My name is Ari Santana and I was the promotions intern at WESH 2 and the CW18 in Orlando, Florida this summer. WESH 2, an NBC affiliate, and the CW18, a CW affiliate, are both owned by Hearst Television. This station oversees five different channels in central Florida: WESH, CW18, MeTV, Estrella, and the Justice Network. As a promotions intern, I assisted in relaying the message and voice of the channels to increase brand awareness and viewership. 

During my time with WESH, I learned a lot about the business of television promotions but I learned much more about life from the people I’ve met along the way. Arguably the biggest lesson I learned is that there are many paths to the same goal. Everyone in the promotions department had widely different journeys during their twenties and thirties yet still ended up at WESH. Kip was fortunate enough to have connections that landed him positions in news from the beginning; his connection to the current Vice President of Promotion & Marketing at Hearst Television is how he ended up working at WESH 2. Mark who works on promotions for CW 18 got his start in movies and worked with celebrities from Danny DeVito to Matthew McConaughey before eventually settling down at WESH. Gina spent her twenties in LA where she worked on live productions of award shows, was the personal assistant to an artist, and cast talent for a small casting agency before returning to Florida and eventually working for WESH.

It’s nice to see this sort of diversity amongst coworkers. It eases my anxieties about post-grad life and brings me comfort to know there isn’t a single way of getting somewhere in life. It feels discouraging at times to see peers with similar interests in “better” markets and bigger companies, but what I learned at WESH is that there are opportunities to grow and learn wherever you go, you just have to be willing and open to taking those opportunities. Sometimes smaller markets end up having the most opportunity. I learned through my time at WESH that market size shouldn’t matter when it comes to personal development in your craft. You’ll grow with every experience and encounter you have with other professionals. And most importantly, life’s what you make it so let’s make it rock.

While I may not know where I’ll end up after graduation, I’m excited to see the journey ahead. My time at WESH 2 has prepared me for the thrilling life of promotions and instilled in me a genuine passion to pursue it as a career. This might not be where I end up, but it’s at least where I want to start.

I cannot express enough how grateful I am for the opportunity to work with such a talented and welcoming group of individuals. Thank you WESH2 for the most unforgettable summer of my life.