Communication + Media Studies major Jenna Marcello '16 knows the power of networking. Her role as the technology coordinator for Emmanuel College's 2015 Dance Marathon connected her with employees from the fundraiser's beneficiaries, Boston Children's Hospital, and her interest in technology and her passion for "dancing for those who can't" merged into a digital marketing internship with the Boston Children's Hospital Trust, the hospital's philanthropic arm that works to advance the hospital's patient care, research, medical training and community health initiatives.
"I was working the door the night of Dance Marathon, and John [Carchedi, the Boston Children's Hospital Trust's new media specialist] came in to set up equipment for a video the Trust was making on all of our success," Marcello said. "I thought what he was doing was so cool, and I wanted to keep in touch, so I asked for his card."
After the conclusion of the 2015 event, Marcello was again named to the executive board for this year's event (which will take place on March 19th), this time as the photography and video coordinator. She reached out to Carchedi for pointers on how to make the most of her new role, and he offered her some great tips-and shortly after, an internship.
In her work with the Trust, Marcello supports the videographer on shoots and in post-production, participates in brainstorming and strategy sessions, assists with e-mail campaigns, drafts content for and monitors Boston Children's social media accounts and supports the social media team on a variety of projects.
"They really trust me and trust my ideas," she said. "I offer ideas for posters and other campaigns. I appreciate that they involve me in so many different things where I get to see my feedback actually put into action."
One of the best parts, Marcello noted, is having the opportunity to interview local celebrities and donors at events such as December's annual "Champions for Children" gala, which raised $3.5 million for the hospital.
"This year, I was able to interview [New England Patriots' safety] Devin McCourty, [Patriot's president and New England Revolution Owner] Jonathan Kraft, and some players from the Red Sox and the Revolution," she said. "I also got to live tweet the event to their thousands of followers, and it's cool to see the tweet you wrote 'retweeted' or 'favorited' so many times."
Marcello has also interviewed [Boston Mayor] Marty Walsh as well as many of the families who have been helped by donations to the hospital, the videos of who are passed along to benefactors as a "thank you" for their support.
"The fact that Children's does such great work means that people really want to talk to you - they're excited about it," she said. "I'm able to take the reins on filming sometimes, too. It's really fun."
Working in an atmosphere where people love their jobs and are passionate about their mission is another highlight for Marcello.
"I remember the Trust received a one-million-dollar donation on my first day," she said. "They ring a huge gong. It's awesome to see them so excited."
Marcello was able to extend her internship for the spring 2016 semester. Currently, she, along with the ECDM executive board and hundreds of Emmanuel students are working toward this year's Dance Marathon goal of $100,000. With nearly $220,000 raised in the past four years, Emmanuel College is the top Dance Marathon fundraising school in Boston and in the top five in New England. Boston Children's recently featured ECDM in a video encouraging other schools to participate in the fundraiser.