Another group of interns from the University of Mississippi just completed the spring semester internship at HottyToddy.com.
Each year HottyToddy.com provides an opportunity in the spring, summer and fall for students to build their portfolios through an internship with our digital newspaper and our magazine, Experience Oxford. Students are required to maintain office hours throughout each week, attend a weekly meeting and write news stories for HottyToddy.com and occasionally for Experience Oxford.
This spring, HottyToddy.com offered internships to 14 outstanding students from the University, mostly being from The Meek School of Journalism and New Media. CEO of HottyToddy.com, Allison Buchanan, credits the interns for creativeness and willingness to learn.
“I have been highly impressed with our interns and their initiative,” Buchanan said. “They have been creative with their stories, punctual for weekly meetings, and have been open to learning.”
The idea of creating internship opportunities arose from Dr. Ed Meek, namesake of The Meek School of Journalism and New Media and former UM Vice Chancellor for Public Relations, and his wife, Becky Meek. The Meeks started HottyToddy.com in 2012 with the intention to give back to the journalism school at Ole Miss.
As evidenced by a recent gift of 35 iPad Pros for faculty, camera equipment for student media, financial support for faculty projects and a state-of-the-art, school-wide digital display communications system, the rest of that vision is starting to play out.
That vision was an alternative to putting funds into an endowment. They would use those same resources to form a for-profit company called New Media Lab LLC, which HottyToddy.com is a part, whose profits would perpetually go to the Meek School. If the model of their previous entrepreneurial ventures played out, there would be a much bigger benefit to the school than through the traditional method. Dr. Will Norton, the dean of The Meek School, said the funding from HottyToddy.com said the Meeks’ gift helps the journalism school maintain a “margin of excellence.”
“This funding is giving us the ability to have a margin of excellence for many years to come. It’s just absolutely incredible that we have this entrepreneur who loves this school and who understands that we cannot depend on state funding that is in continuous decline,” Dr. Norton, dean of The Meek School said. “We have top students from all over who would never have considered Ole Miss a few years ago. We can do things that schools with big budgets can do. That’s the value of HottyToddy.com and these other ventures.”
An internship for HottyToddy.com allows students to experience the reality of a newsroom, article deadlines, covering events and city meetings to write news articles, a chance to help develop social media and other digital features of our website and even provides an opportunity to network with leaders across Oxford and Ole Miss. Interns for HottyToddy.com leave with a better understanding of their field of study in journalism and integrated marketing communications. Although, most of our interns are journalism or integrated marketing communications majors, some interns were selected from the School of Education and the School of Accountancy for their outstanding writing and communication skills.
“These interns have helped us tremendously this semester with a variety of interesting stories,” Buchanan said. “An added bonus is that they help us to stay on the cutting edge of how young people are using social media and digital technology.”
Interns Hannah Pickett, Jackson Olstad and Allie Kmec helped create HottyToddy.com’s Snapchat account, where you can add us @hottytoddynews. This fast-growing social media platform smartphones helps HottyToddy.com connect with students and young Oxford and Ole Miss fans in a quick way.
Pickett, an IMC major, provided marketing skills to create stories, exclusive snaps and filters for our Snapchat account. Olstead, a sports reporter intern, lead the way in creating Snapchat stories for baseball games during the spring semester. Kmec, another IMC major, wrote the first Snapchat journalism story for the account.
The following video is the first Snapchat story that Kmec wrote, and Pickett designed on HottyToddy.com’s first Snapchat journalism story. The interns helped HottyToddy.com connect with our younger audience in this Snapchat story below by telling them about an event to attend sponsored by a University organization.
More interns helped HottyToddy.com cover breaking news stories such as the possibility of a new parking garage being built near the Square. Cambria Abdeen went to city meetings in order to interview city officials and citizens who would be effected by the possibility of a new parking garage.
To see Abdeen’s full story, visit hottytoddy.com.
When it came to covering events around Oxford and Ole Miss, our spring interns jumped at the opportunities. One of the most notable and largest events in Oxford in the spring is the Double Decker Arts Festival presented by Caterpillar. Our interns wrote stories about the art and food vendors leading up to the festival, and they also went to the event to live tweet, snap (for Snapchat), take video and write and turn in story assignments within minutes of interviewing festival participants.
Ole Miss Student Sells ‘Happy Notes’ at Double Decker Arts Festival by Hannah Pickett
Featured Artist Enjoys First Time Selling at Double Decker Arts Festival by Cassidy Nessen
Double Decker Best Dressed Dog Contest Will Tickle Your Fancy by Christopher Neal
Uganda Native Wins Double Decker Spring Run by Hannah Pickett
New Double Decker Buses Unveiled by Italiana Anderson and Mia Sims
2016 Double Decker Arts Festival Art Vendor Previews: Take 5 by Allie Seay, Kelley Dywer and Cambria Abdeen
Whether they were partnering with HottyToddy.com to learn how to develop digital software, writing breaking news stories or covering events around town, each intern provided professional skills, hard work, outstanding writing skills and journalism ethics in each project they helped with this spring.
HottyToddy.com is now accepting applications for our summer and fall internships. To apply for an internship with a growing media company to expand your portfolio, visit olemiss.edu to print off an application. Return the application to Emily Newton, editor of Experience Oxford at HottyToddy.com.
Spring 2016 HottyToddy.com Interns:
Emily Newton is a staff writer for HottyToddy.com and the editor of Experience Oxford magazine. Emily can be reached at email@example.com.