HSNEGA “adopted” a few new interns at the beginning of the year. Nikki Means, a Toccoa, Georgia native, is one of our new marketing communications interns. Nikki is a senior at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia, pursuing a B.A. in Mass Communication with a minor in Photography.
1. What made you choose an internship with HSNEGA?
I’ve always had a strong passion for helping animals. I even wanted to be a vet when I was younger; however, after my first year in college I realized I was drawn toward photography instead of veterinary school. When I saw this intern position was available, I knew it was what I wanted, and needed, to do. My senior capstone project is on animal shelter overcrowding and how people can help, so I felt that the opportunity to work with such a great organization would be extremely beneficial in continuing my knowledge of this issue and would enable me to do even more to promote animal welfare.
2. Tell us briefly about what a typical day as a marketing intern is like.
Some days I write blogs, which are always fun to do. I actually didn’t realize how much I enjoy writing blogs until I started this internship. I also take photographs of animals for certain social media posts, such as Caturday, Meow Monday, etc. I then use graphic design software to touch-up the photos and add text before posting them on various social media platforms.
3. What has been your favorite part of interning at HSNEGA so far?
I’d definitely have to say the knowledge that I’m gaining. First, I can see how much work goes into running an organization like this. Everyone here works so hard to help these animals and it shows. I’ve also enjoyed learning more about marketing, such as social media analytics and creating successful posts to grab the viewers’ attention. Finally, I absolutely LOVE taking photographs of the animals. It gives me the opportunity to fine-tune my photography skills while working with the adorable animals available for adoption.
4. What has been the most rewarding experience for you at HSNEGA so far?
I would say having the opportunity to photograph the animals and post the photographs and content on social media have been the most rewarding experience while here. It’s definitely the most rewarding experience because I get to see if my photographs influence someone to adopt their new furry family member. My main goal is to help these animals, so knowing that their name is getting out there and that they’re having the chance to get adopted is an amazing feeling.
5. What do you think you will do after graduation?
I hope to find a job in marketing; maybe even with an animal shelter or humane society! I’ve loved the experience here so far, so I think it is definitely something I’d be interested in pursuing after graduation. And, of course, my DREAM job is to work for National Geographic as a photojournalist; however, that would definitely take some time.
6. How many pets do you have?
We have three dogs at my parents’ house. There is Rubi, a timid cavalier King Charles Spaniel that adopted me when I was 16. Then there’s Rocko, a big teddy bear who was left by his previous owner at a gas station down the road from our house. Finally, there is Mona who is an Australian Shepherd mix. She used to be my sisters but now she pretty much just resides at my parents’ house.
I hope to have two dogs, two pigs, and two cats when I have enough time, money, and my own place. A girl can dream, right?
7. If you could tell one person “Thank you!” for helping you become the person you are today, who would that be?
I would tell my mom “thank you”. She has always supported me with whatever I dreamed of doing. She’s also one of the strongest people I know and has made me proud beyond words. She’s a hard worker and has shown me what it takes to not only be successful, but to be happy.
8. What mottos do you live by?
Don’t just dream about it, make it happen. You can’t just dream of becoming the person you want to be. You have to work for it and make it happen.
9. What super power would you like to have?
Teleportation. That way I could travel wherever I want and be with the people I love in an instant. Also, maybe I could even travel through space.
10. How do you recharge?
I recharge with a cup of hot tea, some chocolate chip cookies, and a good vinyl record on. Lake Street Dive usually does the trick.