While classes are just about to kick off for most students, I am happy to report that I’ve been keeping busy in Boston for the past two weeks. Last semester, one of my wonderful COM professors put me in touch with a friend of hers…this friend happened to be the GM of Television Programming at WGBH in Boston. WGBH produces over 90% of national PBS content, and within a week of reaching out, I had clenched an internship for the spring! Teach-able moment #1: always ask your professors about their contacts. They have all worked in their fields or continue to do so, and they can almost certainly put you in touch with someone who can help you out. Having their reference always pushes your resume up the pile as well, and COM professors are more than willing to assist if you make your passion clear!).
Two weeks ago, I reported to day one of the internship. I would begin by working on Sing That Thing!, a reality competition program for high school, college, and adult singing groups throughout the northeast. At first I admittedly belittled the project – it will only be broadcast in nine states, and reality is not exactly what I want to do with my career. Teach-able moment #2 and 3: It is an honor to work on any project within television, especially starting out as a college student. Each one offers so much to learn in its own unique way, and it is so important to take advantage of what it can do for you. While an internship may not fulfill your life goal, it will provide a very necessary step in getting there. In addition, starting out on a smaller project is the best way for interns to get experience. The team on this show is plentiful and professional, but its lesser scale has allowed for more of my tasks to be hands-on. Just yesterday my boss considered me a Production Assistant instead of an intern, and larger, national program may have stuck me in the copy room a lot more than the set.
In addition to Sing That Thing!, I am looking forward to working on projects for the WORLD channel, a national news documentary channel with positive initiatives and lots of opportunities for someone like me. In only two weeks I have grown very comfortable asking questions, navigating the high-pressure environment of a television studio, and offering my own perspective. I’m starting to determine which areas of the production I enjoy and which I’d rather avoid, but I’m still making sure to approach the internship in as well-rounded a manner as possible.
To top off the experience comes the 4 credits I get to apply toward my Film and TV major! When interning, check to see if credit is available within COM. They are incredibly helpful in ensuring that you get the most out of the opportunity, both throughout your time there and in terms of your college education.
It is crazy to see the parallels between what I’ve learned in my COM classes and in this professional environment. Although I am learning a lot of new information, much of what I have been able to do at this internship is simply a practical application of what I have already learned from professors. This is wildly comforting as I reach the latter half of my college career; it’s a clear indication that what I learn in COM truly sets me up for success in the real world.
Hanna and another WGBH intern having fun on the set of Sing That Thing!