School of Communication & Journalism

Mary Mitchell: Coca-Cola

Media Studies majors Mary Mitchell and Kris Sims interned with Coca-Cola in Atlanta. Here’s what Mary has to say about that experience:

Describe your internship. Where were you and what did you do?

I was a video production intern with Coca-Cola Studies, located at The Coca-Cola Company Headquarters in Atlanta, GA. My first day on the job I helped out with a photoshoot for Coca-Cola's New York, Times Square digital billboard and it completely opened my eyes to everything that was involved in the production process. I continued to learn about producing, shooting, editing and distribution throughout my internship and was exposed to so many career paths that I had never considered before. On a regular basis I would help out in the studio by setting up or breaking down camera and lighting equipment. This offered up endless opportunities to network with the freelance photographers and videographers and learn from their experience. I helped video crews on several projects on and off the Coca-Cola campus as a stand-in, extra and even had the task of putting on Mr T.'s butterfly wings for a Fuze Tea social media shoot. I was also given small editing tasks and projects, which allowed me to expand my skill set in various types of software.

How did you develop this internship? What advice do you have for others?

This internship was listed in one of the monthly opportunity emails sent out to all CMJN students and naturally Coca-Cola caught my eye. I applied to the email provided expressing my interest in the position and also attached a cover letter and resume. I landed an interview and was offered an internship. What I learned through this process was to have a "why not" attitude and apply to everything that interests you. The worst thing that can happen is they say no. I applied to Coca-Cola without a hope of getting the internship but ended up having the summer of a lifetime. So don't let fear of being inadequate or not having the right experience detour you from chasing your dream internship.

My advice to students looking for an internship is to be prepared. Have your resume ready and know how to write an effective cover letter. If you are prepared, you can immediately apply to the different internships that arise without wasting time creating your documents. So attend the internship information meetings, visit the career center and definitely read the monthly opportunity emails because if you are not actively looking, amazing internships will pass you by.

What are the most important things you learned during the internship—both inside the office and out?

I came into this internship very narrow minded, thinking I only wanted a career in video editing. Coca-Cola Studios removed those limitations and exposed me to so many different occupations that I didn't even know existed. One thing that really stuck with me was when my manager said she “loves to bring people in and help them realize their passion," which is exactly what internships are for. The most important thing I learned was to be open to trying new jobs even when you don't think you'll be any good. I still love to edit and will continue to pursue that, however this internship has broadened my career options. The idea of finding a job post-graduation has become less daunting and more exciting thanks to my experience at Coca-Cola Studios.

What advice do you have for interns during the internship experience?

My advice for interns during their internship experience is to show up early, leave late, ask questions, say yes when asked to do something and take the initiative to go the extra mile. Painted on one of the walls in Coca-Cola Studios is a quote that said "Attention to detail" but the word attention had a line through it and underneath it said "Intention." The Coca-Cola Company didn't accidentally become one of the world leaders in the beverage industry but were intentional about doing so. Same can be said about your internship, don't just pay attention to the things around you but be intentional about working hard and learning as much as you can.






Contact Information

Ric Smith

Prof. Ric Smith

School of Communication & Journalism
232 Tichenor Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
(334) 844-2757

Last Updated: July 21, 2017