Media Production with a Purpose

Hi, my name is Julia McNally, and I am a senior Advertising major with concentrations in Account Management and Media Planning here at Temple University.

Hi, my name is Julia McNally, and I am a senior Advertising major with concentrations in Account Management and Media Planning here at Temple University. I’ve always been interested in all things media, marketing, and graphic design. With all of those interests and my current field of study, I decided to take an internship in media production at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Although it is not the traditional route of working at an advertising agency before graduation, I am still able to build my professional skills and media literacy.

Being in the hospital can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. This is especially true for children who are hospitalized, as their families also bear the worry that comes with illness. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia aims to lessen some of this burden in their Patient Media and Broadcasting Program.

I’m so lucky to have been given the opportunity to be a Patient Media Intern for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I work in the Child Life Department in Seacrest Studios, which is a production studio in partnership with The Ryan Seacrest Foundation that broadcasts to every television in CHOP hospitals. We host game shows, morning news talk-shows, radio shows, and more! In my day-to-day, I host live programming, technical direct, handle camera equipment, interact with patients, and deliver prizes to patient rooms.

This entire experience has been very transformative, and I’ve grown more confident in myself and in my media skills. I feel like I’ve learned almost everything there is to learn about media production on top of what it is like to work in a hospital. On my first day, I was extremely nervous to be on screen, navigate the hospital, and run things behind the scenes. While I definitely still get lost navigating the many, many units and different buildings of CHOP, I feel more confident in myself for stepping out of my comfort zone. I’ve also been able to build upon my technical skills, learning softwares such as Enco and vMix, as well as how to handle specific production equipment.

While learning new skills is great, I think that the best thing about this internship has been being able to help out patients and their families while they go through the hardship of a sick loved-one. It has been such a joy each day to bring smiles to their faces, whether that be through delivering a prize or showing a patient how a piece of production equipment works. In one of my weekly shows, called The Countdown, where I go through a themed playlist, my favorite part is getting calls from patients who request songs for me to play. I get to feel like a real radio DJ and hear about the excitement from patients when they hear their favorite song. When I first started in this position, I didn’t expect to be so moved by positive feedback from parents and guardians, telling me how much this program means to their children.

I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish any of this without my supervisors, Michal Warchol and Andrea Dillard. Both of them have been amazing mentors with so much patience and knowledge to share. Whenever I have questions, big or small, they both always take the time to answer me and make sure I fully understand.

In all, this experience has taught me to take myself a little less seriously (as my “DJ Name” is DJ Jellybean), to appreciate all of my opportunities, and to be thankful for my education at Temple University. While I still plan on working at an advertising agency, this media production internship has not only helped me enhance my skills, but it has allowed me to use my expertise to help others.

For those searching for their first internship, my advice is to go out for a variety of different opportunities, because something you may not have had on your radar could spark your interest.


  1. Hey Julia! Super interesting read and definitely going to look into applying for CHOP in the future as it seems like a great experience!!

  2. Hey Julia, this sounds like a super fun internship!! Being able to feel emotional reward from a job is something i’m sure everyone is looking for- and you definitely seem to have gotten it with CHOP! Hospitals are a nerve wracking environment for me personally, so I don’t know how I would handle being in there with patients all the time. I think for people looking to work directly with children, this sounds like an excellent opportunity to gain experience and knowledge as well as emotional reward.

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