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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Three Communication Department Alumnae Land Jobs at Channel 7

Tanya Gonzalez, Nai Pak, and Erin Manzanares

Three alumnae from the Communication Department are working in full time, permanent positions at KMGH–Channel 7. Recently, they offered their insights and advice about the role of internships in communication careers.

Tanya Gonzalez ('03) is the Promotions Producer for KMGH. In this capacity, she creates on air promotions that highlight both the talent and the station. She is also responsible for creating promos for Channel 7's community events. Tanya interned at KMGH during the final semester of her senior year, and was asked to return as a paid freelance employee about three months after graduating from UC Denver. Six months later, she was hired as a full time employee.

Nai Pak ('04) is a Marketing Coordinator, and has a very diverse position. Her duties include writing press releases, helping coordinate station and community events, maintaining on-air inventory, and updating the community calendar for the station's Web site. Nai interned at Channel 7 about a year prior to her graduation from UC Denver, and was hired immediately after the completion of her degree.

Erin Manzanares ('05) serves as the Local Sales Assistant for KMGH, and secured her position there even before graduation. During her internship in the sales department, she was offered a permanent post, and began her full time career the Monday after her Saturday graduation. Her position involves assisting the local account executives, organizing rate structures and generally helping the sales department meet its goals.

The Value of Internships

Writer/producer Tanya Gonzalez All three alumnae strongly advocate completing internships as a strategy for increasing one's marketability upon graduation. Nai Pak attributes her position "100% to doing an internship, and making contacts while an intern." In fact, Nai states that "the most important part of my college experience was my internship experience." Tanya Gonzalez echoes that sentiment: "I wouldn't have my job if I didn’t do my internship…. In a business like this, you definitely need to know people…. I graduated, and my supervisor called me to fill in temporarily, and I didn't even have to update my resume. I just had to show that I was still familiar with the editing system." Erin Manzanares also states unequivocally that she wouldn't have been hired without her internship: "I had no prior sales experience, and probably wouldn't even have known about the position without my internship experience."

Internships can also be very clarifying in terms of what not to do upon graduation. Erin Manzanares started out as a reporting intern, but the experience helped her realize "what a great career journalism can be, but that it wasn't right for me." She found that she enjoys being a part of the broadcast industry, just in a different capacity. Tanya Gonzalez agrees. She now supervises interns, and sees a lot of broadcast journalism students come through wanting to be reporters, only to see many decide against it. She recommends that students "try to get as many internships as possible. If you aren't sure what field you want to be in, try both, and get a taste of what it's going to be like."

Turning Your Internship into a Paid Position

It's important not only to do an internship, but to maximize the experience. All three alumnae emphasize the importance of networking as much as possible. Erin Manzanares believes that "networking played a huge role during my internship…. Because I had good relationships with people in the newsroom, they passed me along to the folks in sales." Nai Pak suggests that "when you are about to graduate, make sure everyone knows you're looking for a job." Even though she was no longer interning with Channel 7 as she approached graduation, putting the word out with former colleagues at KMGH yielded great results.

In addition to networking, Tanya Gonzalez suggests the following tips for internship success:

  • Be enthusiastic.
  • Absorb as much as you can.
  • Do things you are afraid to do.