This summer I was a dual production intern at CNBC in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, splitting my time there between the Assignment Desk and one of the afternoon shows called Power Lunch. This was my first time ever covering business news, so the dual production internship was a great route to take. On the Assignment Desk I was able to pitch and write articles for the web, write scripts for our segments on NBC and MSNBC and attend planning meetings. Working on the desk really helped me see the interworking of the organization. I was added to what felt like a million different email groups, so I was able to receive everything from planning emails to stock ticker alerts and everything in between. Being privy to all that information and simply listening to what was happening around me, I was able to get a good sense of what’s ‘news’ in the business world and learn more about the CNBC brand.
The desk also provided me with a lot of ‘fieldtrips,’ though I was a desk intern I was never really tied to the desk. Half of my time dedicated to the desk, I spent doing production at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), where we shoot a good chunk of our daily shows from.
Working at NYSE was amazing, not just because the building is simply beautiful, but you get to be right there in the center of the action. You get to see the crowds of people who come to see the bell ring and see the frenzy when stocks take an unexpected dip. It did however, expose to me a bit of the lack of diversity and exposure in business. The people who would come to ring the bell or take general tours rarely ever looked like me, so that served as a reminder that often times people of color don’t know about certain opportunities. This summer wasn’t my first time in New York and I never knew that there was an option to take tours of the NYSE. But, besides that it was great. I really enjoyed watching the NYSE crew work and seeing how in sync they were with the teams of producers back in Jersey.
The days I was assigned to the desk, but not at the NYSE were also always fun and eventful. I was either at the desk watching breaking news unfold or being sent out on a story. All the stories I covered were incredibly different and unique. My favorite was when I was assigned to do man on the street (MOS) interviews in the middle of Times Square about Amazon’s Prime Day. The goal was to get reaction sound about the website’s crash from locals, since people on vacation typically don’t spend their vacation shopping online. It was difficult to say the least, partially because it’s always difficult to get people to stop for a MOS but because I was in fast paced New York, where no one was interested in stopping. But also, because the current national sentiment towards the media didn’t make it any easier. My wonderful photog that day got a good kick out of seeing my laid back Southern self try to spark up conversation with people on the street who were nearly running to get away from me. But eventually I got my groove and great sound and all the packages turned out great.
When I wasn’t on the desk or in the city at the NYSE, I was the Production Intern on the phenomenal two-hour show, Power Lunch. Working for Power Lunch was great! I was able to work with a team of brilliant and passionate people who really knew what they were talking about. I enjoyed being able to watch a show come together from our morning planning meetings to when we went on air. I also had the opportunity to see how my work on the desk translated to the rest of the newsroom. On the desk, in the afternoon we would go over the list of available stories for the next day as well as have reporters and show producers pitch stories. Power Lunch allowed me to see how each show selected their segments from the available story list, and see other ideas go from pitches to aired packages. I enjoyed Power Lunch because I felt like the team was constantly pushing me to be a better journalist, always presenting me with new opportunities to gain and hone my new skills. I feel like they really made an effort to make me a part of the team, I never felt afraid to speak up. The team always listened to my ideas and story pitches, no matter how far-fetched, and that I appreciated.
My favorite part of working on Power Lunch was that my team encouraged me to be hands on. I got the opportunity to produce a segment, our senior producer supervised me, but really gave me the reins and allowed me to tackle it. I was able to do everything from selecting and ingesting the song used for the tease to booking the guest’s car. It was really fun to be able to put together all the elements like that. What wasn’t so great, was the segment got killed twice for breaking news. BUT, it finally did air, I was just away at NABJ when it did. I still was really proud of myself and thankful to my team for that opportunity.
What I really enjoyed most about CNBC, were the people. Being able to sit down and talk to people who remember when CNBC started was both amazing and mind-blowing. Just to pick their brains to see what was going through their minds when they decided to take a job a brand new network and the all possible uncertainty behind it. But to also sit down with people who created shows, that are still on air today to talk about that creative process was incredible.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at CNBC, the bonds I created, the skills I gained and the memories I made.