Learn, Imagine and Explore
April 28, 2011
Student Earns Prestigious Media Internship
This past fall, senior Nicole Jaques was one of thousands of Communication majors who sent in an application for the highly-competitive International Radio and Television Society Summer Fellowship Program, which provides up-and-coming communicators with a hands-on experience at New York's top media corporations.
Flash forward to this spring, and Jaques is one of only 16 students to have received an acceptance letter to the program and beginning in June, she will begin a summer-long internship at Nick Jr., working closely with the hugely popular children's show "Dora the Explorer."
"I had applied for the program last year and didn't make it," says Jaques, who made it her goal three and half years ago to obtain the IRTS Fellowship. Bound and determined to make the cut this year, Jaques successfully made it through three rounds of interviews and last month, learned of her acceptance.
"I am extremely grateful to be one of the 16 students chosen to work in New York this summer. What is so incredible about the IRTS program is that it provides free housing and a stipend for living costs while living in New York as well," notes Jaques.
Communication Professor Angela Paradise, who helped guide Jaques through the application process, knows first-hand the life-long value of the IRTS Fellowship Program.
"As a graduate student nearly ten years ago, I received the IRTS Fellowship and interned at Sesame Workshop. Nearly ten years later, I still find myself incorporating the experiences and knowledge gained from my IRTS Fellowship into my classes," notes Paradise.
"Based on the incredible experience I had as an IRTS Fellow, I have always made it a priority at Stonehill to encourage my Communication students to apply for this competitive program."
Jaques credits Paradise for helping uncover her career aspiration of working with children and education in a media setting.
"I have always been ambitious but when I entered Stonehill, I was completely undecided on what I wanted to do for my career," she recalls.
After taking a Mediated Communications class taught by Paradise on a whim her first year, Jaques says she fell in love with the curriculum and after hearing of Paradise's experiences with Sesame Workshop, realized she could make a career that would incorporate her love of children and education with her newfound interest in the media.
Jaques quickly went to work, gaining experience in the television world by landing two internships with Boston's WGBH. While there, she worked for the childrens' shows "Between the Lions," "Arthur," and "FETCH with Ruff Ruffman."
Last summer, when the IRTS Fellowship didn't work out for her, she shifted to plan B and was hired as an intern with Powderhouse Productions, which produced a NOVA miniseries called "Making Stuff."
"I enjoyed that internship very much but it confirmed my decision that children's television is what is right for me."
Jaques says her ultimate goal is to create and produce her own children's television show one day or direct children's programming for a major network.
"I want to harness the power of entertainment and use it to educate children in more ways than just letters and numbers."
"The fact that Nicole was selected among over a thousand applicants for one of the coveted 16 IRTS spots speaks volumes in terms of her academic successes, career potential and character," says Paradise.
For now, Jaques has her eyes set on June 5, when she will begin her IRTS Fellowship. The program will begin with an extensive one-week orientation, which will give her the rare opportunity to question industry professionals at panels, lectures, and group discussions. She will also take field trips and learn career planning, networking and interviewing skills by attending industry social functions.
From June 13 - August 5, Jaques will be assisting in every facet of production for "Dora the Explorer," from green lighting to post production. "I'll be doing anything and everything from reading over scripts and logging footage to helping with research and handling equipment," Jaques relishes.
"It is clear that children can be hugely influenced by television and the media and I hope to use my experience through IRTS to develop the skills needed to create shows that will encourage children to learn, imagine and explore."
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.