Name: Mariel Rodriguez-McGill
Current Job Title: Associate Producer/Editor
Name of Organization: Rocky Mountain PBS
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Communications, Minor Philosophy, Boston College
Graduate Degrees: Master of Arts, Media, Film and Journalism Studies, University of Denver
What does your current position entail?
Being an Associate Producer/Editor at Rocky Mountain PBS has kept me quite busy and has afforded me the flexibility to work in multiple capacities on a variety of projects on a daily basis. I am currently working on two local television series: Colorado Experience and Arts District. We recently began production of season two of Colorado Experience, and as a producer on 9 out of 13 episodes I schedule the crew, interview historical experts, acquire archival photographs and footage, and keep editors on schedule. For Arts District, I utilize my social media skills and direct in the studio during some of the host segments. I also produced and edited two local segments: one on a local artist and the second capturing the craftsmanship of a local trumpet maker. When not working on local programming, I participate in our quarterly pledge drives, including scriptwriting and producing live pledge breaks for air.
How did you get your current position?
I actually found this job by being in the right place at the right time. It just so happens that the President and CEO of Rocky Mountain PBS happened to spot me while filming my graduate thesis project at the University of Denver. I was behind the camera capturing the excitement surrounding one of Denver's delicious food trucks, and the President/CEO walked right over, said he had been watching my interactions with the crowd, the subject and my grip; and was impressed by my work. He handed me his business card and a few weeks later I landed an internship at Rocky Mountain PBS. The position quickly grew to the job I have today.
In relation to graduation, when did you start the job search and when did you secure your position?
I began my internship five months before graduating, and was offered a position about a month after graduation.
In regards to the job search process:
* Did anything surprise you?
I found that I was very lucky to be in the right place at the right time. I also discovered how valuable an internship can be. I had many unpaid internships during my college and graduate school years, and the experience I gained at each has played a large role in making me the filmmaker I am today. Don't be afraid to intern or volunteer for a few months while hunting for a job!
* What recommendations do you have for current students?
Put yourself out there! Talk to people! Do what you love! When you are passionate about a certain job or project, others can't help but become excited as well. That passion is contagious and is a great thing to exude.
Which aspects of your background have been most helpful in your current position?
The internships I held while in college and graduate school were very helpful in my current position, however I also found my experience in the school of Media, Film and Journalism studies to be life changing. During my time as a graduate student I focused on film studies, and I had multiple real-life experiences within the classroom. I also had the opportunity to work as a graduate assistant for Professor Sheila E. Schroeder. Working with her on a feature-length documentary film (Woodstock West) was an eye-opening experience and invaluable out of the classroom experience. Working with Sheila and then having her as a mentor has been one of the greatest gifts from my time at DU.
If you were in your graduate program again, what would you do differently, if anything?
Find something you love and jump in with two feet. And never stop learning! Keep improving your craft and continue to expand your knowledge.