Every year, the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) offers a competitive internship program that allows selected students to attend the conference and develop a greater knowledge of the television buying and distribution processes. Since 2011, the annual NATPE conference has been held in Miami Beach. This year, four students from University of Miami School of Communication Department of Journalism and Media Management participated as NATPE interns. SoC News asked one of them to share her experience at the conference. Here is Aislinn McManus’ account.

Being part of the NATPE team meant working alongside 40 other interns to support global buyers and exhibitors from the entertainment industry. We assisted in event-assembly and information distribution, while gaining the opportunity to engage in master-classes and panel sessions with high-level content industry producers and executives. 

The event took place at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel and the Eden Roc hotel in Miami Beach, and we spent many hours directing the thousands of attendees who flew into Miami around the event area. By the end of the week, we had met professionals from all departments of the entertainment business and made friendships with fellow aspiring students. 

Different creators and distributors met up in hotel suites and meeting booths to conduct business, which we had the opportunity to observe. I attended some sessions that focused on targeting content to the millennial generation, exposing the do’s and do not’s in making a successful “sizzle real” when pitching content, working with social media influencers in television and film, understanding the producer’s role in storytelling, and looking forward in unscripted television. Interns were engaged in each session and had the chance to ask questions, as well as introduce themselves to television/film producers and executives. Furthermore, we were able to develop industry contacts by attending networking events around the hotel pools.

The connections made, the exposure gained, and the first-hand glance at the conference were all  educational and inspiring.