Name: Osman A. Lopez-Barraza '19
Major: Bachelor's in communication with a specialization in broadcast media
Where did you intern?
During the summer of 2019, I interned at the Hispanic Communications Network as a production intern. I was also part of the South Florida Media Network (SFMN) Washington, D.C, bureau, which immerses students in political reporting for a semester while living in the nation’s capital.
What did you do there?
I worked closely with the evening drive-time show "Pedro Biaggi Encendío". As an intern, I created graphics for the lower-thirds to identify guests of the show; edited segments of the show to be aired; and assisted with live recordings.
How did you get your internship?
I was able to get my internship at the Hispanic Communications Network through the SFMN Washington, D.C., bureau. It was offered as a supplement to the program.
What was the coolest thing that happened during your internship and at the SFMN bureau?
One of the most memorable moments for me was when SFMN intern Daniel Lederman and I covered the occupancy of the Venezuelan embassy in D.C. While visiting FIU in DC, we spoke to FIU’s Assistant Vice President of Governmental Relations Carlos Becerra about the possibility of doing a Venezuela-related story. He quickly got in touch with someone at the Organization of American States (OAS) and granted us access to a hearing with the ambassador from Venezuela to the OAS, Gustavo Tarre.
We had the opportunity to speak to him and were invited to follow him to the Venezuelan embassy. We produced our first story on the gathering outside of the embassy by the Venezuelan community demanding to get their embassy back.
What did you like most about your experiences in the internship and the SFMN Bureau?
I loved the opportunity to meet new people. Beyond the point of networking, the relationships that one is able to create through programs such as these are invaluable.
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that taking a leap of faith pays off. I must say, I was almost unable to participate in the program, but I was able to make it come together and follow the dream I had of going to D.C. I learned that focusing on a particular goal and really pushing and working hard for it will grant the results.
How did you expand your professional network?
By attending every possible event. FIU in DC does a great job of putting together events for both networking and learning about specific topics that I didn’t even consider. The most important thing is to overcome the fear of talking to people and just have at it!
How did it help you prove yourself in the “real world”?
It helps to look at an internship like a job. It helped to keep that mindset to prove to myself that “I could make the cut”. School is very different from a “real-world experience”. Working on stories for SFMN was challenging, but I learned a different perspective on how to produce stories—from finding a lead to interviewing someone. Every step of the process helped me see that it was, in fact, doable.
What advice do you have for those begining the internship process?
I would say don’t think twice about it. I never imagined I would be able to go to D.C. – even more so, that I would be writing and producing stories. That wouldn’t have happened if I had focused on the difficulties. So, to whomever is thinking about getting their first internship or thinking about going to D.C., take that leap and put your heart and soul into it.
Editor's note: Lopez-Barraza was offered a full-time audio/visual technician position at the Hispanic Communications Network in Washington, D.C. He starts in August.