Lights, Camera, Action: My Media Tech Internship Experience

Georgia Oldham, Staff writer

This week, the Ann Richards School will be totally void of juniors. Every member of the class of 2016 will spend a whole week off-campus interning at various Austin sites relating to their pathways. Media Tech student Georgia Oldham begins the week’s coverage with a (nearly) hourly report of her first day at KLRU.  

An old PBS studio photograph. Just picture Olivia and I, interns extraordinaire, standing happily behind the set.
An old PBS studio photograph. Just picture Olivia and I, interns extraordinaire, standing faithfully behind the set.

6:00 AM: My alarm goes off. I’m an optimist and a self proclaimed early bird, so a 6:00 alarm seemed reasonable last night. Needless to say, I quickly hit the snooze button. I drift back off and dream of my soon to be glamorous life in the television industry.

6:15AM: My alarm goes off again. This time, I tug off my owl eyes sleep mask and begin to face facts. Today is my junior internship, and I can feel my stomach turn a little. Or maybe that was just me needing breakfast.

6:45 AM: I get out of bed.

7:30 AM: I’m out the door after a grown-up breakfast of Rice Crispies. My internship doesn’t start until 9:30, but in order to avoid the city bus (I can’t lie), I agreed to go with my Mom to my little sister’s parent teacher conferences in order to secure a ride. 12 hours later and I’m not sure if this was the best decision.

9:00 AM: My Mom drops me off in the middle of the UT campus with a quick pat on the back and something like, “Go get em’ kid.” I’m 30 minutes early and have no real idea where my internship is. Great. Keep it up Georgia.

9:05 AM: Fate steps in– and I happen to stumble into my “co-worker” Olivia. Together we begin to wander around looking for KLRU, the central Texas chapter of PBS (think Antiques Roadshow and Arthur), our place of “work” for the week.

9:20 AM: We find it! Bam! I have every reason to thank Olivia for her supreme directional instincts. Turns out we were right next to the KLRU door the whole time.

9:30 AM: We get a tour of the KLRU offices. It isn’t the midcentury modern palace I was imagining, but its still crazy! We’re toted everywhere from the children’s programming department (think giant stuffed Cliffords and big Dinosaur Train posters) to where they edit and even film Olivia and I’s fav PBS programs. Yes, we have our favorites.

9:45 AM: Oscar Wilde once said you can never be overdressed or overeducated. Well, standing in my black and white, slightly 60’s inspired ensemble I definitely feel overdressed… but as a lady refers to a billion sound controls in fancy industry lingo, I do not feel overeducated. Olivia and I glance at each other, looks like we’ve got a lot of learning to do.

10:00 AM: We start working! Wow- what a feeling. I click my keyboard hard, channeling the savvy typist within me. Maybe I’ll impress the boss? We’re watching and posting videos from Cedar Ridge high school for KLRU’s American Graduate series. I’m learning how thrilling stuff like this is in the life of an intern.

12:15 PM: Lunch time. After some dramatic technical difficulties with a stone age computer, we take a break for lunch. Like any good intern, we head outside to eat our quaint packed lunches in the muggy weather.

12:45 PM: We receive the Best Interns EVER Award for coming back from lunch early to work on our videos. We’re taken to a last review of the new KLRU show, BBQ With Franklin, before it’s sent to the national PBS office. Mmmmm. That steak looks good.

2:30 PM: We’re starstruck. We meet the woman behind Central Texas Gardener, a KLRU producing legend.

3:00 PM: We realize the day is almost over and like any first day intern, google chat with my fellow juniors across town ensues. Soon after paranoia hits… what if they’re monitoring my computer? So this is what off-task interning is. I’m definitely not impressing any bosses now.

3:45 PM: Olivia and I clock out 15 minutes late. We’re champions. We came. We saw. We did. We conquered. We may just be two more cogs in the system, but we’ll be back again tomorrow.