Do What You Love

Here is a post where I will talk about the internship that had the most impact on my life thus far.

As some of you may know, from September 2014 to November 2015 (three semesters), I had the privilege of being a HBO Campus Ambassador at Stony Brook University for GMR Marketing. It was by far the coolest internship experience I ever had because one, it had a lot of perks, and two, I learned so much from this said gig.

I entered Fall 2014 with a hopeful attitude in the way that I knew I had to get a lot done, and I wanted to accomplish something since it was technically my senior year. During the summer I remember looking for part time internships for the school semester, and I came across the job posting for GMR Marketing about being some type of brand ambassador. After watching the video they had posted on their said information page, I reached out on the company website looking to see if they were still interviewing. At that specific time, I didn’t hear back since they had already hired two individuals to be campus ambassadors, which was totally fine. People beat me to it! But, to my luck (a.k.a. my belief that everything happens for a reason), I was contacted within the first week of class, as they were looking for someone to fill the spots of the two who decided the job was not for them. I immediately accepted and got on board, and was extremely thankful for this opportunity.

At this point, I didn’t know who my partner was till I received notice in an email. When I saw who it was, I laughed to myself because  I met her once during Freshman opening weekend (though she probably doesn’t remember) and I’ve seen her around since we had some mutual friends. Let us call her Sunshine.

Sunshine and I started this new HBO College program on campus right off the bat, from the beginning of it all. We experienced the ups and the downs together, but in the end we prevailed. I’ll be honest and say that in Fall 2014, we were slightly unsure of how the whole program worked and how to do our jobs to the best of our abilities. Also, our training was rushed and crammed into one day as opposed to a whole weekend since it was urgent for us to start as soon as possible. But, with time, come Spring 2015, we learned from our mistakes and in a sense, Sunshine and I owned the program because we knew what worked and what didn’t.

You may be asking what a HBO Campus Ambassador does. I’ll tell you! Basically, as a campus ambassador, you are the face of the client company and you must market/advertise to your peers. The whole #HBOCollege program is really cool, and I see it expanding every semester that it continues. For one, schools that are called “Go” schools, have HBOGO available to students who live on campus for free. This holds true since HBOGO comes as a package when you have the said channel on cable, which Stony and other schools do. Some weekly duties include tabling (where we had a prize wheel to use as talking points and to engage others, and we gave out the coolest HBO swag), status calls with your team lead for updates, and a tracker that had to be filled before EOW. As for long term duties – we had to plan, execute and manage four or five events on campus that were based around a HBO show, in order to further market the brand, which ultimately would encourage students to utilize HBOGO. For these said events, we had to build relationships with clubs and administration on campus, to have partnerships and to expand our network, which would make things 10x easier. At the end of my last semester of Fall 2015, clubs and organizations knew who I was since I’d been a campus ambassador for three semesters now – a lot of the times people came to me and my new partner (Sunshine graduated May 2015), because they knew what we had to offer.

I was the digital chair at this time from September 2014 to end of April 2015, and Sunshine was the events chair. We had separate roles, but ultimately, we were a team and we shared a lot of the same responsibilities, because team work makes the dream work.

Let me tell you about the most memorable event that Sunshine and I planned together with the help of our team lead from start to finish. During winter training of January 2015, in North Carolina (GMR Marketing has an office there), we already started to plan for the upcoming Spring 2015 semester. It was no secret to us at that point, because we knew this was something that the program had done before – all schools in that semester had the privilege of planning, executing and managing a Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 1 Pre-Premiere Event a couple of weeks before it aired! Sunshine and I were SO hyped because we were both really big fans, and when you’re passionate about something, you give it your all.

This Pre-Premiere was our baby. We nurtured it and helped it grow together. There were some mishaps in the midst of planning, but in the end, we were SO proud of the work that we all did -“we” including the partner organization who helped, the volunteers, etc. To this day, it still may be one of the proudest moments of my life.

Thank you GMR Marketing, thank you HBO, thank you Sunshine, thank you Fall 2015 partner for sharing all of these experiences with me. I will always be indebted to you all because you have given me so much more than I have ever wanted.

Have a blessed day, everyone.



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