and my MLA-brain, I was gifted a brand new AP stylebook that I will (hopefullly) need to reference in the future. Thanks, Katie!

4.) People are glad to help if you just ask. 

5.) What Bcc is, and that you should use it when e-mailing more than 200 people at once. Subpoint: growing up in the internet age does not mean you know everything about email. I should probably read the manual for Microsoft Word, too. 

6.) Where you work might not matter as much as the people you work with. I was granted warmth and generosity by everyone I met at AETN, especially from the wonderful people in the marketing department. I came away from my internship with a better idea of what I wanted to do for a career, but an even better idea of the kind of people I want to surround myself with while I do. People who energize you and support you should not be a luxury. It’s something that surrounds you every day. 

Thank you, everyone. I’ll be in touch. 

AETN_Marketing_and_Outreach 

The AETN marketing department team would also like to note that it was a pleasure to have such a clever, insightful and conscientious individual intern with us this summer. We greatly look forward to hearing of Abby’s continued successes, beginning with her newest odyssey, studying abroad in Thailand! 


AETN offers internship positions in its marketing, operations, production, programming and finance/administration departments. Find departmental internship descriptions, contact information and application forms at: aetn.org/about/internship

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