DePaul Diaries: Life as a Media & Photography Intern

By: Renee Radzom, DePaul University graduate, former University Internship Program (UIP) assistant

DePaul Diaries is a day-in-the-life blog series written by DePaul students. The series unveils DePaulians’ experiences as interns in their field of choice. Students share their honest thoughts about their experiences, what they learned as an intern and advice for students who are interested in the same field.


Gianna Vitallo, a senior interested in the television industry, challenged herself by taking on three different internships throughout the school year. Gianna had a TV internship with Violet Media where she gained transferable skills. She was then able to use these new skills at her other two internships, which were at CBS’s B96 Morning Radio Show and Gerber + Scarpelli Photography.

“I learned how to make a production go smoothly and also how to appeal to an audience,” Gianna said. “For example, at B96, I always had to end each social media post with a question. They wanted their fans to be able to respond to a post with their own personal experiences.”

All three internships challenged Gianna with hands-on responsibilities. At B96 and Gerber + Scarpelli, she regularly updated the companies’ social media accounts. At B96, she also operated the “Vox Pro” to monitor sound levels and made edits to the show. At Gerber + Scarpelli, Gianna was given the opportunity to assist with wedding shoots.

Additionally, at Violet Media, Gianna participated in mock pitch sessions and presented ideas for television shows, which is a standard practice in the industry. Afterwards, she received feedback on her creativity and presentation skills from an executive producer.

“My favorite part is getting into a rhythm of what I need to do. The start of each internship was hard, but once I knew what I was supposed to do and how I was supposed to do it, I was much more excited,” Gianna explained.

Gianna didn’t just work at her internships – she received credit for all of them. “The first class I took was the UIP: 250 course called You, Your Work, and the World. I would definitely recommend this course. The professor was amazing and I made a great portfolio in that class,” Gianna said. “As a digital cinema major, I am almost always asked for a reel when applying for jobs or internships. This website [portfolio] had them all in one place and it looked very professional.”

After taking the UIP class, Gianna took independent study courses to earn elective credit for the other two internships.

All three of Gianna’s internships were unpaid, but her last internship at Gerber + Scarpelli catapulted into an opportunity to work on a contract basis taking pictures for weddings over the summer. As a result of this year, Gianna has become an internship pro. She’s gained more knowledge on how to search for and apply to jobs, how to impress colleagues through her work ethic, punctuality and creativity, and how to make the most of her experiences. She even learned how to better manage her time by balancing her internship with school, friends, and her job as a desk receptionist at DePaul Housing Services.

When it comes to advice for handling all these responsibilities, Gianna said, “Don’t be afraid to mess up. Learning from your failures is extremely important.”


Want to learn more about DePaul’s University Internship Program? Check it out, here, or send inquiries to UIP@depaul.edu. Need help finding an internship? Visit depaul.joinhandshake.com, or come into DePaul’s Career Center to meet with an advisor.

DePaul Diaries: Life as a TV Station Intern

By: Sean Nasi, DePaul University digital cinema major ’15

DePaul Diaries is a day-in-the-life blog series written by DePaul students. The series unveils DePaulians’ experiences as interns in their field of choice. Students share their honest thoughts about their experiences, what they learned as an intern and advice for students who are interested in the same field.


After months of searching, Sofia Figueroa, DePaul digital cinema major, found herself an intern at, not one, but two different television stations, WAPA America and Corporación de Puerto Rico para la Difusión Publica. Sofia found both opportunities through the online market and was able to work near her home town in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. She has learned valuable time management skills while balancing the two positions, which have helped confirm the focus of her studies at DePaul.

“This experience has helped me reinforce my career choice in working in communications and television,” Sofia said. “As a digital cinema student, this is a perfect opportunity to polish my skills and, at the same time, learn new aspects about the industry.”

WAPA is an independent channel that focuses on entertainment, while the Corporación de Puerto Rico is a nonprofit PBS affiliate that focuses on education and culture.

“Corporación de Puerto Rico is a bit more serious, but there is definitely a sense of camaraderie to work for the greater good of the company and its audience,” Sofia said. “At WAPA they are constantly brainstorming ideas to reach a wider audience. There is always work to be done, but there are also always those moments that we just laugh and have fun.”

Sofia’s experience at Corporación de Puerto Rico and WAPA has taught her versatility by opening the way to new experiences. She has even gotten the chance to apply her classroom knowledge to real-world environments with tangible results.

“Not only am I getting hands-on experience, but also all of my work is necessary to the company. It is a gratifying feeling when you know that you are an essential part of the team and that your hard work is out there in the world,” Sofia said.

“It is never too early to get work experience and in the long run it will only do you good,” Sofia advised. She is a living example of how hard work and persistence can pay off in the end.

Sofia reiterated, “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because everyone has to start somewhere. After you get work experience it will get easier.”


Want to learn about DePaul’s University Internship Program? Check it out, here, or send inquiries to UIP@depaul.edu. Need help finding an internship? Visit depaul.joinhandshake.com, or come into DePaul’s Career Center to meet with an advisor.