MPH Student Emma Geyer interned with the New York State Council on Children and Families in Fall 2019.
“My internship was the New York State Council on Children & Families (CCF). I was able to work on a grant-funded project, the NYSB5 grant, which focuses on early childhood development and parent/caregivers support.
During my internship I was directly involved with the planning and implementation of a state-wide mass media campaign called Talking is Teaching. The goal of the campaign was to empower parents and caregivers by promoting talking, reading, and singing to children. The priority population that this campaign aimed to reach were underserved and marginalized populations across New York State.
The campaign had both out of home (OOH) and digital components. The OOH placements included posters in laundromats, hair salons, nail salons, barber shops, corner stores, bodegas, subway interiors, bulletins, bus shelters, bus interiors and exteriors, waiting rooms, and baby changing stations in malls. Digital channels used during the campaign included social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat), digital display banners, streaming platforms, search platforms (Google), and a TV commercial.
The most rewarding part of this internship was being able to see all of the creative materials out in communities once the campaign began. Whether it was seeing the Talking is Teaching materials on busses, billboards, elevators, or in malls, I couldn’t help but take a second to smile and reflect on the project that was impacting individuals, families, and communities all over the state; and that I was a part of it.
Another part of the internship that I really enjoyed was that we were able to translate the campaign materials into 6 additional languages other than English (Spanish, Bengali, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, and Russian) which were chosen based on prevalence across the state. This aspect of the project enabled the campaign to have a larger impact and connect with more parents and caregivers across the state.
Two classes that I took at SPH were very influential to the work I completed at this internship:
- Program Development with Dr. Christine Bozlak prepared me to work on grant-funded projects, understand grant writing, and how to create an effective budget. Being able to translate what I learned from the classroom to this specific experience allowed me to grow those skills in a real world, public health scenario.
- Health Communication & Health Disparities with Dr. Jennifer Manganello was all about health communication, health literacy, effective marketing, and social media, all with a focus on health disparities. Our final project in this course was even planning a campaign! Everything I obtained from this course allowed me to go into my internship confident in my knowledge on health communication.
Prior to this internship experience, I was never in a position that focused on early childhood development or solely on mass media and marketing. This experience enriched my graduate experience because it opened up my eyes to a whole niche of the public health field that I was never exposed to before, health communication and marketing.
After completing this internship experience, I have been open to and interested in looking for jobs pertaining to marketing and health communication. I feel that this experience allowed me to develop new skills that are not only specific to marketing and communication, but also skills that are transferable to any job opportunity in the public health field.”