William Smith Senior at CNN – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

William Smith Senior at CNN

Valentina Cuevas ’11 is gaining great exposure and experience in the media industry this summer, working at CNN. The Vestal, N.Y., native loves all forms of media, but finds cable news particularly fascinating and has watched CNN since high school. With this in mind, she turned her attention to CNN’s online internship listing this past spring.

“I applied while [studying] abroad in London thinking it was a long shot, and was so surprised to receive a call from headquarters in Atlanta two days after I returned stateside. After three rounds of interviews, I found out I had been accepted.”

Her tasks on the internship are quite varied. As an intern in the Public Relations department at CNN, most of her tasks relate to the publicity for the network’s talent, anchors and programming. Perhaps the most important of her tasks is assembling the daily clips report, a document displaying all of the media outlets and stories mentioning CNN.

“This is especially important on particularly news heavy days, like when Larry King announced his retirement or when the network unveiled its new 8 p.m. show featuring Eliot Spitzer,” explains Cuevas.

Other tasks include doing research for publicists and accompanying them on shoots. “I also had the opportunity to work at an event; the New York screening for CNN’s ‘In America’ series, ‘Gary + Tony Have a Baby’ where I checked in members of the press,” she says.

Beyond the glitz and glamour of her internship lies hard work and expertise. Cuevas says the main skill she has learned at HWS that has prepared her for this internship is how to research effectively. “Some of the same databases that I use to write papers at HWS, like Lexis-Nexis, have been paramount in producing quality research for my department at CNN.” She also credits her study abroad experience in London, where she had the opportunity to intern at a PR firm, giving her the necessary industry experience to secure the internship.

“Having the opportunity to intern at such a large and well-known organization has been a really fulfilling experience.” In terms of career development, she plans on working in the media field and this has given her a good grasp on what it’s like to work for a major television news outlet. Although she is working on the corporate rather than on the production side of CNN, she feels that there are still many opportunities to make creative decisions through development, writing and pitching. In the future, she would like to apply the skills she has learned at CNN to a career in the media field that allows her to make both creative and business decisions.

Until then, she will continue to channel her creativity into her singing, where she’s involved in the Colleges’ Chorale and Cantori groups.