Be persistent

Madison Fraitag

This summer, hundreds of Quinnipiac students embarked on their first, second and even third internships.

The School of Communications alone had over 100 students across the country expanding their educations and making new connections.

As a film, television and media major, I considered myself lucky to have been hired as a Video Production Intern for a digital marketing agency in Westchester, NY. I went into this experience with the goal of learning the tricks and trades of video marketing and video editing from professionals in my field. As I quickly learned, this would not be the case.

This particular marketing agency, while advertising “Video Production” as a service, did not have any employees experienced or educated in videography at all. My direct supervisor was actually an account manager using iMovie to add clip art to Photo Booth footage.

Over the next month, I was tasked with stuffing DVDs into sleeves, making lists of things I felt could be improved and clicking the “Analytics” button on YouTube. Needless to say, I felt I was not being challenged and was tempted to end my time at this company.

As a result of frustration and boredom, I finally chose to pick up a camera and start filming around the office. My boss, who had always entertained my suggestions and ideas but never helped me move towards action, asked to see the b-roll footage I had accumulated.

My expectations for his reaction were far exceeded, with him requesting more b-roll and several interviews with himself and other employees. The prospect of taking on a new project was the most exciting moment of my internship thus far, so I scheduled a shoot for the next day.

The following morning, I set up my camera, tripod, audio and lighting equipment in an empty corner of the office and began filming. After hours of “Yes I’m recording,” “Please don’t move the microphone,” and “Don’t worry I can edit that out,” I finally complied enough footage to create a short promotional for our company.

At this point in my internship experience, I was feeling motivated and glad that I had not left when I felt unchallenged. Since I had been completing this internship through the School of Communications program QUCC, I was also submitting the required written assignments regarding my initial goals and expectations. In short, I expected to learn and grow as a film editor. After my first submission, which stated the honest truth that I was not learning or growing, I was told to proceed with caution and to know my place as an intern. This, while good advice, only made me want to learn and work more.

When I finished editing the footage I had taken, I showed my boss and he loved it. Within a week or so he had me post it on YouTube and share it on social media. He then tasked me with creating and posting Facebook cover videos, a stylized intro and outro for our existing videos, and eventually reaching out to clients to offer video production as a service.

Over the next two months, I was assigned three remote productions. The first was a promotional video for a local orthodontist, the second was a home page video for an orthodontic training website and the third was for a well known restaurant in the area. These videos, while likely to reach a small audience, were my first steps into commercial productions.

By the end of my internship, I had several polished videos to display the work I completed, several new professional and social connections and an offer to continue as a freelance editor throughout the school year with an open invitation to return to the office next summer.

As I left on my last day, I couldn’t help but think about all the days I spent wanting to quit. I had spent countless hours thinking I would be better off somewhere else, but now I had truly found my place at this company. In three short months, I had established an active film department and remained in good enough standing to keep a job while I’m states away.

So why does all of this matter? How does this relate to life at Quinnipiac? Persistence. Working hard in the face of adversity. If I gave when I felt I could be doing something better, I never would have been able to seize the opportunities that I later did.

Whether it be an internship, a job or a class, be persistent and do not quit. If you persist through the difficult, boring or mundane work, rewarding things will follow. So apply yourself, get involved and don’t give up. You won’t regret it.