Student Spotlight: Susannah Morey, public relations
Sep 25, 2018
Posted in: News
Public relations major Susannah Morey landed the internship experience of a lifetime. Through the university's Hire VCU Rams service, the senior secured a two-month internship program in Cape Town, South Africa this summer.
The program 'If I Could...' internship program works to set up accepted applicants in the development sector of either Delhi, India or Cape Town. Morey chose the South African port city. The program offered her the chance to choose from three options of work she wanted to do.
Morey was the public relations intern for Streetwires, a social enterprise for traditional bead and craft art.
"Bead and craft art is a very common thing in South Africa," Morey said. "It's very traditional to the area. A lot of the artists are on the streets trying to sell [things], and it's just a really unstable job." The company's primary goal is to help with the art business. The artist can make the art without worrying about stability, which is a major issue in South Africa.
Morey applied for the internship in August 2017 and was accepted the following month, giving her plenty of time to plan for the experience. Previously, she had traveled to France on a school trip in high school, but going this far alone was an entirely new experience for her.
"I feel like it's important for individual growth to do stuff like that and to put yourself out of your comfort zone. I came back and felt like a different person," Morey said.
While in Cape Town, Morey lived with other students from the United States and Australia. Although her location was different compared to other internship experiences, much of the work she completed was similar. Her work centered around writing several blog posts and press releases during the 80 days she spent in Cape Town.
Her internship also taught her a lot about the South African culture. "Little things were different, like the candy and food," Morey said. Her favorite restaurant was a place that served Ethiopian food called 'Timbuktu' that was located right down the street from where she lived. The restaurant played jazz music that was enjoyable from an outside patio on the warmer days.
Another unique part of Morey's internship experience was the difference in seasons. While it was summer in Virginia, Morey was experiencing a South African winter. "When I first got there, it was much colder than when I left. It was 50 degrees and pouring rain," she said.
Morey's favorite memory from this summer was going across the country on a camping trip to visit the Addo Elephant National Park. She was able to see two of the six lions that are in the park, which many visitors never get the chance to see.
After graduating in December, Morey hopes to find another internship to gain more experience related to her field.