I was wasting away in my late afternoon class when my phone starts violently shaking on the table. Someone was calling me. I took a gander at the number but not recognizing who it was, I did what any person would, I ignored it.
After class, I was waiting in line at Starbucks in the Student Center and decided to check my voicemail. The random New York City number was Tom Dolan, a recruiter for Hearst Television. I previously expressed to Professor Ed Dress my interest in working in promotions and aspiration of landing an internship with Hearst this summer.
Come to find out, Dress did me that solid and slid my resume to Dolan.
After many phone interviews and email correspondence, I was hired as a promotions intern at WESH 2 and CW 18 in Orlando, Florida.
It couldn’t have been a more perfect match; it was close to home, it was in TV, and utilized both media production and advertising. The only issue is that it wasn’t paid, but for an opportunity like this, you deal with being broke.
My name’s Ari Santana and I’ve spent the last two months learning the ins and outs of NBC and CW affiliate WESH2/CW18.
First, a little bit about me: I’m a double major in Advertising and Media Studies and Production at Temple University (duh). I’m from Orlando, Florida and I’m a Leo, not that you needed to know that but it’s fun.
I didn’t know promotions was a thing you could do. It never dawned on me that someone has to make those fun little teasers and stuff for TV until Ed Dress told me about it before a tapping of Temple Talk. He told me Hearst was eager to hire people for promotions and that they were coming down for a workshop. I jumped on the opportunity to meet them like a cheetah chasing a wounded gazelle and trust me it was worth it.
Since starting my internship at WESH, I’ve been able to help with commercials, a music video, and a ton of promotional projects. Within the first two weeks of being here, I was able to help work with our new client Publix. Now if you aren’t from the southeast you probably don’t know what Publix is and that’s okay. Publix is the best grocery store and I LOVE it, so working with them was heaven on Earth. They’re starting a campaign to promote their cooking school, Apron, and are creating commercials that showcase their different classes. We created two 30 second spots and one full minute spot. The 30-second ones are simple Voice Overs with B-roll provided by Publix and the one-minute spot is a mini cooking demo inspired by a featured dish in one of their classes i.e. how to make a California roll in their sushi-making class.
MeTV, a Hearst affiliated channel, wanted a different spin on promotions and hired Barry Williams, child star Greg Brady from the Brady Bunch, to sing a jingle and be the face of MeTV. I was the Production Assistant for the week meaning I had to shield Barry from pesky drivers and watch over equipment that cost more than my life. This was the second time I met Suzanne Grethen, the Vice President of Promotion and Marketing for Hearst Television, and the first time I’ve ever been on national television (I was thrown in as an extra).
The biggest take away from all of this would have to be speaking up for what you want and don’t feel like you’re a bother to your employer. I wouldn’t have been able to do nearly as much as I was able to if I didn’t make it known that I really did want to learn. I was eager to be at WESH and I wanted to make the most of it, so I did. What I’ve shared here is but a fraction of the many crazy things I was fortunate enough to do during my time at WESH2/CW18 and I’ll never forget some of the amazing projects I’ve been a part of. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to meet and learn from such amazing and talented people.