Merrick college student carves out a virtual niche

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Since accepting the internship, Rubin has spent this semester — apart from her full course schedule and playing for the Binghamton University women’s tennis team — doing research for Activ8Social and contributing to the company’s blog, at

She said that she has freedom to write about topics of her choice in the entertainment world. A recent posting under her byline involved an information graphic about who would win the “Social Grammys” — that is, which Grammy nominees have the greatest social media presence on websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

“I’m learning about analytics; I’m learning to develop my marketing eye,” Rubin said. “They’re letting me do a lot of research. It’s a lot of fun when you’re looking to learn.”

She is not being paid or receiving academic credit for this internship. Activ8Social’s three other current interns, who all work in the office, are receiving college credit, according to Alyssa Pridgen, Rubin’s supervisor and a digital strategist at Activ8Social.

Rubin said that the internship is contributing toward her career goals –– she hopes to combine marketing work and writing. “I definitely want to stay on the digital end of things, because that’s where the world’s going, and I want to keep up with it,” she said. “I like social media marketing and learning to connect with consumers in creative ways.”

Pridgen said that having a virtual intern this semester has been a novel experience for Activ8Social as well. “Jessie is our first and only remote intern right now,” she said. “At first, I was apprehensive that she would not be part of the team or get involved with office activities and brainstorming sessions. But we’ve made it work. We have a weekly Skype call, and she keeps in contact via email or chat. We stay connected. It works out really well so far. Jessie is a really hard worker.”

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