How would you like to meet Jordin Sparks, visit Knott’s Scary Farm and log what goes on at the red carpet during the American Music Awards?
Ryder Christ, a junior and communications major at California Lutheran University, was able to accomplish all these things and more with his internship as a production assistant at KABC.
“He is interning at ABC7 news and I think that’s pretty awesome,” said Keanu Quick, Christ’s roommate.
Christ found out about this internship through a professor at California Lutheran University.
“Ryder was interviewed by Diane Medina, who has hired a couple different Cal Lutheran students who are now working in the news industry,” David Grannis, professor of communication said, “She has a really good eye for advanced video skills. The last student she hired was Erin Hill who is now a reporter in San Antonio.”
The opportunity interested him because the internship focused on television production, the field that Christ would like to someday be a part of.
“This internship has allowed me to test some of my abilities such as shot framing,” Christ said. “So walking into this internship I already had the basic skills from other work on campus and this internship has allowed my abilities and skills to grow.”
Beyond developing his production skills, Christ was able to meet important and famous people through networking in his own industry and interviews for KABC, as well as visit unique places in the greater Los Angeles area.
“He gets to do a bunch of different things in the station like get people coffee and help the people behind the cameras,” said Nolan Monsibay, a friend and roommate of Christ’s. “The most I know about him is that he’s always traveling around to different places in L.A.”
Christ was able to work on a story about important places along route 66 like The Donut Man restaurant and the Wigwam Motel.
“He went to some places on route 66 and got to hang out in a teepee for a while,” Monsibay said.
For Christ, the most memorable of the interviews and stories was with Jordin Sparks.
“I was expecting meeting her to come with a lot of rules, kind of like don’t look her in the eye or don’t shake her hand, hand her 94 degree water, things like that, but it was actually pretty laid back,” Christ said.
Sparks was interviewed about the AMA’s and what they mean for artists, particularly newer artists.
“I felt like she genuinely wanted to be doing the interview. It wasn’t another PR gig,” Christ said.
Christ was also able to use his own equipment to film the L.A. Auto Show. He got shots of different cars along with other network cameramen to give to his editor, one of the more hands-on experiences of his internship.
“Recently the people at ABC let Ryder go out and shoot the L.A. Car Show and used his footage on air,” Grannis said. “Ryder is in my sports broadcasting class and has been a vital component to our productions. His advanced after effects skills helped to design all of the templates for the hype videos we created as well as the background for our virtual sets.”
Prior to his internship, Christ built up his skills with on campus jobs at media services such as campus ministry sound engineer and theater department archivist.
“Those jobs helped me develop the skills needed for this internship, such as how to use a camera and frame a shot and edit footage, how to produce it,” Christ said.
Internships like Christ’s allow students to further develop their skills. Students are also able to try out their field to see if it is really what they would like to do in the future.
“It’s important to have internships because that’s a field you want to get into you have a nice glimpse at what you can do before you actually do it,” said Quick.
Students are also able to ask professionals about their field in an internship. They can gain insight on where the industry is going, what a job there would be like in 20 years, and more.
“Through this internship I’ve been able to meet countless people that some I call mentor, some I call contacts,” Christ said. “Just meeting the VP [Vice President] of general news has led me to hopefully get my next internship.”
Internships offer students unique opportunities they cannot achieve in the classroom. For Christ, these opportunities included hands-on camera work, meeting and interviewing important and interesting people and creating contacts that will be useful in the future.
Even if a student is not able to intern for someplace exciting like a television studio, they should still intern to gain skills from their chosen field.
“There’s no job that won’t give you a type of experience that you can later use,” Christ said.
Published December 10, 2014