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Summer Internship Dream Come True — Even Working From Home

Ryan Wagner

Ryan Wagner, a senior marketing student at Emporia State University from Silver Lake, above, landed the internship of his dreams — working for Stamford Media Center as a digital marketing and operations intern. The current environment and COVID-19 restrictions haven’t stopped him from getting an amazing experience, despite doing all of his work from home in Emporia.

During a visit to New York last year, Emporia State President Allison Garrett had the opportunity to visit with alum Eric Hanson over breakfast. Hanson is the director of digital media for NBCUniversal’s Stamford Media Center in Connecticut. In his role, Hanson oversees the studio's digital portfolio of shows, including “Maury,” “The Steve Wilkos Show,” “Jerry Springer” and “Judge Jerry.”

It was because of this conversation that Hanson expressed his desire to help place ESU students in internships with NBCUniversal. As a follow-up to this conversation, Hanson was invited to come to campus in November 2019 and visit with students in several classes about digital media and NBCUniversal. He visited three classes: Integrated Marketing Communication, Communication and Reality Television, and Principles of Marketing. He also met with Garrett again, attended an ESU Pride meeting, and visited with students at a meet and greet in Cremer Hall.

It was there that he met Wagner, a student in the School of Business. Hanson was instrumental in helping Wagner secure a 10-week internship at NBCUniversal this summer and hopes he is the first of many ESU NBCUniversal interns to come.

Even though Wagner’s internship has been conducted remotely, he says everything is going great.

“NBC and my direct supervisors have helped me smoothly transition into the online workday. Every week, they give me more responsibilities and tasks that I grasp and take advantage of to my fullest capability,” he said. “The people I work with are very kind and helpful. I can tell they truly care about my progression throughout my internship and give me the correct tools to advance my knowledge.”

His favorite aspect of the internship is the weekly meetings on Microsoft Teams because the team he works with is so much fun. Wagner works for two of their shows, “Judge Jerry” and “The Steve Wilkos Show.” He runs their social media platforms by posting content and news articles on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter that fit the weekly category.

“It’s hard to believe I’m here today doing an internship with this massive company,” says Wagner. “I am learning things that will help me in a lot of different fields.”

Hanson says Wagner is doing a great job.

“I hope to have Ryan back for one more internship before he graduates so he can have the full experience. I want to let the community know President Garrett and the college have forged a relationship creating opportunities for their students at NBC.”

Hanson is also grateful for a relationship he built while studying theater.

“My strong connection to ESU was also based on the mentorship of instructor Kenna Reeves. I owe a great deal of my success today from her guidance and support while I attended ESU. She has remained a friend and mentor for the past 30 years, and after taking one ESU course taught by Kenna, she helped change the course of my life.”