Andrew Betsch and Nicole Little, both seniors in the School of Media Arts and Studies in the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University, are having the time of their lives traveling around the world as Web Video Production Interns with the Miss Universe Organization and blogging about it at http://scrippsintern.blogspot.com.
"This is the most unsubtle coming-of-age story you could imagine," Betsch said days after learning in November that he'd been selected for the exclusive internship program sponsored by Scripps alumna and Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart. "You're not just going to be an adult, you're going to learn how to become an adult by flying around the world with beautiful people and doing important things."
While Betsch's description of the job is boiling it down a bit, he's right. Both he and Little have signed on for a six-month stint. Their duties range from shooting footage to developing story lines to updating Web sites. Miss Universe Web Content Producer Colin Hornett is supervising the interns and said they have already become contributing members of a busy, productive staff.
"It's a busy, crazy place to be working," Hornett said. "The minute they started they were put to work to come up with ideas, produce videos and develop features. We have a billion very loyal, excited fans all over this planet that demand content all the time."
Hornett said Betsch and Little are the first full-time interns and that their skill sets in television and Web content production have enabled them to hit the ground running at the Miss Universe Organization.
"It's working out exceptionally well," he said. "They are busy and working hard. They know a lot to begin with, which is great. They've already learned the necessary skills of editing technology, how to shoot and different kinds of standards and procedures of the filming process. Here, they get to put that knowledge into practice in the field."
Hornett said trips to Venezuela, Russia and Colombia are in the works.
Scripps College of Communication Alumni and Internship Coordinator Tina Stewart said the Miss Universe Organization exclusive internship program was established by Shugart in 2008 for Scripps students. So far, five students have interned with the organization, but these are the first six-month internships offered and the first internships to carry a stipend. Stewart hopes other students learn about the opportunity by following the blog.
"The new exclusive internship blog offers all of us the opportunity to peek in on their amazing experiences," Stewart said.
While the blog has been designed to feature high-profile exclusive internships, Betsch and Little are currently the only interns contributing. Later this month, "Today Show" and other exclusive interns will begin to write for the blog as well.
Both Betsch and Little have been in New York working with the Miss Universe Organization since early January. Betsch, who will travel to the Bahamas today for his first trip with the organization, says they have been given wide reign over the creative process.
"I really like the laid-back atmosphere and creative freedom that our coworkers give our department," he said. "It's easy to be creative and make great videos when your boss trusts you."
Little said the experience has been positive thus far in that the people are nice and that she's enjoying a new city.
"Things are going great," she said. "We've been doing a lot of shooting and editing short videos with titleholders and have a lot of cool things coming up like photo shoots and traveling."
Betsch, a Cincinnati native, also has interned at College Productions in Chicago on Travel Channel, History Channel and Biography channel shows. On campus, he has been involved in Athens Video Works (AVW) and directed a 22-minute episode "Madeline" for the AVW production "Maybe By Then" last fall. Little, a Canton native, has interned in London for eTV Media Group and for Milepost Productions in North Canton. She also is involved with AVW.
More than 30 applicants are currently being considered for the Miss USA internships in New York City for spring quarter and the Miss Universe internships for summer. The spring internships have recently been lengthened to 10 weeks and will pay a stipend to help defray the costs of room, board and travel to and from NYC. The summer internships are four weeks long and carry no stipend.
In addition, two media arts and studies graduate students are working with the Miss Universe Organization to research quantitative and qualitative data on its Web site to increase the organization's presence. The organization's mission is to advance women's careers, personal and humanitarian goals and to enable its titleholders to improve the lives of others.
To follow the amazing experiences of Scripps exclusive interns, please visit http://scrippsintern.blogspot.com.