When I applied to Sports Information at the beginning of freshman year, I was just looking for a way to maintain my hobbies in photography and videography — and, of course, to make some money. I'd done some amateur work for classes and clubs in high school, but I'd never really gotten paid for my skills. So, I dragged myself to the 6:15 a.m. meeting in Hopkins Hall in early September, was hired by Sports Information Director Dick Quinn for video a few days later, and started the best job on campus.
Before becoming a Sports Information videographer, the only contact I'd ever had with sports was through mandatory school P.E. classes and that one hockey game I went to because I'm Canadian and apparently that's what we do. I was suddenly catapulted into the world of golf (and learning how to dress appropriately for the freezing winds), tennis, and post-game/match interviews. I learned how to time my arrivals so I wouldn't have to wait an hour for the game/match to start, how to predict highlight moments so viewers wouldn't have to see my panicked pans and zooms when players scored, and how to edit videos using Adobe Premiere Pro. I felt proud whenever I carried my video equipment from one end of campus to the other, even if it meant awkwardly speed-walking with a tripod and camera towards the golf course from my dorm, Mission, so that I wouldn't be late for the post-event interview.
Fast forward to sophomore spring and the frenzy to find summer internships. I'd applied to many places and heard back from a few. When the Center for Environmental Studies received a posting for a marketing internship at a public benefit company/startup in Charlottesville, Va., I jumped at the opportunity. I put my Sports Information experience at the top of my résumé and sent them the videos I'd made, including the Eph Spotlight series that Tobi Popoola, DQ, and I debuted this year. The startup liked my portfolio, thought my skills fit what they were looking for, and hired me a few weeks later.
The company's name is MadiDrop PBC, and it's a company that manufactures and distributes the MadiDrop, an engineered ceramic tablet embedded with silver that both controls microbiological contamination and protects stored water. Invented by the University of Virginia, one MadiDrop works for 6+ months and provides 2,000 liters of safe drinking water through its lifespan. Currently it is in use in over 40 countries on almost every continent. MadiDrop PBC is working with humanitarian, relief, commercial, and mission-based organizations to provide a simple water treatment approach to reduce waterborne illnesses.
My official title may have been "Marketing Intern," but in a small office of three, I did everything I could to help. In two months, I directed, filmed, and edited two promotional videos (linked below), designed flyers, edited and designed an updated product information package, and created and launched a brand new website. I also edited photos, organized the images library, and managed social media content. At such a small and 'in the trenches' startup, I never did any stereotypical 'intern' activities or busywork, and all of my contributions were worthwhile.
I went to work everyday excited to find out what I would be working on next. The atmosphere, though sometimes stressful because the future of startups is filled with uncertainty, was always collaborative. My coworkers were kind, encouraging, and fun to be around. I was given a lot of creative freedom and the ability to use my own vision to direct projects, resulting in an experience where I learned a lot and, hopefully, gave just as much. As my internship winds down to an end, I look back with pride at all that I've accomplished.
To think that it all began with that 6:15 a.m. meeting at the beginning of freshman year! Without my Sports Information experience, I would've never gotten this opportunity with MadiDrop PBC. So thank you, DQ, for taking a chance on me and thank you, Center for Environmental Studies, for funding my summer. Last but not least, thank you to MadiDrop PBC and all of its wonderful people for believing in me and letting me do what I do. I am grateful that I've been able to help address the global need for safe water by promoting this little magical drop that has one heck of a large impact.
Looking forward, I'm super excited to return to Sports Information in the fall and capture more moments, this time with a summer's worth of experiences under my belt. Here's to another year of doing what I love most at the greatest job on campus!
For more info about MadiDrop PBC, visit the brand new MadiDrop website.
Also check out the two videos that I created for them:
2) The MadiDrop is Awesome
Born in Beijing Angela Chan now hails from Coquitlam near Vancouver, British Columbia, and is a junior majoring in Environtmental Studies & Political Science. Her video contributions last year to our Eph Spotlight Interview series --https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJtCxNaU3ni4u-9MXtkuDTO_ffO5mJIzN
Born in Beijing Angela Chan now hails from Coquitlam near Vancouver, British Columbia, and is a junior majoring in Environtmental Studies & Political Science. Her video contributions last year to our Eph Spotlight Video Interview series along with classmate Tobi Popoola made that series a great success and encouraged us to continue the series this coming academic year.