Franklyn Rodriguez, originally from Bellerose, Queens, is now working towards a media study degree at UB.
Rodriguez always had an interest in media, but that interest turned into a passion after he spent two years as an intern at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Rodriguez landed the position through a connection from a friend. The center was looking for a production assistant interested in video and the wider media industry. Rodriguez’s eagerness about the offer and his experience in the field made him an easy selection for the job — no resume submission necessary.
On the job, Rodriguez was rarely found without a video camera in tow. He was responsible for capturing footage of youth group events, such as drama performances. From production to showtime, Rodriguez followed the youth group as they prepared for their production of Annie Junior. He also wrote a 15 minute piece about the show.
Rodriguez put his media knowledge to use when he taught 12 kids how to use a video camera, set up audio, and edit on Final Cut Pro. This was new and challenging for Rodriguez, but he enjoyed the experience.
“I went in with no knowledge about teaching,” Rodriguez said. “I had to get an authority position that I never [before] sustained for more than a couple minutes.”
Rodriguez gave the youth constructive criticism on their projects and enjoyed watching them learn and progress. He was also excited to see the youth expand their social circles beyond the Christian culture they had always been exposed to.
Rodriguez’s team members often praised him for his dedication to the projects he worked on during the internship.
During his time at the Christian Cultural Center, Rodriguez learned that the media industry is far broader than he thought. He discovered that even a church youth group is dependent on video production.
“The media game is not just what you see on TV,” Rodriguez said.