A friend of mine who owns a television production company that produces programming for CBS, the Big 10 Network and more had a spot-on comment after reading a few posts in this series.
“When you get an internship it’s a means to an end, not an end in itself,” he told me in a Facebook message.
That is so true. Ashlea Bullington is living proof of that. She is currently studying broadcasting at TCU, while juggling part-time work and multiple internships. She parlayed her internship at CBS11/TXA21 to an internship with Fox Sports Southwest. She will have an outstanding resume and demo reel upon graduation. She’s ahead of the game.
In the series “How to Win Your Internship and Parlay It into a Successful Career” we have featured the following:
- • The story of my internship with the Houston Rockets
- • Part II focused on nine things you should do to ensure a successful internship.
- • Part III outlined eight specific things you shouldn’t do during your internship.
- • Monday, Chris Bullock, the sports producer who reviews and approves sports department interns for CBS11/TXA21 shared his advice for getting the most out of your internship.
• Tuesday, I introduced to you Victor Nguyen, a sports producer for KDFW-TV in Dallas.
- • Wednesday we featured Casey Phillips and outlined how she landed an amazing job as the digital correspondent for the Washington Wizards, Mystics and Capitals.
Wait until you see Ashlea’s impressive resume. If you’re a student, this is a must-read and a model for the type of experience you should be gaining while in school.
What is your career goal?
I want to be a Sports Reporter/Sideline Reporter/Anchor
What do you do now?
• Interning at Fox Sports Southwest
• Student at TCU 18 hours
• Production Assistant for TCU sporting events broadcasted by the TCU Sports Broadcasting Department
• Teleprompter For TCU News Now
What did you do for your internships?
• Assisted with remote location shows: set up, take down, runner for food
• Logged games, practices, interviews, and press conferences
• Learned to edited on Avid
• Gathered Data for talent (Babe)
• Worked on camera appearance and presence
• Attended games and helped with pre and post-game interviews
Fox Sports Southwest
• Logging Games
• Practicing editing skill on Avid
• Assisting with pre and post-game shows and team insiders
• Shooting video for team insider segments
TCU Sports Broadcasting
• Stage Manager
• Worked with Fox Box, EVS, Camera Operations, GFX, and TD for live sporting events
TCU Media department
• Edited videos on Final Cut Pro
• Filmed games, practices, interviews, press conferences
• Stats for games.
• Kept up the GoFrogs.com website
• Put together and cleanup table and chairs for events
• Work the door at TCU social events
What do you hope to achieve during your internships?
I want to gain knowledge and understanding of the entire broadcasting industry that will benefit me moving forward in my professional career. Make connections with the people I am working with. Take lessons from their lived experiences. Skills with editing on avid and final cut pro. Learn how to tell a story that people will want to watch. Learn what goes into the makings of live TV. (Notice she’s focused on learning EVERYTHING – not just the glamorous stuff)
Do you feel you you are doing that?
Yes, I think I have gotten more than I could have ever imagined from my internships. I have been very blessed with great experiences.
Did your internship lead to another opportunity?
My internships have led to a good base for other opportunities. I am going to be hosting for the Cats this summer. I don’t believe I would have been able to get this opportunity if I had not been interning and constantly working to attempt to get more involved in the sports world.
What did you like best about your internship?
The connections I have made with the people I have worked with. I have learned so much from each person and I am so blessed that I got the opportunity to make those connections.
What did you like least about it?
Having to be in the studio for long periods of time without much to do. I love working and being on the go but sometimes things get done early because it is a “Hurry Up and Wait Business” so there were periods of time where I felt like I did not have anything to do. I just like to be busy or working on something.
What was your approach to it?
To learn as much as I could and be there as much as I could. Do whatever is asked of me. Ask a lot of questions. Have fun because these are experiences I will take with me throughout my entire life. Work hard to earn the trust of my superiors and gain more responsibilities. (What did I stress in Part I?)
Is there anything about your internship you would have done differently?
I would of taken more chances to be on camera: doing stuff on the desk, more stand ups to create more stories. Also, I would have made more packages and different kinds of them. Asked to do more editing with the talent to see how they put together their stories
Any mistakes you made during your internship?
I wore a dress to a Press Conference one time and it was not seen as appropriate for what I was doing. I ended up with a picture in a blog that was not saying very nice things about my appearance. This made me realize I have to be more cautious because I am constantly making impressions on people and want them to be positive one. Also, that women in this business have stricter standards so when it comes to dress attire more conservative is better. (Remember what I said in Part II about owning up to your mistakes and learning from them? Ashlea has done just that.)
Seize an opportunity when it is presented to you. This is your own experience and the company won’t create it for you. You will get out of the internship what you put into it; the more excited you are about it the better.
Connections are important. Take the time to get to know the people you are surrounding yourself with and ask questions. They are in the business and want to help you learn.
Be there as much as you can. If there is something you want to do ask. The worst thing someone will say to you is no.
Nothing is beneath you to do! You can learn from everyone there, paying your dues early and learning everything will help you when looking for a job.
Be a part of everything, even if that means moving equipment up and down a hill in the rain in a dress and sandals. You will gain respect from the people you are working with by being involved.
Last, maintain the connections that you have made and be grateful and thankful for them. The connections last much longer than the experience is relevant.
Ashlea is on her way. She is a proactive thinker who is taking advantage of multiple opportunities to learn while still in school. Sure, her plate is full. But the experiences she is having and lessons she is learning are worth missing a night out having cocktails with her friends.
There are sacrifices you will make if you want to succeed in the TV news business (or any business for that matter). Are they worth it? Generally, yes. I can certainly tell you that if you are not willing to make a sacrifice for the sake of learning, there is another young intern (AKA your competitor) willing to step in, make that sacrifice and take your place.
Another smart thing Ashlea did? She sent everyone in the CBS11/TXA21 sports department and members of the production department “thank you” notes. These go a long way. Handwritten notes in the business world are a dying breed. They are important and shouldn’t be forgotten. For every job interview/internship/phone call/ moment a person takes to share advice with you/whatever send a thank you note.
Trust me on this.