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Intern Insider: Nneka Enurah broadens her professional view in Los Angeles

Nneka Enurah didn't spend her July 4 holiday like most people out in Los Angeles. She didn't make her way to one of the dozens of fireworks displays or partake in a cookout. She really didn't celebrate at all. Instead, she hung back at her internship with the Fox Broadcasting Corporation, shadowing the vice president of sports in the studio.

Nneka Enurah is learning the many different routes she can take to her ultimate career goal while completing her internship with Fox in Los Angeles.

He tried to apologize to Enurah because of the Independence Day celebrations she was surely missing. But she wouldn’t hear it. In fact, she couldn’t think of somewhere else she would have rather been.

“Fox has an awesome internship program,” Enurah says. “It’s really awesome that I could meet with him, talk with him, shadow him for a few hours. (The internship) has the potential to open up a lot of opportunities, a lot of doors for me as I meet other people.”

Enurah is a senior broadcast arts & entertainment major with a concentration in cinema. She’s taking part in an Elon in Los Angeles program that she’s wanted to join since it started three years ago because she knew heading out to LA for a summer would help her decide if she could make the move permanently. So far, all is well for Enurah, who’s a broadcast operations intern in the—you guessed it— broadcast operations department.

That division of Fox is responsible for making sure all the television content viewers see on the air is appropriate and contains no audio or visual errors. In essence, Enurah says, she and the full-time employees are “paid to watch TV” before it even airs.

Enurah herself picks up and enters tapes into the video system so that they’re ready for air. It’s a fast-moving, high-stress environment that Enurah has come to love.

“I feel I’m really part of the team now,” she says. “I know my routine now when I come into work. I’ve been in situations when footage has to air in 30 minutes and it hasn’t been ingested into the system. It’s exciting. There’s never a dull day.”

Enurah landed her internship through connections she made as a Jackie Robinson Scholar. Enurah says there are about 200 scholars nationwide, and they all meet for a networking weekend every March in New York. This year, Enurah connected with someone who was able to help her get the internship at Fox.

The proceeding interview and acceptance process only took a couple of weeks.

“My first phone interview, which was a short conversation, didn’t feel like an interview,” she says. “They just wanted to make sure I was personable and easy going. They said, ‘As long as you didn’t lie on resume, you were a good match.’ So I was excited about that.”

The internship is already paying off for Enurah professionally. She has met several people who hold varying titles within the Fox organization in just four short weeks, and recently, she was able to submit to an executive at Fox a script for a situation comedy pilot she’s been working on since January.

Enurah was told Fox has a program for budding screenwriters that allows them to pair up with mentors who can help polish scripts to a shine that would make them palatable to Fox. If Enurah’s pilot is received favorably, she would be assigned a mentor, and she could begin working on a final draft.

“I’m feeling really comfortable with the transition,” she says. “I feel like Fox is such a youthful company. Everyone is very young, very happy, very open to ideas. As long as you’re a hard worker, you can do well there. You can excel.”

Enurah’s sitcom is titled “Stilettos,” and it’s about three businesswomen from diverse backgrounds trying to find happiness in Hollywood. Enurah still loves screenwriting, and she says she wants to start her own production company someday. But her internship this summer has helped her realize that she doesn’t have to take a linear path to her dream.

“Before this internship, I knew what I wanted to do,” she says. “I wanted to be a screenwriter and a producer for film and television and go on to own my own production company some day. And now, it’s like I still want to do those things, but the possibilities are endless. There are so many jobs that students aren’t aware of that are in this field that I really think I could be happy with. I know the endpoint, but I’m aware there are a lot of different ways I can get there now.”

Intern Insider will run one to two times a week during the summer and will feature brief stories about some of the interns from the School of Communications or in School of Communications programs.

Colin Donohue,
7/11/2010 4:52 PM