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I remember listening to "Welcome to New York" by Taylor Swift while gazing out of the tiny plane window at the city skyline below feeling equal parts excited and cliché about spending a summer interning in NYC. Having just finished my junior year at UCLA and being from Southern California originally, this was the first time I would be living so far from home – and I could not have had a better experience.
As a Political Science and Communication Studies double major at UCLA, I knew nothing about journalism but was interested in learning about what it takes to create content I love to consume. Since I had previous experience in television, I landed an interview with CNBC's Program Strategy team. To be completely honest, I was not quite sure what exactly 'Program Strategy' entailed.
I soon learned that Program Strategy is a unique department that touches many aspects of what airs on CNBC with an emphasis on Prime Time programming (shows like The Profit, American Greed, and Shark Tank that come on after Mad Money ends at 6pm). Throughout my summer with the team, I gained a holistic understanding of the strategic side of television. I learned about Nielsen ratings data and why particular shows are scheduled at the times they are and how that relates to ad sales. My day to day tasks of creating competitive reports, reading the daily ratings, scheduling shows, considering content for acquisition and breaking down which online outlets different CNBC shows are available on after they air were all incredibly meaningful, and gave me the most practical education in television I could have asked for.
While learning all of that was great, the most incredible part of my summer at CNBC was the opportunity to be a part of a team that felt like a family. My supervisor, Alexandra Gennaro, went out of her way to include me in every meeting she went to and patiently answered all of my (many) questions. The Program Strategy department is a small one with a lot of responsibility and even though everyone was incredibly busy, every member of the team made an incredible effort to make my experience with them the absolute best.
I look back on my time at CNBC and am so grateful for everyone that I met and for the remarkably supportive environment – I am not sure that any other news outlet would have not only allowed but encouraged a non-news intern with zero journalism experience report on and publish two articles for their website. From day one in the office I felt welcomed, valued, and part of the CNBC family. If you are looking for an incredible learning experience in any aspect of television, I cannot recommend enough applying to intern at CNBC!