Alethia Shih

Burbank, CA

Thanks for joining us at #KidsChoiceSports: we had the SLIME of our lives! What was your favorite moment?

A collective sigh of relief swept over the table as we pushed our chairs back and exchanged high fives all around. It was Saturday, 17 July 2016, and the four of us that made up the Nickelodeon social media team had just finished covering one of the largest annual sports awards shows on television. I had spent more than three weeks prior holed up in the office alongside my coworkers: drafting up copy to share across our social channels, curating hundreds of digital content pieces that we could use to promote the show, and helping the team amplify organic online conversations about the show through painstakingly thorough community management. Although the opportunity to live tweet the event on my own was an incredible and unique one, my time with this particular team had prepared me well for it. From creating shareable content based on current shows to pitching new social strategy campaigns during departmental brainstorms, my eclectic experiences at Nickelodeon assured me that the team’s faith in my ability to handle the live event was well placed.

We were not disappointed.

Having grown up on a healthy diet of Hey Arnold!, Fairly Oddparents, and SpongeBob SquarePants, I could not have found a better opportunity to combine my passion for producing original creative content with my love for children’s media than through this year’s Mellon Professionalization Initiative. The experience has given me the chance to diversify the writing and reasoning skills that I have cultivated as an academic and teacher; to continue expanding my professional network in invaluable ways; and to reaffirm my belief that alt-ac is not only a viable option, but an important one as well in a world that increasingly relies on the humanities to counterbalance the global issues of instability and uncertainty that affect us all. I am eternally grateful for the chance to have worked with such a great team and would recommend this Mellon-granted opportunity without hesitation. (Who knows—maybe next time I’ll even get slimed!)