By Natalee Fernandez, Media Management senior

LeBron James wasn’t the only one who couldn’t handle the heat during summer 2014. I too decided to take my talents from sultry South Beach to temperate London. From June to August, I interned with ReelDealHD, a video production company specializing in commercials, branded content, and stock footage.

The team at ReelDealHD allowed me to learn every aspect of their business. I began working with the company’s editing department to create a new portfolio of show reels that would be used to catch the attention of prospective clients. Specifically, I sifted through more than 7,000 video clips to choose scenes that would be included in the project and then began to piece together the clips to create a story.  Despite my lack of formal training in digital artistry, my boss encouraged me to take risks and move outside of my comfort zone, perhaps the most important lesson I learned from my internship. I was able to assemble 10 unique show reels that could be used to showcase ReelDealHD's previous work.

In the next phase of my internship, I entered the research and development arena. ReelDealHD is committed to staying relevant within the fast-moving production industry, and many meetings were held to develop a competitive strategy in upcoming shoots. During my time in the R&D department, I wrote a case study about 4K ultra high-definition television, a topic in which I was well versed after taking the Media Technology course in the Department of Journalism and Media Management. Because of my familiarity with the topic, I was asked to present my conclusions to a skeptical client who ultimately decided to shoot his commercial in 4K format. Additionally, I was able to spend time testing out new video production gadgets, such as Google Glass and Oculus Rift.

Furthermore, throughout my internship I was given the opportunity to assume various production roles, such as a set designer, a production assistant, and even an extra in a forthcoming Christmas special. The acquisition of these competences prepared me for my final week with ReelDealHD, when I was able to produce a commercial shoot from start to finish.           

The experience I gained through my internship abroad allowed me to immerse myself in the British culture while pursuing my career goals in digital media. As I begin my senior year in media management at the University of Miami, I am ready to apply what I learned during this summer to my academic studies.