At the end of 2019, Brenda Lopez participated in a national fellowship program sponsored by the International Radio and Television Society – a prestigious program that allows students to gain various internship experiences. Lopez was given the opportunity to be a market research intern for Disney Advertising Sales Local in New York City. The fellowship was all-expenses-paid – including housing and flights. To learn more about the program, click here.
CARTA News was able to interview Lopez, and recount her experience:
Major: Digital Communication and Media
How did the International Radio and Television Society help you seek an internship and obtain real-world experience?
The International Radio and Television Society (IRTS) allowed me to connect and share experiences with likeminded individuals from across the country who were also interested in working within the media and entertainment industry. In addition to the fellowship’s weekly events (including panel discussions, company visits, and networking opportunities), I was provided with mentorship and career counseling throughout the entire summer. IRTS helped me gain real-world experience by exposing me to the ins and outs of the media industry and providing me with the opportunity to learn more about companies and positions I’d like to seek as a college graduate.
What was your position while working with Disney in New York City?
While working in New York City, I was selected as a market research intern for Disney Advertising Sales Local, since my interests in research and marketing aligned with those of the company. During my internship, I used data management platforms to analyze consumer data sources, designed research studies, interpreted qualitative and quantitative data, created presentations, and shared results with internal stakeholders.
How did you get your internship?
I received The Thomas S. Murphy Fellowship sponsored by Disney Advertising Sales Local (DASL). To be selected as an IRTS fellow, there is a tedious process that involves putting your best work out there. There are three rounds of multiple essays and interviews, which may discourage some; however, the process is very much worth the outcome! Once selected as a fellow, you are placed in a company that reflects your talents and interests and are then able to begin exploring future career opportunities.
What projects have you worked on during your internship?
During my internship, I worked on several projects which entailed gathering and analyzing brand and consumer data to examine potential sales of advertisements. In doing so, I was able to assist DASL in its goal to maximize market research capabilities through creating and pitching a client-specific marketing campaign for sales executives to tailor and use.
What was the coolest thing that happened during your internship?
My two months in NYC were like no other, as every experience I encountered was unique and individually amazed me. From sitting front row on Good Morning America to eating gelato at Facebook and asking panel questions at Twitter, each experience shaped my passion for media and motivated me to continue achieving my dreams. Having said that, high-fiving Jimmy Fallon was pretty cool!
What did you like most about your experience?
Aside from living rent-free in New York City and eating my heart out, the best part of my experience was meeting the most incredible and helpful individuals who were so willing to assist me in accomplishing my goals and achieving my dreams. This was, by far, the best part of the experience!
What did you learn about yourself while in NYC?
While in NYC, I learned to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. This phrase has resonated with me since, as it is what us fellows were advised from the minute we got to New York. The expression essentially means getting accustomed to speaking publicly and freely, putting yourself out there, and always asking questions and seeking out knowledge. Another lesson I learned is that it is okay to not know what you want to do for the rest of your life or have everything figured out as soon as you graduate college; as long as you are discovering your interests and disinterests along the way. Our generation tends to want to have the perfect life after college, and reality usually doesn’t work that way. It’s okay to take a breath and go with the flow sometimes.
How did the internship allow you to expand your professional network?
My fellowship allowed me to expand my professional network by providing me with numerous professional resources to use and with former fellows to connect with. I was able to gain insight and knowledge about a variety of jobs within the media industry by conducting informational interviews with individuals in occupations I was interested in acquiring information about. This, in turn, prompted me to prioritize particular skills and attributes that I want to highlight throughout my career.
What advice do you have for those beginning the internship process and freshmen entering the digital media major?
My advice to both freshmen and individuals beginning their internship process is to explore your options as soon as possible; don’t wait until the last minute to get things done. And apply, apply, apply! Get as much experience under your belt while you’re still in school. I promise it’ll be worth it in the long run. Explore your different passions and interests; this will eventually help you figure out what you’d like to focus on and will assist in figuring out what types of jobs you’ll want to apply for out of college. As a former procrastinator, I know it’s easy to get caught up and leave your work until the last minute. By stopping this bad habit in college, it’ll help you manage your time and organizational skills once you’re in the workforce. Apply to all types of jobs within your field and try not to get discouraged if you are rejected from an opportunity in which you were extremely interested. We’ve all been there; it’s something everyone goes through. Keep pushing, trust the process, and what is meant to be will eventually be!