For Melissa Cano (BFA/Television & Broadcast Journalism ’16), things fell into place fairly quickly for her internship. As the Investigative News Intern at KCBS / KCAL-TV, she got the position within a matter of days after she first applied to it.
She was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us about her internship, to help us learn more about how she is spending her days.
DODGE BLOG: How did you find the internship at KCBS / KCAL-TV to begin with?
I was searching local news websites in Los Angeles to see what their openings were for the spring semester. KCBS / KCAL-TV has a prestigious Investigative Unit, so I went for it. I had to upload my resume and cover letter, as well as fill out their online application and questionnaire.
I was contacted within a week for a phone interview, which led to an in-person interview with the reporter/producer of the Investigative Unit the following day, and ended with a final interview with the news director at KCBS / KCAL. I was offered the position later that evening. It all happened so fast. I consider myself extremely lucky to have received this learning opportunity.
DODGE BLOG: How did some of your courses at Dodge College prepare you for your internship?
“Intro to Television Production: Studio” with Professor Steve Hirsen provided me with a well-rounded foundation in using studio equipment. I was given the opportunity to direct, technical direct, report, produce, and operate a variety of technical tools in order to complete weekly assignments.
In “Broadcast News” with Professor Pete Weitzner, students are taught the fundamentals of reporting. Weitzner always reminded me to find the heart in each story and use the characters to bring the stories life.
Finally, “Producing the Newscast”, also known as “Chapman News”, with Professor Pete Weitzner is the best experience for hands-on learning in the Television and Broadcast Journalism program. Students put together a weekly news show that goes live every Friday at noon. In this class, I learned the ins-and-outs of what it takes to put together a show on deadline. This was by far the most beneficial class in preparing me for my internship
DODGE BLOG: Tell us what a typical day is like for you at KCBS / KCAL-TV.
It’s difficult to define a “typical” day at my internship, because each day is unique. Being a part of the Investigative Unit means you have to be ready to roll with the punches – one day we’ll be out on the field waiting in a news van for a big break, the other day we will be pursuing someone participating in illegal activities, and some days we are indoors answering calls and researching our little hearts out. There is no such thing as a typical day – it’s an unexpected, ever-changing field, and that’s what I love about it.
DODGE BLOG: Have you had any really memorable moments so far while there?
The most memorable moment of my internship so far was the very first time I got to participate in an ambush. A Parking Enforcement Officer in Los Angeles was caught wrongfully giving out tickets. One morning, we waited for her to arrive, followed her to the first car she planned to ticket, then ran out with cameras to surprise her and ask questions about the tickets she gave out over the past few days. She was shocked, but also, had an amazing attitude that helped make the story even-better than expected. It was such a rush to be a part of that moment, and be unaware of what’s going to happen next.
DODGE BLOG: Any advice for students looking to get internships in the industry?
For any students looking to get internships in the TV industry, don’t sit back and wait for opportunities to present themselves – get out and search! It’s a very competitive world and sometimes the best opportunities you receive are the ones you make for yourself. Once you have these relationships established with a first internship, it’s far easier to move around and even get a job in the future.
Thanks so much for Melissa for sharing her story with us!