By: Nick Santangelo
Casey Genett, CLA '20, was feeling stressed. The Spanish major wanted an internship for her senior year, but she couldn't decide what sort of organization she wanted to intern for and what she wanted to accomplish during her internship. But it wasn't because she didn't know what she wanted to do. It was because she knew she wanted to do several seemingly disparate things: work in a nonprofit, work with kids and get media experience.
Many people in her circle said she'd never find an internship like that, so she should stop stressing and find an opportunity that checked just one or two of those boxes. Instead, she found the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's (CHOP) Child Life Media Program and interned at its Seacrest Studios.
"Even though I'm very grateful to have achieved a longtime personal goal of learning to speak another language through the College of Liberal Arts' (CLA) Spanish department, I always knew deep down I wanted to work either in entertainment or with children," says Genett. "However, during my few months at CHOP, I got the best of both worlds by hosting, producing and directing talk and radio shows and getting to do it all with the help of our superstar patients!
"The experience I had working creatively alongside Child Life exceeded my expectations, and I feel confidently prepared to build upon the skills I gained in the studio to take on a career in media or broadcasting in the near future."
As an intern, Genett's shows were broadcast to patient TVs throughout CHOP's extensive network, fulfilling her childhood dream of appearing on television. But it wasn't just about getting her face on camera. Genett also says she gained valuable hands-on experience with the technology required to host and produce shows. Plus, the experience was extra special for her because she worked with children, providing a distraction for them during hospital stays.
Because of her CLA education, Genett came to the internship with a somewhat different background than what you might expect a media intern to have. But while she once considered switching from CLA to Klein College of Media and Communication, she's glad she didn't. Genett says the flexibility and perspective she gained at CLA gave her an invaluable perspective.
And speaking of flexibility, the CLA alumna is grateful that CHOP was accommodating in helping her complete the internship's required hours through the COVID-19 pandemic. Now Genett is hoping to secure a position in New York City with an NBC or ABC talk show. While the pandemic has unfortunately made the job market murkier than anyone would like, Genett is hopeful for her future because of her experience with CHOP.
"My advice to anybody who's considering trying something like this is know that following through with applying to CHOP made me feel like I wasn't qualified enough to do it. But I just kept reminding myself, 'The worst thing they're going to say is no, but if they say yes, you know that you accomplished something.'"
Gennett accomplished quite a lot in her internship, so it turns out there was no reason for her to stress about it at all.