Over winter break, Millie Gonzalez ’11 (New York, N.Y.) got a hands-on look at what it takes to produce a day-time talk show. Gonzalez, a psychology and English double major, took part in an externship hosted by Kara Boodakian ’07, the features manager for The Nate Berkus Show.
Berkus is an award-winning design expert and New York Times best-selling author, who was a regular contributor to The Oprah Winfrey Show from 2002-2010, prior to starting his own show last fall. Gonzalez observed Boodakain in the show’s studio and control room, seeing how a field shoot works – from speaking with guests and having them sign releases to setting up equipment, communicating with crews, and actually doing the shoot itself – and learning what makes Boodakian’s department run smoothly.
“This experience allowed me to get the inside scoop on what it takes to manage a group of creative individuals and what a typical day can be like for someone in the world of television,” explains Gonzalez. “This externship allowed me to view the world of television from an inside perspective, an opportunity which a lot of students don’t get.”
Gonzalez also learned what goes into taping a show and making it entertaining to an audience. “It was very eye opening. At one point I helped with the timing of a segment for the show and was able to see the show being recorded in front of me,” says Gonzalez.
Boodakian thinks that these shadowing experiences can be very valuable for college students. “It’s important to get off of College Hill every now and then and see where a Lafayette education and work ethic can bring you. It’s also a really great way to get a taste for certain job atmospheres and make a connection with an alum,” she explains.
Gonzalez thinks this experience has been particularly interesting because of her majors. “I am interested in psychology and English because they are very beneficial to communication,” she says. “My externship has further solidified the concept of keeping my options open for employment after graduation. I may have never looked into television if it weren’t for this.”
Boodakian says, “Externships are a great way to stay connected with the College that gave me such wonderful experiences. I still keep in touch with mentors of mine from Lafayette, so the best way I know to pay it forward is to be a mentor to the next student.”