By: Stephen Ochoa
When I came to the University of Delaware for my first semester as a freshmen I was pretty assured in what I wanted to do with my time as a college student. I imagined myself taking classes, fetching coffee as an intern somewhere, and hopefully landing a job at ESPN after graduation. Looking back at it now, I’m SO glad those irrational days of mine are gone; but the only thing that made me realize my true passions and potential has been my constant commitment as a multimedia Intern.
I acquired my first multimedia Internship at the University of Delaware Athletic Department, during my freshmen year as a Blue Hen. During the interview I gained one of my greatest life lessons that I remind myself of daily. Jimmy Smith (former Assitant Athletic Director for Multimedia), and Nina Raspa (Multimedia Coordinator) had instilled in me from the moment they met me that the only way to become successful in this industry is to never stop proving yourself and never be afraid to share your ideas. Those two things will ensure that you won’t be the intern fetching coffee.
My time as an intern has truly been eye opening, because, believe it or not, middle school TV production classes, and filming home movies doesn’t teach you all that much. The first couple months as an intern are vital in creating a good foundation to set up your future. Whether it was learning the basics of operating a camera, video editing, learning how to set up a multi-camera broadcast, or even learning the dos and don’ts of social media; all knowledge gained early on is essential. Never be afraid to ask questions, and never be afraid of getting creative early on.
If you don’t limit yourself to “intern duties”, this is where you will really start to cultivate yourself as a young professional. This is my biggest piece of advice. If you have ideas, let them be known. I wouldn’t have half of my portfolio if it weren’t for my constant demand to learn more and not being afraid to get creative and share my thoughts.
Whether you want to be in front of the camera, behind it, or in my case, both, make sure that you seek out opportunities within your internship to give you the tools to become prepared for when an employer comes your way.
Another big piece of advice is to stay current on things happening around the business. Easy ways to do this is to get involved on Twitter and Instagram. Create a professional Twitter account and share your work and thoughts with the world. Don’t be afraid to follow professionals from around the world, and don’t hesitate to join in on Twitter chats. Twitter chats are a big way to stand out and share your opinions and even promote some of your own work.
With all of that being said, working hard in an internship will teach you more than any class you will ever take. At times it might not seem worth it (like being a camera operator in freezing pouring rain), but if you treat every day like its your first time on the job, it will pay off.
With only two more semesters at UD left, it is easy for me to say that I am forever grateful for all of the opportunities that I have had with the Athletic Department. Delaware has provided me with unparalleled hands-on experience that would not be possible without the amazing professionals there and my amazing team members.