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Junior spends summer interning at American Chemical Society

Aug 16, 2019

Posted in: News

Taylor Burress, Communications Intern

Photograph of Madison Blum, left
Madison Blum, left, interned this summer at the American Chemical Society.

Madison Blum is a rising junior in the Robertson School, who spent her summer interning at the American Chemical Society (ACS). She found the communications internship opportunity through a family member who works in the company and passed on to her that ACS has a great internship program.  

"I had known about the company from a young age, because I used to attend educational chemistry events for kids," Blum said.

Blum knew applying for a position within ACS would be competitive, so she applied for multiple positions in the program to increase her odds of being chosen. After being selected, Blum came into her first internship experience being open to any opportunity or responsibility that would come her way.

"The External Affairs and Communications office had been nothing but welcoming since my first day and I do not feel scared to ask for help or even see if there is any extra work I can do," said Blum. "Everyone including my supervisor made sure I had a smooth transition and prepared me for everything I would be doing."

Blum's tasks varied from day to day, but she has had some consistent projects over the span of her internship in the program. She's been working on writing press release summaries on articles from the news magazine, Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN), that will go in ACS’ weekly Press Pac. She is also creating a year-round editorial calendar for the company's content so that it can be shared on designated days.

"I worked with ACS productions on the ACS Reactions YouTube videos that explain science to the general public and any other writing assignments including drafting interview questions or articles within the internal staff news magazine, The Phoenix," said Blum. "I work on whatever is given to me and am glad to do it."

She was even able to interview on camera the top six finalists at the University of Maryland for ACS's annual chemistry competition, the Chemistry Olympiad. Blum not only enjoyed the work she did at ACS but also how the people in her department interacted.

"The staff in my department are really working to make sure I get the best experience I possibly can," said Blum. "I have made really great friends and some awesome network connections."

Internships provide a great opportunity for students to learn more about themselves as well as the environment and workplace they want to head into. Blum felt the same from her experience.

"I have learned that although I enjoyed everything about this program, I am not meant to sit at a desk all day," said Blum. "My main goal in this program was to get an idea of who I am in a workplace setting and what I enjoy so that I have a solid plan for where I may want to start my career after graduation."

Blum's advice to students who are applying for internships is to always have an updated resume and to research the company you're applying to.

"This way when you are interviewed you have some knowledge and are prepared," said Blum. "Once in an internship, my advice is to be open to any kinds of work and to not feel embarrassed to ask questions or contribute in meetings."

After he internship, Blum is going back to her part-time job and preparing for the start of her fall semester at VCU.

To keep up with Blum and her progressing career, connect with her on LinkedIn.

Please also read about the internship experiences of other Robertson School students this summer:

McKenna Day worked as a content marketing intern for Ellucian.

Kevin Nguyen studied and interned in Vietnam. 

Sarah Danial landed a fellowship at CBS News in New York.