Rising senior Meg Weissend came to the College of Media with an interest in print media, but she’s leaving with a passion for producing. And with a summer internship at the center of the nation’s film and television industry, she’s gaining the real-world experience that will help her achieve her ultimate goal — producing and writing for a major-network television show.
In high school, Weissend was editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper and envisioned becoming the next ground-breaking New York Times reporter. She always knew she wanted to write, so she specifically chose the College of Media for its reputation in journalism. She didn’t expect to find her calling in behind-the-scenes broadcast work, but through courses like Video Editing and Adventure Travel and Writing, she discovered this hidden passion.
“Meg had unmatched enthusiasm and was always asking questions,” said David Smith, senior lecturer for the College of Media. “If she didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do, she was always willing to do the research and work to figure it out.”
So, it wasn’t surprising to hear that Weissend landed a summer internship with CALICO, an award-winning, multi-platform production company in Los Angeles, California.
“I’ve always had a ‘go big or go home’ personality, so I wanted to find an internship that would really stand out on my resume,” Weissend said. “One day, I was getting tired of desperately waiting for interviews, so I spent hours introducing myself by email to pretty much everyone in the film industry.”
Her persistence paid off. That same day, CALICO responded, asking for her resume and cover letter, and quickly offered her an internship position. The decision to pack her bags and head to L.A. for the summer was an easy one.
CALICO has produced projects for Hulu, Showtime, ESPN, PBS, Spotify, MTV and E!, among others. They’ve also done work for Gatorade, Nissan, Red Bull, American Express, Vitamin Water, Jaguar and McDonald’s. Weissend is responsible for looking for footage, researching content, transcribing episodes and finding film locations for the television show Breaking Big, a CALICO production for PBS where celebrities, athletes and politicians share personal stories about how they made it in the industry.
Not only is her internship honing skills that will be valuable in her dream career, but she collaborates with other film production companies and has opportunities to network in the large Los Angeles media market. She was surprised to be doing work right away that directly impacts a major television show but says her education has helped her succeed.
“The Reed College of Media taught me how to tell someone else’s story and give them a voice,” said Weissend. “My education has sculpted this passion in me to make those stories as powerful and engaging as possible.”