New experiences are measured with old…

I am finally reflecting on what has been 2 months now at my internship the 10! Show at NBC in Philly.

A little rewind on what has led me to NBC in the first place…

Upon enrolling at Cabrini my interests included TV, movies, and a little theater. I felt I wasn’t great at any particular academic subject but I never minded that until I had to pick a major in college. I weighed everything I felt I was good at, or excelled in. I performed the lead role in Footloose in high school and was heavily involved in school clubs and loved talking. I was evening the morning and afternoon announcement girl in high school. For whatever reason, all of these little quirks made me think I’d be a good communication major. I like to communicate, why not? I had no idea what a communication major was. What I did know was that news anchors on TV were likely journalism or communication majors, and so I thought a TV News Anchor would be a perfect career choice! Then reality set in..

First year at Cabrini I was involved simply in radio and it was just enough for me to be happy with the major I chose. Sophomore year I was active in the student-run news program as an anchor, finally my dream had come true! This experience taught me that my reasoning of why I wanted to be a news anchor was shallow. I wanted to have my hair and make-up done on a daily basis and have people ask me for my autograph. Then, I started appreciating everything else that was involved in a news show. I admired the production team more because of the time they put in before the show, during the show, and the endless hours after the show just to produce a 10 minutes segment. Among all of the admiration, I felt this just wasn’t what I was interested in anymore.

Then, I discovered journalism. What a pleasant discovery. For once I thought, I subject I like and I think I’m good at! In the midst of me discovering my place within the communication field, I discovered the meaning of social justice. I was actually eager to attend classes that taught me about places I never heard of with problems I couldn’t even imagine and real people living in these unimaginable places with these problems. What I enjoyed even more was writing about all of it.

Once I discovered that I could use these communication skills to educate others, share personal stories, and even advocate for change, I was hooked. Last semester I had an amazing experience working for Catholic Relief Services in which I worked alongside people who are dedicated to making this world a better place. I learned that it is possible to have fulfillment and purpose in your work week. I used my skills to produce an electronic newsletter that would educate people about the work CRS does in an effort to create peace and solidarity in the lives of those less fortunate. I don’t see how anyone could hate coming to work knowing you’re a part of something as great as that.

Fast forward to this summer and I am in a very different environment, with very different people, who have very different objectives and goals. Alas, I am working for television-a dream of mine. Except, it’s a lot different than what I thought it would be.

My first day proved to be exciting, and by exciting I mean terrifying. Bill Henley to my right, Lu Ann Cahn to my left, Terry Ruggles behind me in the checkout line in the cafeteria…very intimidating. After being introduced to the hosts I was able to relax as I learned they were very accommodating and seemed like they valued having the interns a part of the production team.

I learned my tasks would include audience coordination which involves reaching out to our viewers via phone and email to encourage them to be a part of our studio audience, thinking of marketing strategies that would bring in large groups of people like women’s book clubs, YMCA campers, etc., and organizing the guests the day of show.

In addition to audience coordination, I contribute to the website by writing captions for all of the segments. (I get to write something!)

In between the hectic morning of setting up, shooting, and wrapping up the show and the slower afternoon of getting things ready for tomorrow’s show, the tasks are few and far between. What I have learned from this internship is that sometimes, you have to make your own work. This internship is not one where people will hold your hand through everything. If I want a job to do, I need to generate my own idea of what needs to be accomplished.

This is a valuable thing in regards to taking initiative and also independence in the work place.

On the downside of this, it is challenging to execute your own idea when there are 5 other eager interns wanting to share their idea along with the staff of people who are paid to share ideas. I must admit, this is very intimidating. I typically am very motivated and driven to see my goals completed. For the first time, I feel very out of my element and unsure of myself. This is the kind of workplace where if you don’t do something correctly, you’ll know about it.

The experience has gotten better and I have had opportunity to share a couple of ideas with the producers. In this very moment though, I feel the biggest thing I’m learning from this experience is that TV isn’t as glamorous as you see in the movies, and the only thing that is actually like the movies, is that you will be asked at least once to fetch someone’s coffee.

Stay tuned; I am still positive about a richer experience…

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