By Breanna Fields
Today, many recent college graduates are looking to land jobs, which is a difficult task in today's economy. Celia Kelly, a 2010 Cal State Bakersfield graduate, opted to take a different route. She flew to Bristol, Conn., where she landed an internship with renowned sports station ESPN.
And this would be far from an ordinary internship -- no coffee runs or unimportant roles in projects. This was the real deal: a seven-month internship in the production assistant trainee program with duties, such as prompting, cutting voiceovers and highlights, and producing teases and small features.
This experience proved to be an opportunity of a lifetime for some interns and bittersweet for others. At the end of the sevens months, interns were evaluated and offered a job, or in some cases, shown the door.
Fortunately, Kelly made the cut and has been promoted to content associate with tasks that include producing content for specialty teases and features. She's had the opportunity to work remote on location in Indianapolis for the 2011 Super Bowl and interview New York Yankees' second baseman Robinson Cano, New York Knicks' small forward Carmelo Anthony and New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady, among a long list of other prominent athletes.
Now, a two-time Emmy-nominated producer, Kelly encourages students from places like Bakersfield to apply for internship opportunities outside of their hometown.
"I didn't expect someone from such a small school like CSUB to be able to compete with the big universities with bigger programs," said Kelly. "I hope more people from smaller schools apply for things like this."
Growing up in Bakersfield, Kelly participated in basketball and track during her high school years. After an injury from playing basketball, she turned to coaching and refereeing games.
"Being such a fan of sports definitely makes my job more enjoyable, and it's something I wanted to do all my life," Kelly said. "I just didn't realize it would be in this capacity."
When Kelly was a freshman in college, she was still uncertain of her career path. Her major changed from history to English and a number of others before she decided on communications, with an emphasis in journalism and philosophy.
Her passion was writing, but as she found herself in a changing industry where newspaper staffing has decreased, she dedicated her time to a local internship with KBAK and found her true calling -- television.
"In the future, I want to own and operate my own media company," Kelly said. "I want to produce long form pieces and (documentaries) and show them around the world at film festivals. Right now, I want to just keep growing and perfecting my craft ... ESPN is providing me with the opportunity to do so."