Mia makes the most of her PIPS as a Digital Media Intern with the Royal Institution

Mia Berelson, a student based at The Earlham Institute, wanted to learn about the world of science communication from the perspective of the facilitators rather than the scientists. She applied for a PIPS project with the Royal Institution (Ri) after seeing it advertised in the PIPS Newsletter.

Mia undertook her placement in the winter of her second year, and she found this timing to work well.

Mia worked in the Digital Team of the Marketing and Communications Department. As part of her induction Mia was given a tour of the building and opportunities to meet the other teams including fundraising team. Mia learnt about the funding model of the Ri and how they generate income from their You-tube content.

Mia’s main task during the placement was to edit videos of recorded lectures to identify clips that could be used for promotional material on different social media platforms. Mia was given training in using video editing software by her manager. She then supplemented this with learning from You-tube tutorials. “It was a great opportunity for me to get to use Adobe software such as Photoshop, After Effects and Premier. Learning how to use these tools is something I’ve wanted to do for a while but they’re quite expensive so I may not have had the opportunity otherwise”, says Mia. Mia was pleased that one of the video clips she developed received 2.6 million views and went viral through Facebook (see the video here), generating significant income for the Ri.

Mia was also involved with the delivery of an on-line workshop on forensic science including moderating the chat. This was her first experience of delivering teaching material online.

Mia really liked the relaxed environment at the Ri. She enjoyed learning about different scientific concepts and subject areas through videoing the lectures.

Mia felt she gained lots of great examples of good presentation styles from her Ri colleagues and now wants to try to improve her presentations during her PhD to make them more engaging. She also learnt not to be afraid of Twitter as a vehicle for communication.

Mia found her was able to develop her time management skills and increase her self-confidence, as well as her communication and project management skills. “There was lots of opportunity to watch great communicators at work and I also got to help run a session for 16 year olds about forensic science” says Mia.

Overall, Mia found her PIPS to be a very positive experience and recommends that future PIPS students embrace all opportunities that come their way. “Don’t restrict yourself to your team – it could be worth meeting people across the organisation to find out what they are up to” advises Mia.

You can read Mia’s blog that she wrote for the Ri about her internship here.