This past year I have had the pleasure of teaching high school students American Sign Language. I also had the experience of mentoring a senior during his required senior internship. While many thought that he would be my ASL intern, “J” found himself in the midst of my quirky world of social media marketing.

What is involved in mentoring a senior who has designs to be an engineer but by “default” ends up in media marketing? Well, first you have to set up some reasonable expectations. For me, I wanted “J” to learn that media marketing isn’t about taking selfies and posting them, but implementing strategy to help a client grow their business or promote an event.

Most of all, I wanted my high school intern to have a fun experience to put the final cap on his senior year!

I gave “J” a few activities to complete over his two weeks. What we didn’t count on was a respiratory virus to hit him like a ton of bricks, virtually cancelling all but a few hours of his first week.

He did, however, manage to get quite a bit done from the comfort of his home. Included in his mentorship was helping to create some Throw Back Thursday posts for client Donna Marie Robb, the author of HALFLING.

Then, “J’ did a comparative analysis for the confections store, Bon Chocolat Shop. Learning about who is your competition and who may be your power partners is important to the growth of a business.

This lesson was followed one about how to “take a meeting” to help local organizations grow. “J” was given an inside look in to the tourist industry of San Pedro, California from director, Scott Gray. To extend his learning, “J” created a digital billboard that illuminated for a few days in various spots throughout Los Angeles County.

One of the many renditions of the Blip Billboard that J completed.

Over the weekend, “J” was tasked to write a travel blog based on a unique experience. He was to pretend he was a tourist in Long Beach and for under $50 explore the city, have a meal and do something that would be considered, “unusual”. He checked off the “musts” and added a few of his own.

One highlight of the mentoring experience was that “J” received a personalized tour of the Sony lot in Culver City where he talked with Steve Leblang, TV researcher. While this future engineer wasn’t too excited about creating digital content for other assignments, he was happy to have an opportunity to look behind the scenes of the TV/ Movie industry. He saw the Ghost Buster cars and some other notable pieces of history, such as the numerous Oscars that Sony Films have won. Plus, he passed Bob Saget in the commissary eating with another “familiar face” (Norman Lear!)

The two – week internship culminated in a presentation. Little did I know that my life would be chronicled to considerable extent – (blushing).

As for that blog that “J” wrote about tourism in Long Beach – here is HIS BLOG. Enjoy and remember – keep learning!

My Senior Internship – Travel Blog

For my school, I must have two weeks of internship as a graduation requirement. For my internship, I had the opportunity to check out the world of Media Marketing.  One of the things I challenged to do was to go to downtown Long Beach and act like I was a tourist and have a day of fun for fewer than 50 dollars.

I did some searching and one of the most interesting parts of Long Beach was Shoreline Village. It is overlooking the Harbor and the ocean. Parking is $2 for 1 hour or $8 for 8 hours. From here you can see the Queen Mary and lots of interesting boats in the harbor. In Shoreline Village make sure you stop at the hot sauce store – Hot Licks.  They have lots of different sauces that you can sample. Some are CRAZY hot. You can also go into Village Hat Shop and try on lots of interesting hats. Ever wanted to be a pirate or safari hunter – then they have the hat for you! If you are into sweets – check out Sugar Daddies Sweet Shoppe or Rocky Mountain Chocolate. Sugar Daddies has extra large items of out of the ordinary candies. Shoreline Village also has many shops where you can get souvenirs or gifts as well as many different choices for food. They even have an arcade that has games for the young as well as the young at heart.  If you would like a really unique photo of you and your group – stop by Smile for the Birdie – and take a photo with the exotic birds! Shoreline Village definitely has something for everyone.

I ate at Gilan Pizza & Grill.  (429 Shoreline Village Dr. Ste C Long Beach, CA 90802) I shared a large pizza with two other people and we were all satisfied. The pizza was very good. The service was fast and very helpful.  After that, we grabbed some ice cream a couple of doors down. Honestly, it was nothing special but it definitely is convenient if you want ice cream after you eat pizza. If you like Ferris Wheels then you are in luck. Across the street, at Pike’s Park (it’s more inland towards downtown Long Beach) you can ride the Ferris Wheel and get a great view of the shoreline and Long Beach. You can find tickets for around four dollars on the discount service- Groupon.

Of all the activities we did, my favorite was a scavenger hunt. This scavenger hunt is all on your phone. You can buy the game code on Groupon for $18 for 2 people (Groupon prices may vary). I chose Operation City Quest since it was the cheapest.  After you download the app “Goosechase” and input the Groupon code into the app, you make a team name. Once you have a team name you will get all of your questions. The objective is to find everything on the list. When you find what you’re looking for on the list you take a picture on the app to submit your evidence. The app sends you clues of things to find like, “I am tall and man-made but I am not a building. What am I?” OR “Some may call me art – others are not so thrilled to see the spray painted likes of me. Find me!”  Gotta say Long Beach doesn’t have much graffiti but found this art piece on the side of a building.

I had a great time during my day as a Southern California tourist who explored Long Beach.  I learned that a person is able to absorb the sights and sounds of a Southern California community with just a few dollars and a good pair of shoes.  

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