Interning with AS – Everything Counts
By Connally Mooring
Hi! My name is Connally Mooring, and I am a senior at UT Austin! I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Leadership along with a Business Foundations minor. I graduated from a public high school in Houston, Texas that offered many college credit courses. I took these course opportunities to my advantage and ended up entering college with an abundance of credits that have allowed a light course schedule for my senior year. Knowing that I would have fewer classes than normal, I wanted to use utilize my free time for something meaningful. This is when I found Austin Smiles. What motivated me to apply for the communications internship opportunity was Austin Smiles’ genuine mission to better the lives of children and families both locally and globally. I was inspired by the idea that every individual who works for, volunteers, and/or donates is committed to helping a cause bigger than oneself.
Throughout my internship, I have gained experience in many different areas. One of these areas being the public relations side of a company. Before starting at Austin Smiles, I had never written a press release or reached out to different media outlets. However, since August, I have written two successful press releases, reached out to multiple media sites, and submitted a writing piece for a news article. My first press release covered the Guatemala Medical Mission Trip. I described the Guatemala team’s plans for the trip, how they prepared before departure, how many children they had scheduled to operate, and their impact while being there. I then sent this press release out to multiple TV stations, newspapers, radios, and online media sites in hopes of them covering Austin Smiles and its impression on Guatemalan families impacted by cleft lip and palate. My second press release covered Austin Smile’s 35th anniversary. I described how Austin Smiles started from the ideas of three local surgeons, gained its 501(c)3 nonprofit certification, and has since grown into what it is today. Again, I sent this press release out to media sites in hope of positive press. One of my favorite writing pieces I have been tasked with thus far was a newspaper submission to West Austin News. This piece highlighted both the medical mission trip and 35th anniversary celebrations. Each of these writing pieces that I have been tasked with has allowed me to play my part in helping children affected with cleft lip and palate.
My time this semester at Austin Smiles has been an amazing experience. Whether it be sorting through PACU medical supplies for an upcoming trip, collecting gala donations, or sending out fundraising emails, I know that every day and every task has a greater purpose. Even though I am not physically traveling and operating on children impacted by cleft lip/palate, I know my work is contributing to their success and overall wellbeing.
Connally Mooring, Global Public Health Intern Fall 2021
University of Texas at Austin – Major, Communications