OU student “aimed big” with CBS internship

Matthew Claiborne 11′, has a right to be proud—really proud.  In the summer of 2010, Matthew worked in New York City as a production intern for CBS News Productions.  It’s one of the more coveted national internships, and Matt was one of only 70 students out of a pool of hundreds to be chosen.  He worked on reality TV shows and documentaries, learning the “ins and outs” of television production.  Matthew took time out of his busy schedule that summer to tell us about his new-found responsibilities, grabbing a piece of the social scene, and living in New York on intern means.

On landing the internship:

I knew I wanted to apply to a big internship this year because I thought I was ready to handle it…I got a call about a month later from the CBS News internship coordinator. She asked me questions about future plans, how I like OU, and my involvement as an RA.  Then, out of nowhere—- she started asking me political questions, questions about CBS News, and other major news organizations.  I answered all of her questions correctly, and less than a week later while practicing with the Santiago 4 (my singing group) I got my acceptance letter.  The guys read the letter to me because I was too nervous to open it.

On work: 

I work a lot on shoots and in post production, which can be very tedious.  At times it is logging tapes and transcribing footage.  Doing this helps the editors piece together the television show.  For the last few weeks I have been working on the Next Food Network Star season 6.  My career goals lie in media.  I hope to have more clarity on that by the end of the summer. I am leaning towards media laws and regulations.  Working with production, I am learning a lot about legal issues that producers constantly grapple with.

The good & the not-so-good:

My favorite part is not having a set agenda for the day.  There are always new developments at CBS.   One thing that makes the internship a little tough is the group project.  Interns are divided into teams at random.  A new team is announced every Friday, and that team will have a week to pitch a news story, write the script, produce and edit it.  Then that team will have to present their story to a board of executive producers and vice presidents at CBS News.  It is very intimidating, but I am ready to take on the challenge.

On rooming at Columbia University:

I have two suitemates.  One is an undergrad student at Harvard, and the other is a graduate student at Cornell.  My dormitory is exclusively reserved for interns in New York for the summer.  It’s great because there are interns here from all over the world working for some of the greatest companies in the city.  We are using this opportunity to network and make connections.

On living in New York:

I could live in New York City if I had a job.  However, my internship pays us a stipend of $50 every week.  I actually have a federal scholarship, and it helps me to be able to live and work here.  Still, I am budgeting myself, and I included sight-seeing and entertainment in that budget …there is something called Intern Bar that gives great deals  every night of the week to interns in the city. I have been taking advantage of that because it gets me out of my room and into several different neighborhoods.  There are also so many festivals here.  I have enjoyed outdoor concerts at Riverside Park, Central Park, the South Street Seaport and Times Square.  I’ve also been going to outdoor movies and fashion shows and dance contests.  The best thing about it is…they’re all free!

Met any cool people?:   

So far I have been able to share an elevator ride with Trey Songz while he was visiting the studio for an appearance on 106&Park.  BET is in our building, and interns get to watch the show live for free!  I haven’t been able to do that yet, but sharing an elevator with Trey Songz was pretty exciting.  All I could say to him was “hi.”

The most important thing I hope to take back to Oglethorpe is a whole new way of thinking about media and the power it holds. I really hope more OU students take advantage of great opportunities–I aimed big when applying for summer internships, and I’m certainly glad I did!

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