A moment from my interview with Dr. Josefina Tinajero (right) on October 12, 2012, at Education Building, UTEP. (Herman Delgado/Social Justice Initiative)

Building Bridges: Internship at Media Changemakers shows me a way to connect the academy and the community

Just change: media, stories, and actions

By Moushumi Biswas

EL PASO – As a journalist-turned-academic, I was at a vantage point last fall when I decided to intern with the Media Changemakers (MCM) as its Media and Communication Specialist. On the one hand I was an outsider, a media professional who had years of experience in communicating with the community as a reporter and photojournalist; on the other, I was looking at the community from the point of view of the academy. Thus, I was able to straddle both sides as I worked with the MCM, an interventional platform of the Social Justice Initiative (SJI) of the University of Texas at El Paso’s Department of Communication. Dr. Lucia Durá was my mentor and Dr. Arvind Singhal and Bobby Gutierrez, my co-mentors. This internship was part of my Community Literacy Internship service-learning class, which I took in the fall as part of my doctoral coursework in Rhetoric and Composition.

Attire ready for graduation day. (Elliot Torres/Borderzine.com)

A long-winded retrospective on a long-winded college experience

EL PASO – I can’t help thinking about Doogie Howser, M.D. For those of you who never saw it, Doogie Howser was a show starring Neil Patrick Harris (before he became NPH of Harold & Kumar fame) about a teenage genius that became a talented surgeon. Every episode ended with him typing on a computer about what life lessons he’d learned during that week’s episode. So, here I sit, looking at a blinking cursor trying to find a way to wrap up my college career as a whole. I began way back in 2001 at El Paso Community College where I finished my basic courses and moved on to the University of Texas at El Paso in 2009. Like many other students, I have worked my way through college, there were years I did not attend school and I switched majors, twice.

Floor managers have to pay attention to everything around them. (Janice Rodriguez/Borderzine.com)

A new intern climbs up the ladder at Univision 26

EL PASO – As I was walking toward my first day in the Univision 26 newsroom, the news director, and my new boss, Zoltan Csany asked me how I felt. Without hesitation I answered, “very excited!”

As soon as I entered the building I knew I was in the right place. Ever since I knew I could do an internship wherever I wanted, in my mind there was only one place – Univision 26. With graduation only three semesters away, I began to think that my best option was to gain some experience doing an internship. After a couple of visits to the internship advisors the day came when she asked me, (and I remember perfectly) “If you could have your way, what would you do?”

Although I was presented with many options, I did not even have to think about it and immediately answered Channel 26. On December of 2011 I started my dream internship at Univision 26.

Relevance leads to an internship epiphany in the neon desert

EL PASO — The music festival was a living, breathing organism of 11,000 blurry faces, bright lights and loud sounds. Walking through the darkness and seeing the excitement of people dancing frantically to their favorite artists made me understand that we all shared the same mutual amazement for the present. And I had helped to make it happen. Two months earlier, I had received one of these so called “suggested student opportunities” messages via email. I needed an internship I could care about and Splendid Sun Productions wanted interns to help put on a music and arts festival entitled Neon Desert Music Festival on April 30th, 2011.

Don’t let internship opportunities pass you by

EL PASO – As I start my senior year this summer studying multimedia journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), I realized I had to take a bigger step toward acquiring that experience we are constantly told we need. That is, building my resume even more by obtaining an internship. By the end of Fall 2010 semester, I had already sent all of my applications to several newsrooms across the country and to my surprise, I got a phone call from Washington D.C. It turned out I was one of the finalists to be selected as an intern for The Hispanic Link. I interviewed with Charlie Ericksen and he told me to wait for a phone call as they would notify me in several weeks that if I would be the chosen intern. I never got that call.

Calm career uncertainties by taking that intern leap

EL PASO, Texas — This past summer, I forced myself to be more involved with extracurricular activities that would build my resume. Naturally, the best and most productive thing I could do during the summer, aside from working, was to get an internship. Personally, the hardest part about finding an internship was finding out who I was. I didn’t want to commit myself wholeheartedly to an organization if my interests changed in my habitually fickle manner – from general communication studies, to creative writing, to digital media production, to multimedia journalism, to wanting to write for a music magazine. It’s hard to be motivated to do something if you’re not even sure if that is what you love most.

The good, the bad and the ugly of a D.C. internship

Five in the morning is too early to fly, especially if you’ve spent most of the night before waking up and thinking about the possibilities of living in Washington, D.C.

But there I was, heaving my carry-on’s down the crowded aisle of the plane. I found my seat too soon, for I had already noticed the two middle aged men wearing vacant expressions and seating on each side of it. I dawdled on, looking around hoping that was not my seat, but of course it was. I fought one of my bags into the compartment above, and was not surprised to see that none of my seat companions offered a hand, but I excused their lack of amiability and slithered into my seat. As I sat down I had to fight my gag reflexes, for the worst, smelliest, grossest smell of beer, sweat and after-shave invaded my nostrils.

My intern advice: if you don’t ask questions, you never learn

EL PASO, Texas — As a senior majoring in multimedia journalism at UTEP I knew I had to obtain some work experience in my field to get my foot in the door after I graduate. This semester I was able to land an internship with KVIA ABC 7 to learn how to become a producer. Being a news junkie I thought I had this in the bag. This was not the case. Although I eventually got the hang of it, I first had to learn how to overcome obstacles.