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Intern Spotlight: Lauren Bayse

Internships are a critical aspect of a William & Mary education. No matter what a student is majoring in, so much can be learned by gaining real-world work experience. W&M Information Technology has a long-standing tradition of welcoming student workers and incorporating them into our overall strategy of providing a reliable, flexible, and secure technological environment that enables swift and skilled solutions for rapidly changing needs.

Lauren Bayse ‘13

Government Major and Hispanic Studies Minor

Intern Position

IT Communications Intern

Lauren BayseWhat were some of your duties as an intern?

Big picture, I was tasked with making the IT department more approachable, so that students, faculty and staff could realize the value we offered to the campus community beyond fixing broken computers. To do this, I focused on humanizing the IT department through two key channels: social media and our website.

One of my biggest priorities was increasing engagement rates for the IT social media channels. I curated content for Facebook and X (called Twitter at the time!) and developed posts that highlighted tips and tricks for students, faculty and staff to more easily navigate campus life through technology.

I also revamped how the IT website was organized so that frequently visited pages would be easier to find from the W&M homepage. This work streamlined the user experience and put valuable information front and center.

The IT team was hard at work on many innovative projects to elevate campus technology during my time as an intern, and it was exciting to help them highlight their important work to the larger W&M community.

What were some of the takeaways from your time working in IT?

The challenge I addressed was an interesting one: how do you get students to engage with the IT department beyond troubleshooting computer issues? By digging into this challenge, I learned how to understand an audience and tailor content to address the needs of a specific group of people.

I was fortunate to work with a department of professionals who were a wealth of information and suggestions. They had so many insights and tips to share that I then put into student-friendly language. As a student myself, it was relatively easy for me to develop copy and posts that were digestible and helpful - I simply had to ask myself what information would make me want to engage with IT more regularly.

I also learned that work as a communications professional is never done. The needs of your target audience are constantly changing, and you need to adapt with them. The mindset of evolution is what I loved the most about working for IT and what has kept me in the communications industry.

What have you been doing since graduating?

Since graduating from William & Mary, I have been working in communications for over ten years! Like many W&M grads, I started my career in DC. I worked in public affairs for a global public relations agency, supporting think tanks and companies seeking to shape U.S. telecom and energy policy. 

After two years, I moved up to New York City, where I currently live with my husband, and pivoted from public policy to corporate communications. I am now a senior vice president at Allison, a global communications and marketing consultancy. During my nearly nine years at Allison, I have worked with brands like Airbnb, GoodRx, Google, PepsiCo and Poshmark to enhance their corporate reputations, elevate their executives as visionaries in their disciplines and highlight the positive impact they have on their communities.

I’m lucky to work with clients across industries, which exposes me to a wide array of communications challenges and opportunities. The diverse nature of my work means no two days look exactly the same.

How did your internship experience prepare you for your career?

My communications internship with IT solidified my interest in a communications career. Through my internship, I realized my love for solving complex challenges through strategic communications and my interest in identifying authentic ways for organizations to connect with priority audiences.

The role prepared me for my career by introducing me to the complex and exciting world of technology. When I was interviewing for my first job out of college, my interviewers were impressed with my understanding of how technology shapes communities and culture. They also appreciated my ability to juggle a demanding course load with an internship – this experience demonstrated that I could effectively manage my time. 

I am very grateful for my experience working with W&M IT and would encourage any burgeoning communications professional to consider an on-campus internship!