Trevor Zavagno is a journalism/philosophy major at University of Iowa. He is the Affiliate Relations Intern at MediaTracks Communications.
By Trevor Zavagno
Writing from my desk at MediaTracks Communications, this is my first internship experience. I’m going into my senior year at the University of Iowa, although I will not be spending next semester in Iowa. I will actually be in Florence, Italy exploring a study abroad program at Lorenzo de’ Medici, the “Italian International Institute,” continuing my study of journalism and philosophy. For now though, I’m at MediaTracks in Des Plaines, Illinois, where my official title is Affiliate Relations Intern. For the most part I do exactly what you may think, all things involving the relationship with our affiliates. That means calling radio stations, entering their information into our database, compiling quarterly reports, writing social media and blog posts, among many other things; pretty much whatever needs to be done.
What I enjoy about MediaTracks is not so much the kind of work I do, at times it does seem rather tedious, but the people I do it with. Everybody here is a character. It’s a small team of employees and interns (during these summer months sometimes the interns out-number the employees), but everyone brings something different to the metaphorical, and sometimes physical, table (we enjoy tasty treats around here, shout out to Al’s beef jerky). In all seriousness though, this has been a great experience so far. We work hard to produce our product, which comes in the form of syndicated radio programming, audio new releases, radio media tours, etc. My responsibilities are to the affiliates, but we all have the same goal, which is to produce the best product we can. It’s simple in principle, difficult in practice. Immeasurable in terms of experience on the interns’ end, as well as a great thing to have on your résumé.
If you’re like I was before this summer and looking for your first internship experience, MediaTracks is an outstanding option. So far the most important lesson I’ve been taught is that journalism had countless angles. For example, MediaTracks is a radio company. So, someone has to write the stories, someone has to record them, someone has to talk to clients, someone has to negotiate prices, someone has to update our technology, someone has to write posts for our social media sites, someone has to create our databases and update them, someone has to design our websites, someone has to update our logs for FCC compliance, and on and on. I was blown away at first by the amount of work; things you don’t even thing about until you get here.
If you’re looking to get your foot in the door, whether its sales, public relations, print or radio journalism, you’ll get exposure at MediaTracks, and you’ll get an environment of professional yet friendly and personable employees. It truly is an extremely valuable way to spend a summer, and I would recommend it to anyone in the field. I’ve never had another internship to compare it to, but I get the sense that I got pretty lucky on this one.
Trevor, thanks for taking the time to share this with us! Students, start searching for an internship now!