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DU Media Creates Promising Internship Opportunities

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Media, Film & Journalism Studies

News  •

By: Juliana Ortiz

            Sophomore Kailey Aponte was seeking educational and professional opportunities to grow her confidence as a multimedia creator and documentarian. By accepting a DU Media internship during the fall of 2024, Kailey not only developed her skills but secured a nomination for the regional student Emmy award in the Heartland region in the News Report - Light News category. Established in 2020, DU Media is an award-winning multimedia outlet and initiative in the Media, Film, and Journalism Studies (MFJS) department at the University of Denver, where student-led media projects are shared and showcased across social media. Like previous student interns, Kailey created a portfolio of work that can be used for interviews, applications for higher education, and other professional opportunities.

A beekeeper in a protective white uniform lifts the slats of a bee box.

Through this process, Kailey worked closely with Kareem El Damanhoury, Assistant Professor in MFJS and the founder and director of DU Media, to create a miniseries titled DU’s Voices for Change about advocacy groups on campus. The two documentaries showcased The DU Pollination Association and The DU Thrift Store. For her, one of the highlights of this experience was being able to learn about environmental recovery and sustainability efforts on campus. Kailey shares that another highlight was learning how to create, structure, and edit these mini-documentaries. Doing the editing process on her own allowed her to refine these skills in a way that she wouldn’t have been able to in a classroom. Overall, Kailey said her experience was challenging but also “really fun and really educational.” She was also able to strengthen her time management and project management skills. “I had to communicate with the people I was making the documentaries about and attend events, collect interview footage, and then put it all

A young Black woman with curly hair poised to speak stands next to a rack of thrifted clothing

together in a way that kind of told a story about the people who created those organizations.” Her time spent with Kareem allowed her to learn other ways to engage with the audience, produce scenes differently, and piece clips together to create one fluid story. Kailey said that thanks to this internship, she gained confidence in her abilities, greater levels of comfort conducting on-camera interviews, and the important aspects involved in creating a story through a documentary. “For the future, I want to continue to pursue documentary filmmaking, so [this internship] was a good introductory experience for me.”

Kailey is not the only student to grow through the DU Media Internship program. She is one of nine undergraduate and graduate students who benefitted from this opportunity. Among them is John Nassif a senior in MFJS. He completed his DU Media internship

A screenshot of a horizontal split screen between a DU Student speaking into a microphone above footage of a DU Pios hockey match.

during the fall of 2023. John worked closely with Dr. El Damanhoury, creating a portfolio that included sports media content. One of the videos he created, and the piece he is most proud of, was the top three reasons to go to the DU hockey games. This video received over one thousand views. The Pioneers just won their 10th NCAA National Championship bringing even greater attention to John’s content about DU hockey! When asked about his time during his internship, John said, “It was a really good experience. I liked the mentorship and one-on-one time where Kareem really mentored me through the process.” He talked about how he was able to develop and refine his speaking and interviewing skills while also strengthening his on-camera etiquette and storytelling abilities. “From what I’ve learned from Kareem, it made me into a better person, producer, and storyteller.” Overall, John feels that his time with DU Media has benefited him in more ways than one, going on to say that he believes a strong portfolio is what helped him find acceptance into several graduate programs, including Georgetown University and Northwestern University.

The DU Media Internship program was created through a generous gift from Woody Scal and Claudia Lewis. This transformative opportunity is open to any MFJS students who want to produce and showcase multimedia content online. Student-led projects are featured on DU Media’s website and social media platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Projects can also be submitted to local, regional, and national student media competitions. To date, many other MFJS students have won the Telly Awards, Society of Professional Journalist Awards, Colorado Broadcasters Association Awards, regional student Emmy awards, and Broadcast Education Association Awards.