Feb 02 2017

“The Internship that Paved the Way.” by Mitzi A. Gonzalez Flor

Becoming an Intern 

While emailing the Coordinator of CBS Entertainment Diversity, I was incredibly nervous. She was setting me up for an interview with the Entertainment Diversity Manager, then the Executive Vice President.  

DON’T MESS THIS UP. I kept thinking to myself. This interview was my chance; this could change my life.  

If someone had told me in high school that I would intern for CBS during my senior at Cal State Fullerton, I would’ve been in pure disbelief. It’s not that I thought I wouldn’t be capable enough, but I didn’t believe in the possibility of being in a position where a recruiter or representative would even look at my resume.  

I am a first-generation Latina not attending USC or UCLA. I don’t have parents with connections or family that knows the industry. History showed that the odds were stacked against my favor and I was well aware of it. The fact that I was even considered to interview was in my book a huge accomplishment, and in my parents’ eyes a huge success. They left their country, their family, and their life, only to make mine better and it wasn’t going to be in vain. I came from humble beginnings, but I had somehow managed to talk to the right people and my opportunity was here.  

DO NOT MESS THIS UP.  

I knew I was a compatible candidate for the internship, but that didn’t calm my nerves. My previous experience allowed me to become familiar both with similar programs and the entertainment movement towards diversity, but regardless, CBS is CBS.  

Could I convince the department of a major television network to add me to their team? If nobody in my family was able to come this far why would I?   These thoughts were always in the back of my head.  

I met with the Executive Vice President, interviewed while trying to hide my nerves, then went home and hoped for the best. My mom told me she prayed; I was happy to deliver her the good news. 

The Result 

As an intern, I found it so inspirational and empowering to work under the leadership of women who are leading a major television network’s advancement toward a path that will guarantee the company’s future success. I gained insight of how a corporate company functions, how employees can work together to accomplish short and long-term tasks efficiently and how an industry can make strides in the right direction by appointing people of power that believe and consider the mission a priority. I was able to experience a work day in every single position in the department from an intern to an assistant, coordinator, manager, and executive. Everyone I worked with encouraged me to make as many connections as possible and introduced me to organizations that can help build my career in the future.

 Participating in the CBS internship program confirmed my career goals to aid the improvement of the entertainment industry by drawing attention to untapped talent and undervalued messages. I am thrilled to say that I was invited to extend my stay at CBS. I am now a temporary administrative assistant in the department.  Being granted the opportunity to continue to expand my experience in entertainment as I meet more industry professionals has motivated me more than ever before to accelerate my professional growth and become an advocate for positive change.

I will be forever grateful to the leading women in Entertainment Diversity who welcomed me with open arms and encourage me to learn as much as I can. They are bold, intelligent, honest and passionate. They are dauntless—just what this industry needs—and  what I hope to someday become.