Keep Austin Beautiful
Spring 2013 Site Review
Position: Communications Intern
Student: English Junior
Keep Austin Beautiful is a non-profit environmentalist organization that focuses on community clean-ups, beautification, restoration, and educational programs. As an English major, I admittedly wasn’t very familiar with the company before applying for my internship. I had seen KAB’s “adopt a street” signs all around Austin, but wasn’t aware of their activity beyond that and the Longhorn Recycle Round-up, so the past few weeks have been a learning experience for me when it comes to these types of organizations.
I worked as an intern in the communications department four days a week, from 10 am to 2 pm (give or take the occasional event outside of this time frame.) My duties included writing weekly blog entries, articles, press releases, grant drafts, updating KAB’s social media outlets, and various other small tasks that popped up during the ten weeks of my internship. While much of my job was spent in the office writing on my laptop, I also participated in/observed events for blog entries, which gave the internship some more variety. For example, one of my blog entries was over a two-day “Green Stewards Camp” for elementary school students, where I visited the camp for a few hours, took photos/notes, and joined them for a creek clean-up.
While I’m minoring in communications, before this internship, I had minimal experience with public relations. However, I was given clear instructions on how to create things like press releases and media announcements and now feel comfortable with that type of writing.
Fall 2008 Site Review
At Keep Austin Beautiful, I work as a Special Events Intern. KAB is a local non-profit organization under the umbrellas of Keep Texas Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful. It is a small, grass-roots group consisting of the Executive Director, Volunteer Coordinator, Education Manager, and my supervisor, the Events Manager. All areas of the organization bleed into one another. For example, the Events Manager often needs volunteers for large events and the Education Manager will need additional help at smaller events hosted by schools or other non-profits. As a Special Events Intern, I too worked among all the areas of the organization while focusing on events management.
KAB has three goals: to clean, beautify, and educate Austin on environmental conservation. For the Lake Travis Underwater Cleanup, I recruited volunteers for the after-party by making postings on KAB’s online database and made personal inquiries. I also made cold calls to approximately fifty local businesses seeking door prize donations and sponsorship for the event. For smaller events, I frequently posted volunteer opportunities on KAB’s database as well as on other local volunteer networks. E-mail communication was frequent between myself and volunteers, as well as with contacts for such groups as the Junior League of Austin. I did a lot of research the second half of the semester for the Annual Volunteer Awards Luncheon to be held the next year. This included looking for fresh ideas about raffle prizes and then trying to find local vendors from whom we could get donations for both raffle prizes and other items, including flowers and décor. Much research was also done to compile lists of award nominees and suitable venues through local papers, the internet and e-mail and phone communication.